GERD, Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms, Ayurvedic Treatment, Tips, Remedies

Article By Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD(Ay)
Have you experienced a burning sensation in your chest or heart region an hour or so after food?
Have you felt something’s really hot coming up your stomach towards your heart and throat?
If you have it occasionally, don’t worry; we all do. But if you are experiencing it very regularly, you need to see your doctor. 

You may be suffering from a condition called Gastro-Esophageal Reflex Disease (GERD). In this disease your stomach is throwing the acid or its contents upwards occasionally, back into your food pipe. The backwash (reflux) irritates the lining of your oesophagus and causes GERD. It is a chronic digestive disease

Acid reflux and heartburn are common digestive conditions which each one of us experience from time to time. You may be diagnosed with GERD when these signs and symptoms occur at least two times a week or interfere with your day to day activities or when your doctor can see damage in your oesophagus.

GERD

How is GERD caused?
Gastro means your stomach. Esophagus (oesophagus) means your food pipe through which the food enters the stomach. Reflux means to flow back or return.
Thus Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease means that the stomach’s contents are returning back into the esophagus

Why does this happen?
There is a valve at the end of your food pipe (oesophagus) where it meets (opens into) the stomach. In normal conditions this valve allows and controls one way movement of food from oesophagus into the stomach and avoids the food from coming back into the oesophagus. This valve is called Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). When food reaches LES, it opens to allow the food to pass into the stomach and later closes to avoid the backward flow of food and acidic contents of the stomach into the food pipe.

GERD occurs when LES is weak or doesn’t relax appropriately, allowing the stomach contents to flow back into the esophagus.
Regurgitation of food or sour acids from stomach and a burning sensation in the chest (heartburn) are its chief complaints.

acid reflux

Prevention tips

Lifestyle tips to prevent and get rid of acid reflux (GERD):
Lifestyle changes may help in reducing the frequency of heartburn. They also help in prevention of GERD. They include –

  • Avoid oily, spicy and acidic food
  • Avoid foods and drinks that trigger heartburn – like fatty foods, fried foods, alcohol, tomato sauce, caffeine, garlic, onion, chocolate, mint etc. also avoid foods which you know can cause heartburn
  • Eat smaller meals (avoid overeating) more frequently
  • Avoid eating quickly or eating in a hurry
  • Don’t lie down immediately after a meal (wait for at least 2-3 hours after food), go to bed 3 hours after eating food
  • Maintain a healthy body weight – because excess weight puts pressure on abdomen, pushing your stomach and causing acid reflux into oesophagus. If you are overweight, reduce a few calories.
  • Avoid tight fitting clothes – they put pressure on your abdomen and LES
  • Keep your head end of your bed elevated. Keep wood or cement blocks under the feet of your bed so that the head end is raised by 6-9 inches
  • Don’t smoke or drink alcohol
  • Avoid stress and anxiety
  • Include organic, fresh, raw fruits and vegetables
  • Take food containing minerals, vitamins, vitamin B-complex, folate etc.
  • Drink peppermint tea with meals to avoid over eating
  • Avoid the causes of acid reflux
  • Drink plenty of water and fluids
  • Do regular exercise
  • Avoid bending or lifting heavy objects within one hour of eating meals
  • Poultry, fish, sea foods should be cooked either by boiling, baking, grilling or saturating

Avoid the below said (Triggers of acid reflux)-

  • Avoid spices, mustard, vinegar, pepper, salt
  • Avoid tomato sauce, Tomato
  • Reduce chocolate intake
  • Avoid carbonated drinks
  • Avoid tea and coffee
  • Smoking
  • Over weight
  • Alcohol
  • Citrus fruits
  • Fast foods
  • Fatty foods
  • Caffeinated drinks
  • Garlic and onions
  • Peppermint
  • Beverages,drinks like soda
  • Mint
  • Salads and cheeses
  • Candies
  • Butter

Include the below said –

  • Include Potatoes in your diet, they are alkaline and reduce acids
  • Include lot of yogurt in your diet. The probiotics in curds keeps your digestive system healthy. It also helps in absorption of proteins and nutrients in the body.
  • Include Banana in your diet; it acts as a natural antacid. Banana has rich potassium which helps to reduce acid levels.
  • Take a slice or two of papaya daily after food. It is found to soothe your stomach and helps in better digestion.
  • Baking soda – Sodium bicarbonate neutralizes the acids in the stomach
  • Apples after meals, especially after dinner prevents acid reflex
  • Coconut water for cooking
  • Lemons – create calcium carbonates which neutralizes the acids
  • Moringa – Drumstick

