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How To Treat Acid Reflux Naturally

The mere mention of heartburn makes some suffer on the spot. There is nothing worse than being hungry and about to enjoy your favorite beverage or food but the first taste sends shock waves through your chest and esophagus. Thus, the question is, what remedy should I seek for my heartburn condition? Is medication the only answer? If so, will over-the-counter products help or should i seek a prescription through my doctor? That said, it is nice to know that there are natural treatments available to heartburn sufferers, and they don't always have to rely on a pill.

First lets look at what heartburn is and what triggers its effects. Heartburn (which actually has nothing to do with the heart) is basically a failure in the function of the lower esophageal sphincter. Commonly referred to as the LES, the lower esophageal sphincter, is a muscular valve that operates via gravity and acts like a "shut-off" mechanism. This, in turn, keeps stomach acid in the stomach and ceases the acid from traveling up the chest and through the esophagus. The LES is a door that allows food to pass freely into the stomach and then shuts afterward, however, if this door becomes weak, stomach acid can escape and travel up the chest and begin to irritate the lining of the esophagus. For some, this becomes a chronic condition and over time can cause significant damage to the esophagus lining resulting in a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD.

So what contributes to a weak LES? Well, the answer lies within the combination of two factors: obesity, which places undue pressures on the stomach, and, too much or the wrong types of food in the stomach. Either of these factors can lead to a weak or relaxed LES valve. The good news is that both factors are somewhat controllable. The latter can include many things such as alcohol, caffeine, spice (that's obvious), and fat in the diet, just to name a few. One additional factor, smoking, also has a tendency to weaken the LES valve thus allowing stomach acid to travel up the esophagus.

Now, that we know the basic causes of heartburn and understand the technical aspects of the digestive system, we'll turn to treatment. We all realize these days that there is a pill for just about every medical condition. One draw back to medication is that it can be expensive, especially if not covered by health insurance. Further, a pill or drug is not always necessary. For some, there are natural remedies that work just as well as a medication. Holistic programs are available to those who are willing to follow a disciplined but simple program. A natural, holistic program will tell you what NOT to eat or drink; what you SHOULD eat, as there are certain foods that will correct a weak LES such as aloe; further, it will add natural supplements to your diet; and, finally, show how you can maintain a good, bacteria-friendly digestive system with the aid of acidophilus, a probiotic that will help your body effectively digest food.

By: chickie maxwell

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