Acid Reflux is also known as GERD, or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease.
- 1 in 4 Americans suffer with some form of heart burn at least once a month.
- More than 15 million Americans experience heartburn every day.
Why Heartburn Happens
In people with frequent heartburn, the lower esophageal sphincter muscle (LES) may be weak, or relax too frequently, allowing stomach acids to get into the esophagus.
Heartburn happens when the lining of the esophagus comes in contact with too much stomach acid, producing a burning pain and injuring the esophagus. Sleeping With Heartburn Carries Cancer Risks.
A Chinese Medical Perspective on Acid Reflux and Heartburn
A digestive system in balance should be trouble-free. Unlike Western medicine which views all acid reflux the same, Chinese medicine has many different diagnoses (known as patterns) for this condition. They include:
- Excess cold in the Stomach
- Excess heat in the Stomach
- Liver attacking the Stomach
- Kidney and Spleen Weakness
- Phlegm and Heat in the Stomach
What do these diagnoses mean? Your acupuncture specialist can explain which of the above patterns is causing your acid reflux. Once he or she arrives at a diagnosis, an appropriate course of acupuncture and herbal treatment to treat both the symptoms and the underlying cause of your condition will be recommended. You will also receive important dietary recommendations to minimize your symptoms.
What you can do about it:
The food you eat on a daily basis is the single most important thing you can do to avoid heartburn. Avoid high-fat foods and huge portions; they can both cause heartburn. Some experts recommend keeping a food journal to track which foods irritate your stomach.
You may also want to look to see if any of these foods are a problem for you:
- Meats. Ground beef, marbled sirloin, chicken nugget-style, and chicken/buffalo wings.
- Fats, Oils & Sweets. Chocolate, regular corn and potato chips, high-fat butter cookies, brownies, doughnuts, creamy and oily salad dressings, fried or fatty food in general.
- Fruits, Vegetables & Juice. Orange juice, lemon, lemonade, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, tomato, mashed potatoes, French fries, raw onion, potato salad.
- Other Beverages. Liquor, wine, coffee, and tea.
- Grains. Macaroni and cheese, spaghetti with marinara sauce.
- Dairy. Sour cream, milk shake, ice cream, regular cottage cheese.