Foods that are known to prevent acid reflux –

  • Basil leaves
  • Red apples
  • Grape fruit
  • Yellow mustard’s
  • Herbal teas
  • Vegetable juices
  • Oatmeal
  • Melon
  • All vitamin and minerals
  • Fennel
  • All roots and green vegetables
  • Celery
  • Brown rice

Read related: 10 effective Ayurvedic home remedies for acidity and gastritis

Other things tried:

  • Glutamine (amino acid) – it is known to strengthen the LES. It also helps in healing the mucous membrane which has been eroded by the action of regurgitating acids. 1 tsp of powdered amino acid is mixed in 4 ounces of water. This is used to drink after meals.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar (ACV) – breaks down fats and balances pH levels. It also helps digestion
  • Slippery Elm – creates thick layer of mucous lining of stomach and creates a strong barrier against acid. 1-2 tsp of slippery elm root bark into a glass of water. Drink it after meals and before going to bed. Little honey or sugar can be added.
  • Chamomile Tea – reduces stomach inflammation and balances acidity levels. I tsp of chamomile petals are added to a cup of boiling water, let in simmer for 45 minutes, strained and used as a drink
  • Agrimony (stickwort) – removes acids, prevents reflux and helps in easy digestion. It is usually consumed with milk.
  • Chewing Gum – Chewing a piece of sugar free gum for at least 30 minutes after eating prevents heartburn and acid reflux. It also stimulates salivary flow rate, so any acid in the gut is washed away
  • Calcium nitrate powder – 250mg of the powder is dissolved in water. It is used for drinking at least 4 times a day
  • Melatonin – protects digestive system
  • De-glycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL) – helps to increase the protective mucous coating in the stomach, intestinal tract and LES, preventing aggravation and irritation from stomach acids. It is used in chewable tablet or powder form. ½ tsp dissolved in a glass of water is used for drinking.

Ayurvedic home remedies

Home Remedies for heart burn and GERD:

  • Upavasa (fasting) for a day in a week or half a day is useful in curing acid reflux. Take care that you don’t overdo it. drink water and eat fruits while on fasting.
  • Take 2-3 cardamom and crush them. Boil them in ¼ litre of water. Filter it through a sieve and drink warm.
  • Take 5-6 Tulasi leaves (basil), crush them and boil in 250 ml of water on medium flame for 10-15 minutes, filter and take the filtrate (tea)
  • Chew 5-6 Tulasi (basil) leaves after food, 2-3 times daily
  • Chew a clove, once or twice daily. Pinch of clove mixed in honey also gives relief.
  • Drink chilled milk (caution – if you have milk allergy or if you have experience of milk worsening acid reflux especially if you are pitta type of person). The milk should be fat free.
  • Take Aloe vera (kumari) juice or gel before food
  • Take one banana daily by adding a little sugar / honey and cinnamon powder (pinch)
  • Take 1 spoon of honey before going to bed at night or take honey mixed water. Prefer organic honey. It soothes the stomach and adjusts body’s pH and also neutralizes the stomach acids.
  • Take 1 tsp Amalaki powder (Indian gooseberry) with honey. Amalaki protects the stomach from acids, neutralizes acids and heal the stomach and oesophageal erosions. They can be eaten raw or used as tea. (Consult your doctor to know which form suits you the best)
  • Take Lemon juice (2 spoons) with Ginger juice (2 spoons) 2-3 times in a day. Honey also can be added to the mixture.
  • Dip 1- 1 ½ spoons Fenugreek in a glass of water and leave it for 2-3 hours (or overnight). Preferable you can put its coarse powder in warm water. Strain the seeds and drink the water.
  • 1 tsp baking soda in water or drink
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar before each meal
  • Chew almonds as the first thing in the morning or before each meal
  • Drink coconut water regularly
  • Take warm water mixed with lemon juice and honey in the morning.
  • Water boiled with Jeeraka (cumin seeds)
  • Water boiled with mint leaves
  • Carrot juice and / or cabbage juice too will give instant relief from acid reflux
  • Powder of long pepper mixed with honey
  • Decoction of Vasa (Adhathoda vascica), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia) and Brihati (Solanum indicum) added with honey
  • Powder of Katuki (Piccrorrhiza kurroa) with sugar
  • Powder of Draksha (Vitis vinifera) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) mixed with old jaggery
  • Powder of Guda (jaggery), Pippali (long pepper) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
  • Read related: Fruitful Ayurvedic Remedies For Gastritis

