Acid reflux is a common symptom across America. Around 40% of the population experience heartburn at least once a month, while around 30% consistently have reflux.
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) refers to the condition of persistent acid reflux symptoms (burning in the chest, belching).
A common misconception is that excessive stomach acid is at the root of acid reflux. Although it is now believed by many in the scientific community, that low stomach acid often causes these symptoms.
Conventional treatment involves acid-blocking medications (antacids, H2 Blockers, Proton Pump Inhibitors), which are among the most prescribed drugs in the country. They may improve symptoms, but by blocking the production of acid, they alter the normal pH of the stomach. A pH of 1.5 to 3.5 is essential to kill some of the bad bugs we ingest, to help mineral absorption, to digest food and absorb the nutrients it contains.
Acid-blocking drugs can raise the stomach pH by up to two points (higher pH = lower acidic level), inducing what’s known as hypochlorhydia, the clinical definition for low stomach acid. Prolonged hypochlorydia can lead to diabetes, digestive issues, vitamin B12 deficiency, autoimmune conditions, asthma and many others.
At the root of acid reflux is the dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter, the valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. If the sphincter does not close immediately after the food passes, acid can make its way up from the stomach into the esophagus. Often this is a result of a hiatal hernia, which is a condition where the upper part of your stomach protrudes through an opening in your diaphragm.
Some of the common causes and risk factors associated with GERD include: food sensitivities, hiatal hernias, magnesium deficiency, chronic stress, obesity, inflammation, aging, pregnancy, smoking, large meals and bad diet.
Chiropractic care focuses on optimizing the function of the nervous system: when the spine is in alignment, all systems in the body work together to promote health and prevent dysfunctions. Misalignments in the spine cause interruptions in the normal communication between brain and organs (including valves and sphincters), which can lead to numerous health issues, including digestive problems such as acid reflux or GERD.
In addition, we offer weight loss and dietary guidance, supplementation therapy, visceral manipulation and lifestyle advice in order to help acid reflux symptoms and prevent their return.
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