Homeopathic Remedies for Stomach Acidity & Heartburn (GERD)
Heartburn known medically as Acid Reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is one of the most common health problems for adults. GERD is a chronic disease that causes ongoing pain and burning in the chest and throat. Heartburn may keep coming back if not treated. Untreated GERD can cause serious health problems. The acid can damage your esophagus and make it hard to swallow.
What is Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
GERD occurs when stomach acid backs up, or refluxes, into the esophagus, the narrow passageway that carries food to the stomach.
Persistent exposure to stomach acid can evolve into gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. People with GERD can experience heartburn, regurgitation, vomiting and pain when swallowing.
GERD usually occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter — the valve linking the esophagus and the stomach — relaxes or becomes too weak to prevent stomach contents from surging up the esophagus.
Long-term exposure to stomach acids can damage the esophageal lining, a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer and should be treated as soon as possible.
People of all ages can develop GERD, even infants and children — many of them for reasons that are unclear.
Who’s most at risk of GERD?
The following factors may increase your risk of developing GERD:
- being overweight or obese – this can place increased pressure on your stomach and weaken the muscles at the bottom of the oesophagus
- eating large amounts of fatty foods – the stomach takes longer to get rid of stomach acid after digesting a fatty meal and the resulting excess acid may leak up into the oesophagus
- smoking, alcohol, coffee or chocolate – these may relax the muscles at the bottom of the oesophagus
- pregnancy – temporary changes in hormone levels and increased pressure on your stomach during pregnancy can cause GERD.
- hiatus hernia – when part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm (thin sheet of muscle between the chest and tummy)
- gastroparesis – when the stomach takes longer to get rid of stomach acid, which means excess acid can leak up into the oesophagus
What are the symptoms of GERD?
- Acid regurgitation (retasting your food after eating)
- Difficulty or pain when swallowing
- Sudden excess of saliva
- Chronic sore throat
- Laryngitis or hoarseness
- Inflammation of the gums
- Bad breath
- Chest pain (seek immediate medical help)
What are the Lifestyle changes to be made to treat GERD ?
- Elevate the head of the bed 6-8 inches
- Lose weight
- Stop smoking
- Decrease alcohol intake
- Limit meal size and avoid heavy evening meals
- Do not lie down within two to three hours of eating
- Decrease caffeine intake
What are some of the effective Homeopathic Remedies for GERD:
Antimonium crudum: Loss of appetite. Desire for acids, pickles, wine, vinegar, cucumber. Eructation tasting of the ingesta. Gastric and intestinal complaints from bread, pastry, acids, vinegar, sour wine, cold bathing, overheating, hot weather. Constant belching. Bloating after eating. Sweetish waterbrash. Child vomits milk in curdled form after nursing and refuses to nurse afterwards. Stomach seems to be always overloaded. Digestion disordered easily. Appetite does not return after severe illness. Constant discharge of flatus, up and down for years.
Alumina: Colic pain in abdomen, painter’s colic. Chronic eructations for years, worse in evening. There is extreme inactivity of rectum, even soft stool requires great straining. There is no desire for days together, obstinate constipation due to paretic condition of rectum and dryness of mucous membrane. Diarrhoea when patient urinates.
Carbo vegetabilis: Flatulence and fullness with weak digestion, accompanies all complaints. Simplest food disagrees. Flatulence upper abdomen. Craving for coffee, acids, sweets and salted things, alcohol. Aversion to meat; fats; milk. Simplest food disagrees with much bloating of upper abdomen. Sour and rancid erucations. Flatulence obstructed. Loathes even the thought of food. Cannot bear tight clothing around the waist, eructations of flatus.
Carica papaya: Heartburn, sour eructations with loss of appetite. Fullness of abdomen as if it would burst due to flatulence, uneasy feeling in the abdomen, acidity, worse after drinking cold water in a large quantity. Abdomen distended after taking meals.
Cinchona officinalis: Fullness and flatulence – whole abdomen is enormously distended. Everything eaten turns into gas.
Hydrastis canadensis: Apt to vomit all food, retaining only milk or water. Loss of appetite, a sensation of sinking or goneness, in region of stomach after eating. Cutting pains from liver to right scapula while lying on back or right side.
Lycopodium clavatum: Food tastes sour. Excessive hunger, but eating ever so little creates fullness. Wakes at night feeling hungry. Incomplete burning eructations rise only to pharynx. Sour eructations due to farinaceous or fermentable food, cabbage, beans, oyster. Abdomen bloated, full immediately after a light meal, and especially the lower abdomen. Flatulence much noisy.
Magnesia carbonica: Heart burn, sour eructations. Cutting, gripping, pressing colic followed by green stools. Spasmodic affections of stomach and intestines. Cabbage, potato, milk disagree.
Natrum phosphoricum: Acidity in infants who have been fed to excess of milk and sugar. Desire for strong tasting things, salts, eggs, fried fish, ice-cream, Aversion to bread and butter. Cheesy vomitus. Noisy flatulence. Gastro-duodenal catarrh. Fullness in abdomen.
Nux vomica: Sedentary habits, excess in alcoholic beverage, mental over-work, habitual constipation are also indications for the use of this drug.The gastric symptoms which suggest this drug are disgust for food, with nausea, or a ravenous but easily satisfied hunger; sensation of overloading of the stomach after meals, with flat taste; eructations; bitter and sour regurgitations, pyrosis, and sometimes acid vomiting.
Pepsinium: Pepsin is an enzyme whose zymogen (pepsinogen) is released by the chief cells in the stomach and that degrades food proteins into peptides. The homeopathic remedy made from this enzyme pepsin perform the same function and thus aids in digestion.
Robinia pseudocacia: White coating on tongue with red tip. Hyperchlorhydria. Acidity of stomach at night. Sour vomiting of ropy mucus tinged with blood. Vomiting of sour milk. Desire for stool but passes only flatus. Sour stool with sour smell from body of infant. Diarrhoea of yellow green stool with cold sweat and dyspnoea.
Terminalia chebula: It causes increase in digestion power. It clears and cleanses bowels. It is useful in malabsorption syndrome. It helps to eliminate all the toxic effects due to food poisoning.
Zingiber officinale: Taste of food remains for long, especially of bread and toast. Stomach complaints from eating melons, drinking impure water. Stomach feels heavy like a stone. Diarrhoea from impure water with much flatulence, cutting pains and relaxation of sphincter. Anus red, inflamed, hot, sore and painful.