GERD disease review

GERD – Disease review (Modern):

GERD is a chronic digestive disorder in which there is a reflux of acidic juices and contents from the stomach back into the oesophagus. This happens due to the weakness of Lower Oesophageal Sphincter, a valve controlling one-way flow of food and fluids into the stomach. GERD, causes heartburn, regurgitation of food into the food pipe, vomiting and other symptoms.

Synonyms

Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastric Reflux Disease
Acid Reflux Disease
Reflux (in babies and young children)

Causes

  • Frequent acid reflex – Back flow of stomach acids or bile into the esophagus takes place due to weak LES or due to abnormal relaxation of LES. In healthy patients, the ‘Angle of His’ – the angle at which the oesophagus enters the stomach creates a valve. The valve prevents duodenal bile, enzymes and stomach acid from travelling back into the oesophagus where they can cause burning and inflammation of sensitive oesophageal tissue.
  • This constant backwash of acids can irritate the oesophageal lining causing complications such as bleeding, oesophageal narrowing or Barrett’s oesophagus (a pre-cancerous condition)
  • Hiatus Hernia
  • Zollinger – Ellison Syndrome – increased gastric acidity due to gastrin production
  • High blood calcium – can increase gastrin production leading to increased acidity
  • Scleroderma and Systemic sclerosis – cause oesophageal dys-motility
  • Use of medicines like prednisolone
  • Visceroptosis or Glenard syndrome – in which stomach has sunk in the abdomen upsetting the motility and acid secretion of the stomach
  • Laryngo-pharyngeal Reflux (LPR or silent reflux) or Extra-oesophageal Reflux Disease (EERD) – Atypical manifestation of GERD in relation to Respiratory and laryngeal complaints such as laryngitis, chronic cough, pulmonary fibrosis, earache, asthma
  • Obstructive sleep apnoea
  • Gall stones – block the flow of bile into the duodenum which can affect the ability to neutralize gastric acid

Signs and symptoms

  • Heartburn (burning sensation in your chest), sometimes spreading to your neck and throat, there may be a sour taste in your mouth. Burning, pressure or pain of heartburn can last as long as 2 hours and is often worse after eating. Lying down or bending can also result in heartburn. Many feel relieved when they stand upright or after taking antacid.
  • Regurgitation of food or sour liquid (acid reflex)
  • Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
  • Chest pain
  • Dry cough
  • Hoarseness of the throat
  • Choking or a sensation of a lump in your throat

In children:

  • Repeated vomiting
  • Effortless spitting up
  • Coughing
  • Other respiratory problems such as wheezing
  • Inconsolable crying
  • Refusing food
  • Crying for food and then pulling off the bottle or breast only to cry for it again
  • Failure to gain weight
  • Bad breath
  • Belching or burping

When should I call a doctor?
GERD symptoms mimics heart attack. They are 2 conditions confused with each other due to similarity in clinical picture.

Therefore don’t neglect heartburn

  • Seek immediate medical attention if you experience chest pain, especially if you have other signs and symptoms, such as shortness of breath or jaw or arm pain. These may be signs and symptoms of a heart attack.
  • See your doctor if you experience severe or frequent GERD symptoms
  • Also see your doctor if you take over-the-counter medications for heartburn more than twice a week

Below mentioned are the factors that increase your risk of heartburn and GERD –

  • Obesity
  • Hiatus hernia (bulging of the top of stomach up into the diaphragm)
  • Pregnancy
  • Smoking
  • Asthma
  • Dry mouth
  • Diabetes
  • Delayed stomach emptying
  • Connective tissue disorders like scleroderma

Complications

Oesophageal stricture (Narrowing of the oesophagus): Damage to the cells in the lower oesophagus from acid exposure leads to formation of scar tissue. This scar tissue narrows the food pathway. This further leads to difficulty in swallowing.

