What You Should Know About Gastroesophageal Reflux

Most people know what heartburn or acid reflux is and the English know this as dyspepsia. Acid reflux is also call gastroesophageal reflux or just esophageal reflux. With gastroesophageal reflux, the content of the stomach – stomach acid, bile, pepsin, ingested liquids and foods flow back up into the esophagus. This happens when the valve between the stomach and esophagus opens, when it shouldn’t, and allows this content to go back into the esophagus.

When stomach content refluxes often, damage to the esophagus tissue occurs causing inflammation, esophagitis, or gastroesophageal reflux disease better know as GERD. The progression of gastroesophageal reflux can occur into Barrett’s esophagus, a precancerous condition. And, this can eventually change into esophageal cancer, but only if the reflux condition is not treated.

Many clinical studies now show that excessive use of drugs that are aimed at acid reflux conditions increase your chances of creating gastroesophageal cancer. And this includes the use of over the counter drugstore remedies.

While it is thought that excessive acid is the cause of esophageal reflux, the main cause is a weak Lower Esophageal Sphincter, LES. But it is the stomach acid that creates the symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux. So doctors and pharmaceutical companies have targeted their medicines toward the reduction of this acid. This does not cure the cause of gastroesophageal reflux, but will prevent strong acid from burning the esophagus tissue.

The use of drugs to deal with esophageal reflux is not always the best way to deal with this condition. In some case, it is necessary to reduce the strength of the acid that flows into the esophagus to prevent continual attack on the esophagus tissue. Most drugs are designed to inhibit or block the production of stomach acid making it weaker and less evasive. But this blocking comes with a price. The price is a major imbalance your stomach function.

Your stomach will not work like it should when its production of acid is blocked. For one thing, bad bacteria and other pathogens are not completely destroyed with weak acid. Also, the LES valve will get weaker. Certain vitamins and minerals will not be processed correctly. And, many other stomach functions will be affected and this will lead to diseases far worse than simple acid reflux.

The cure for reflux lies in lifestyle. The food you eat, the amount you eat, what you drink, and other lifestyle factors contribute to the activity you will have in your stomach. This activity can result in excess acid being excreted by your stomach lining and affecting the strength of your LES. Or, excess gas can be created by the improper decomposition of food you eat, causing excess gas, which put excess pressure on the LES causing it to open.

Then again acid may not be the issue. Some people can experience alkaline reflux damage in the esophagus. The alkaline liquid can be sucked up from the small intestine where alkaline liquid flourishes when excreted by the gallbladder and the pancreas.

The only way to really handle gastroesophageal reflux is to use natural methods – natural diet, natural remedies, and lifestyle. Drugs are so harmful in treating acid reflux that they should only be used in serious conditions.