• Spectrum of Life

Acid Reflux and Gastric Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

This condition is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, throat or upper abdomen that includes the common term “heartburn.”


What is GERD?

One of the most common conditions affecting many people today is termed ‘GERD’ or gastroesophageal reflux disorder. This condition is characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, throat or upper abdomen that includes the common term “heartburn.” Many prescription drugs have been created by the pharmaceutical industry that suppress acid secretion as an answer to what is truly a systemic problem. This results in raising factors that add to inflammatory events in the whole body, - thereby contributing to further diseases such as diabetes, arthritis, and autoimmune disorders.


An anti-inflammatory lifestyle has been shown to reduce acid reflux and it is important we make attempts to change our diet toward foods that are less reactive with the immune system.

Upon eating, food naturally passes from the throat to the stomach through the esophagus. The esophagus contains a group of muscle fibers in the shape of a ring that aids to prevent food from moving back upwards from the stomach. These muscle fibers make up what is called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).


If the LES is not functioning properly it allows for food, fluids and hydrochloric acid to leak back into the esophagus. Hydrochloric acid is produced in the stomach when food stimulates certain cells called ‘amacrine’ cells to secrete it. The inner esophageal tissue is not designed to handle the strong acidity which inflames the region. This causes the characteristic ‘heartburn’ sensation. Chronically damaging the esophageal tissue can even eventually, combined with a poor microflora ecology, cause esophageal cancer and other serious conditions or necessary palliative procedures.


Risk Factors for GERD

The most common risk factors for GERD include anything that aggravates or distorts the esophagus or upper stomach region such as hiatal hernia, pre