Oesophageal ulcer (open sore in the oesophagus): severe erosion of tissues in esophagus by stomach acid can cause open sores. Bleeding, pain and difficulty in swallowing are associated with esophageal ulcers.

Barrett’s esophagus (precancerous changes to the esophagus): In this condition, the tissues lining the lower esophagus changes. These changes are associated with an increased risk of esophageal cancer.

Diagnosis

Diagnosis is based on –

  • Your symptoms
  • A test to monitor the amount of acid in your esophagus: Ambulatory acid (pH) tests use a device to measure acid for 24 hours. The device identifies when and for how long the acids in the stomach regurgitates into your oesophagus. There are many variants and advanced instruments used to access this, now days. Esophageal pH monitoring is considered to be a gold standard for GERD diagnosis
  • Esophago-Gastro-Duodenoscopy (EGD)
  • Trial and error – Short-term treatment with proton-pump inhibitors, with improvement in symptoms suggesting a positive diagnosis, this will also help to predict abnormal 24 hr pH monitoring results among patients with symptoms suggestive of GERD
  • Biopsies performed under gastroscopy
  • An X-ray of your upper digestive system (barium swallow or upper GI series)
  • Endoscopy – a flexible tube to look inside your oesophagus
  • Manometry or esophageal motility testing (a test to measure the movement of the oesophagus)

GERD Ayurvedic Point Of View

GERD can be compared to Amlapitta explained in Ayurvedic texts due to very close resemblance of the symptomatic presentation. It is called Amlapitta because Pitta attains too much of Amlata i.e. acidic nature due to consumption of causative factors which aggravate Pitta. This Morbid Pitta causes symptoms like sour belching, heartburn, indigestion, tastelessness etc. Kapha and Vata get involved with the morbid Pitta in the later stages of the diseases making it more complicated.

agni - gastritis

Causes

What causes Amlapitta?

  • Viruddha ahara – Mutually incompatible foods (read more – wrong food combinations as per Ayurveda)
  • Dushta ahara – Contaminated food
  • Amla – Sour foods
  • Vidahi – Foods which cause burning sensation
  • Pitta prakopaka paana anna – Food and drinks which aggravate Pitta
  • Svahetu upachitam pittam – Pitta which had already accumulated in the body due to various aggravating factors (consumption of pitta provoking foods, drinks, activities and medicines in Varsha ritu or rainy season)

Pitta getting aggravated in excessive quantity due to the above said causative factors will attain Amlata (excess sourness or acidic nature) and cause AmlaPitta

Signs and Symptoms

Avipaka – Indigestion
Klama – Fatigue
Utklesha – Water in the mouth, water brash
Tikta udgara – Bitter belching
Amla Udgara – Sour belching
Gaurava – Heaviness of the body
Hrit daha – Heart burn (burning sensation in the chest)
Kanta daha – Burning sensation in the throat
Aruchi – Tastelessness

Types

Amlapitta is of 2 types:
Urdhwagami (Urdhwaga)
Amlapitta – Amlapitta having upward movement (morbid pitta moving upwards)
Adhogami (Adhoga) Amlapitta – Amlapitta having a downward movement (morbid Pitta moving downwards)
Among these 2 types, Urdhwagami Amlapitta has a close resemblance with symptoms of GERD

Signs and symptoms of Urdhwagami Amlapitta –

Vantam – Vomiting in which the vomitus is of many types and many colours
Harit – green coloured
Peeta- yellow coloured
Neela – blue coloured
Krishna – black coloured
Araktam – red colour / blood colour
Araktam – dark reddish coloured
Amlam – tasting sour
Mamsodakaabham – resembling meat washed water
Atipichhilam – very sticky
Achham – clear appearance
Shleshmanuyatam – associated / admixed with phlegm
Vividham rasena – has man tastes like salty, bitter etc
Tikta-amla vamanam – Vomiting with sour and bitter expels after taking food or when the food has been partially digested. Belching with similar taste also occurs.
Kanta daha – Burning sensation in the throat
Hrit daha – Burning sensation in the chest / heart area (heart-burn)
Kukshi daha – Burning sensation in the belly
Shiro ruja – head ache

