Understanding Silent Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD, is a chronic digestive disease that can cause some serious health issues. Doctor Jeff Williams of the Amarillo Pain and Accident Chiropractic Clinic explains more about the disease, some of the causes and how to prevent this disease.

Gastroesophageal reflux, also know sometimes as silent reflux is the return of he stomach's contents back up into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter opens allowing food back up.

- Hiatal hernia may contribute
- Obesity
- Acidic diet - chocolate, peppermint, fried or fatty foods, alcohol,
- Smoking

- Damage to the lining of the esophagus
- Burning throat
- Burning in your chest
- Clearing your throat often
- Shortness of breath
- Hoarseness
- Chronic cough
- Difficulty swallowing
- Barrets esophagus - endoscopy - can be a precursor to cancer
- Esophageal cancer

Dr. Jeff Williams' simple rules to avoiding GERD:
1. Eat slower than you are used to. Eating is supposed to be enjoyable. Take time to enjoy your food. You'll probably even lose weight this way because your stomach will have more time to tell your mind that you are full which will cause you to eat less in the long run. 

2. Bump up your fiber intake. There is evidence that the increased fiber helps food to bind in your stomach keeping it from refluxing. And, fiber will help you feel fuller on less calories. It's doubly good!

3. Lose weight if you need to lose weight. The increased weight around your stomach will put pressure on your stomach making it much easier for the food to come back up into your esophagus. If you haven't noticed yet, all of these techniques have the added benefit of helping you to drop some weight. 

4. Get some exercise. Walking, moving, activity: all of it, firstly, keeps you in an upright position which, due to gravity, helps keep food down. Also, losing weight will decrease heartburn. 

5. Stress is a contributing factor.

6. Decrease your caffeine intake. There is now acid-free coffee!

7. Decrease you alcohol intake. Everything in moderation

8. Stop smoking. 

9. Sleep propped up.

10. Finally, if you can't avoid GERD with these techniques, get yourself on some acid reducers, such as Pantoprazol. They are mostly safe and have relatively few and minor side effects.

This is a list from Dr. Oz's website of alkaline foods that can be added to the diet. They're in order from most neutral to the most alkaline.
1. Draft beer (most neutral)
2. Honey
3. Asparagus
4. Margarine
5. White wine
6. Broccoli
7. Marmalade
8. Mineral water
9. Watermelon
10. Apples
11. Red wine
12. Zucchini
13. Hazelnuts
14. Green beans
15. Tomatoes
16. Cherries
17. Radishes
18. Cauliflower
19. Potatoes
20. Apricots
21. Carrots
22. Celery
23. Bananas
24. Spinach
25. Raisins (most alkaline-promoting)

Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic
3501 SW 45th Ave
(806) 355-3000

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