Almost every other person has suffered from terrible acid reflux and the chest pains associated with it. Also known as Gastro-esophageal Reflux disease or GERD in prolonged cases, this disease is manageable as well as treatable. But the approach towards treatment varies from person to person as the physiology of each person differs. For some people, homemade remedies are enough to manage discomfort but strong medication is required in some cases. In extreme cases, surgery is also recommended. Read on further to know more about the GERD treatment approaches out there. Do consult with your doctor as to which treatment might be beneficial for you.
The Natural and the Homemade Way
Usual bouts of acid reflux can be treated with homemade remedies and natural elements. The benefit of going the natural route is that certain side-effects associated with medications are either reduced or removed completely. Plus, going the natural route is not only beneficial for your digestive system, but it also helps your body as a whole.
In homemade remedies, one of the most commonly used things is baking soda. Found commonly in most households, baking soda reduces the gaseous build up inside the stomach wall and relieves pressure and bloating. For use, just dissolve ½ to 1 teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and sip slowly.
In natural remedies, use ginger in your daily recipes. You can grate some ginger in normal stir-fry recipes and use ginger for making ginger tea. Chewing on 1 or 2 cloves of garlic has also been known to cure symptoms of GERD such as heartburn. After meals, you can drink coconut water that cools down your stomach and it also contains nutrients beneficial for your body. Aloe Vera juice and papaya juice have also been known to help with heartburn associated with GERD.
The Medicinal way
If home remedies work for you, then it’s great. But keep in mind that these remedies only bring temporary relief. For long-lasting solutions, medication might be required.
For GERD patients, there are many variants of antacids, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), and H2 blockers that can be either bought over the counter or can be prescribed by a doctor. Antacids bring down the acidic level of the stomach wall and reduce the reflux. Proton Pump Inhibitors bind with certain enzymes secreted by the stomach and inhibit the production of acids. H2 blockers do the same thing but in a different way. They block the receptors in acid-producing cells.
The Surgical Way
In most of the cases, medicines and remedies are enough. But if the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) has loosened up a lot, GERD can worsen and surgery might be the best GERD treatment option.
The surgery is called the Nissen Fundoplication Surgery. This surgery can be done either by making small incisions (laparoscopic approach) or a single long incision. In this surgery, the top part of the stomach is tied around the esophagus to tighten up the sphincter and prevent acid reflux.
Aside from all of these treatments, people should avoid their trigger foods and adopt healthier dietary habits.