Ayurvedic treatment

Ayurvedic treatment of heartburn and GERD

Ayurvedic treatment of GERD should be done on the lines of treatment of Amlapitta. The main objective is to get rid of the morbid Pitta and protect the stomach and gut from getting damaged by the action of Pitta. After administration of Vamana (Therapeutic emesis) and Virechana (Therapeutic Purgation) to get rid of morbid Pitta and Kapha, oral medications based on the Prakriti (physical constitution) and Vikriti (quality and quantity of morbidity) are administered as follow up. After the disease gets controlled, Rasayana’s (disease modifiers and rejuvenators) are administered to eliminate the residual disease and to provide a long-term immunity towards the disease.

Vamana (therapeutic emesis) is the first line of treatment in Amlapitta. Vamana should be induced by making the patient to drink the below said formulation –

Decoction of Patola (Trichosanthes dioica – pointed gourd) and Nimba (Azadirachta indica – Neem) mixed with Madanaphala (Randia dumetorum), Kshaudra (honey) and Sindhu (Saindhava lavana – rock salt)

Virechana – Therapeutic purgation should be given by administering the decoction of Triphala (Terminalia chebula, Terminalia bellirica and Emblica officinalis) mixed with powder of Trivrit (Operculina turpethum) and honey

Anuvasana Vasti – After Vamana and Virechana – Anuvasana Vasti (enema with medicated oils and ghee) should be administered

Asthapana Vasti – Enemas with medicated decoctions should be given in chronic cases of Amlapitta
Laja saktu – Parched rice / fried paddy should be given mixed with sugar and honey.
Ghee processed with jaggery, milk and Pippali (long pepper) should be administered

Yavadi Kwatha –
Decoction prepared with Yava (barley), Pippali (Long pepper) and Patolapatra (leaves of pointed gourd) should be given mixed with honey. It destroys Amlapitta, Aruchi (tastelessness) and Vamana (vomiting).

Nistusha Yavadi Kwatha –
Decoction is prepared using Nistusha Yava (de-husked barley), Vasa (Adhatoda vasica) and Amalaki (Emblica officinalis). Powder of Twak (cinnamon), Ela (cardamom) and Patra (Cinnamomum tamala) is added to the decoction. After drinking this Kwatha, food should be taken along with soup of green grams.

Guduchyadi Kwatha –
Decoction prepared with Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Chitrakamula (Root of Plumbago zeylanica), Nimba twak (Bark of Azadirachta indica) and Patola patra (leaves of Trichosanthes dioica – pointed gourd) mixed with honey

Patoladi Kwatha –
Decoction of Patola patra (Trichosanthes dioica – pointed gourd), Haritaki (Terminalia chebula), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), Amalaki (Emblica officinalis) and Nimba Twak (bark of Azadirachta indica – neem) should be taken mixed with honey

Kantakaryadi Kwatha –
Decoction of Kantakari (Solanum xanthocarpum), Guduchi (Tinospora cordifolia), Vasa (Adhatoda vasica) should be taken mixed with honey

Gudadi modaka –
Equal quantities of powders of Guda (jaggery), Pippali (Piper longum) and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula) are mixed and made into big sized tablets. These should be eaten to get rid of Amlapitta.

Madhu Pippalyadi Yoga – Pippali churna (powder of long pepper) should be taken mixed with honey
Yashtimadhu Ksheerapakam – Milk processed with Yashtimadhu (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Lashuna Ksheerapakam – Milk processed with garlic

Pathya

Pathya in GERD (beneficial things):
Yava – Barley
Godhuma – Wheat
Mudga – Green grams
Purana rakta shali – Old Red Rice
Taptasheeta jala – Boiled and cooled water
Sharkara – Sugar
Madhu – Honey
Sattu – Flour
Karavellakam – Bitter gourd
Rambha pushpam – Flower of plantain
Vriddha Kushmanda – Old Ash gourd
Patola – Pointed gourd
Dadima – Pomegranate
Kapha-Pittahara Anna – Food and drinks which alleviate Kapha and Pitta

Apathya

Apathya in GERD (unwholesome things):
Vamana vegam – To withhold natural urge or reflex of vomiting
Tila – Sesame
Tila bhakshanam – Food items prepared with sesame
Masha – Black gram or food stuff prepared from Black gram
Kulattha – Horse gram
Avidugdham – Goat milk
Dhanyamlam – Fermented liquids
Guru annam – Foods which are heavy to digest
Lavana ahara – Salt rich foods
Amla Ahara – Sour foods
Katu ahara – Hot and spicy foods (pungent)
Dadhi – Curds
Madhya – Alcohol

Ayurvedic medicines

Kashayam – Herbal decoctions:

Vati / Gulika (Tablets):

  • Chitrakadi Vati
  • Sutashekara Ras
  • Shanka vati
  • Mahashanka Vati
  • Dhanwantaram Gulika
  • Vayu Gulika
  • Vilwadi Gulika
  • Hingwadi Gulika

Ghritam (medicated ghee):

  • Ardraka Ghritam
  • Indukantham Ghritam
  • Tiktaka Ghritam
  • Dadimadi Ghritam
  • Dhatryadi Ghritam
  • Mahatiktakam Ghritam
  • Lashuna Ghritam
  • Varanadi Ghritam
  • Shatavaryadi Ghritam
  • Sukumara Ghritam
  • Drakshadi Ghritam

Leha / Rasayanam (Confections, Jams):

  • Trivrit Leha
  • Shukumara Leham
  • Chyavanaprasham
  • Amalaki Rasayanam
  • Drakshadi Leham
  • Kushmanda leham
  • Vasavaleham
  • Vilwadi Leham
  • Gudardrakam / Gulardrakam
  • Parushakadi Leham
  • Hingutriguna leham

Churnam (Powder):

  • Hingwashtaka Churna
  • Bhaskara Lavana (Lavana Bhaskara) Churna
  • Hinguvachadi Churnam
  • Avipatti Churnam

Bhasma / Satwa:

  • Guduchi / Giloy Satwa
  • Shanka Bhasma
  • Kaparda Bhasma

Modern treatment options

Treatment aims at decreasing the amount of reflux or reducing damage to the lining of the oesophagus from refluxed materials. Avoiding foods and beverages that can weaken LES is often recommended. Decreasing the size of portions at mealtime may also control the symptoms. Eating meals at least 2-3 hours before bedtime may lessen reflux

People suffering from GERD initially try over-the-counter medications that control acid. When the medicines do not give relief, the doctor might recommend other treatments including medications and surgery.

Initial treatments:

  • Antacids – neutralize stomach acids Ex. Gelusil, Mylanta, overuse can cause side effects like diarrhoea or constipation
  • H2 receptor blockers – are medications that reduce acid production, Ex. Cimetidine, Famotidine, Ranitidine etc
  • Proton pump inhibitors – medications that block acid production and heal the oesophagus, they are stronger acid blockers than H2 receptor blockers, Ex. Lansoprazole, Omeprazole etc

These medications are available and are often taken over-the-counter
Contact your doctor if you need to take these medications for more than 2 weeks or if your symptoms are not relieved

Prescription strength medications:
They are prescribed by doctor when the heartburn persists despite initial approaches. They are

  • Prescription-strength H2 receptor blockers – Ex. Cimetidine, Famotidine, Nizatidine, Ranitidine
  • Prescription-strength proton pump inhibitors – Ex. Esomeprazole, Lansaprazole, Omeprazole, Pantoprazole, Rabeprazole etc

These are well tolerated; long-term use may be associated with risk of bone fracture and vitamin B12 deficiency
Medications to strengthen the lower oesophageal sphincter – Ex. Baclofen

Surgery:
Surgery and other procedures are indicated when medications do not offer much help.
Nussen fundoplication – Surgery to reinforce the LES
Linx (device which is a ring of tiny magnetic titanium beads that is wrapped around the junction of the stomach and oesophagus) – Surgery to strengthen the LES

Studies / Research

  • In large series of 2000 patients with symptomatic reflux disease, it has been shown that 13% of changes in oesophageal acid exposure is attributable to changes in body mass index
  • Study in 1999 – On average 40% of GERD patients also had H. pylori infection. The eradication of H. pylori can lead to an increase in acid secretion. This led to a doubt of whether H. pylori infected GERD patients are any different from non-infected patients. A double-blind study in 2004 reported that no clinically significant difference was found between these 2 groups of patients with regard to the subjective or objective measures of disease severity
  • Endocinch – It was an endoscopic device formulated to treat chronic heartburn. This puts stitches in the LES to create small pleats to help strengthen the muscle. Long-term results were disappointing (not done any more)
  • Another device Stretta procedure uses electrodes to apply radio-frequency energy to LES
  • NDO Surgical Plicator creates a placation or fold of tissue near the gastro-oesophageal junction and fixates the placation with a suture-based implant (no longer in market)
  • Trans-oral incision less fundoplication uses a device called Esophyx

Epidemiology

  • More than 60 million American adults experience heartburn at least once a month
  • More than 15 million adults suffer daily from heartburn
  • Many women experience heartburn daily during pregnancy
  • Recent studies show that GERD in more common in infants and children also, it produces recurrent vomiting, coughing and other respiratory problems in kids.
  • Western populations – GERD affects approximately 10-20% population and 0.4% new cases
  • Prevalence rate of GERD in developed nations is linked with age, with adults aged 60 to 70 being the most commonly affected
  • No data support sex predominance with regard to GERD
  • In US, 20% people have symptoms in a given week and 7% every day

Just before finish…
When someone is intolerant or jealous about others at the high end of their emotions we tell that he or she is having a heartburn or stomach-burn about the other person. We also have noticed that at the high end of our emotions like anger, grief, jealousy, anxiety etc we have one or the other type of stomach (gut) upsets.

Stomach is an emotional organ and it has a relationship with our emotions. It has its small intelligence also. It knows how to work unless we ruin its intelligence. Diseases like GERD have not only become life-style disorders they also have become psycho-somatic disorders. If we take care of our stomach, it will take care of us. Preventing stomach related disorders is directly proportional to how religiously and systematically we handle our life.

Ayurveda has many time-tested formulations and treatments to tackle GERD and other Gut-related problems. Home remedies are not the solutions for your GERD. Your problem may be more serious than what you actually think. With passage of time GERD gets complicated. Before trying anything you just meet your Ayurvedic doctor once you experience HEARTBURN!!
Click to Consult Dr Raghuram Y.S. MD (Ayu)

15 thoughts on “GERD, Heartburn: Causes, Symptoms, Ayurvedic Treatment, Tips, Remedies”

  1. Hi,

    Nice article .
    Can you please suggest any safe medicine to reduce pitta. Most of the medicines are Herbomineral that is containing metals. Can you please give any purely herbal medicine to reduce pitta issues like acidity. Is eating kailas jeevan cream safe for long term use. Does it have any metals.

    Regards,
    Subodh

    Reply
    • Sir, Lifestyle changes may help in reducing Pitta. The main objective is to get rid of the morbid Pitta and protect the stomach and gut from getting damaged by the action of Pitta. After administration of Vamana (Therapeutic emesis) and Virechana (Therapeutic Purgation) to get rid of morbid Pitta and Kapha, oral medications based on the Prakriti (physical constitution) and Vikriti (quality and quantity of morbidity) are administered as follow up.

      And regarding Kailas Jeevn cream intake — Have been prescribing it for external application only. Kindly avoid over the counter medication. Do consult a Physician before taking it.

      Reply
  2. Can apple cider vinegar be consumed with herbo mineral medicines for infertility. Like spemen, addyzoa, kapikachhu capsule, ashwagandha etc. Prescribed.

    Reply
  3. Sir.. my nose gets blocked while sleeping in A/C also sometimes keep sneezing continuously.. could be due to sinus and allergy.
    I have been prescribed with indukantham rasayam and dhanwantaram gulika and rasnadi choornam
    Is this the right treatment?

    Reply
  4. Dear dr, do you have the nale of a good ayurveda doctor in Paris (France)
    Thanks for your response

    Reply
  5. dr doctor, I am living in France, and I sonder if you could give me the name of a good ayurveda doctor in Paris.
    Thank you for your response.

    Reply
  6. Only one word for hiatus hernia ➡ UDAVARTA (उदावर्त)
    caused due to aggravation of apan vayu.
    Actually there is no direct involvement of pitta in this disease. It is the aggravated vayu which pushes pitta and esophagus upward .

    Reply

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