The Signs and Symptoms of GERD
Associated with chronic reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus, throat, and mouth, GERD can develop across all age ranges from babies to the elderly. It often causes a burning sensation or chest pain that may mimic the pain of a heart attack, otherwise known as heartburn. However, GERD radiates up from the stomach into the throat, whereas the pain of heartburn travels down your left arm. GERD tends to become worse when you lay flat and can cause damage to your tooth enamel. A sore throat, bloating, hiccups, difficulty swallowing, and a lump in the throat are also indicators of the condition. GERD is an extreme form of acid reflux as people experience it frequently, often once or more a day.
In babies, symptoms include spitting up repeatedly, discomfort after eating, refusing food, and having issues with staying asleep. Nausea and vomiting after eating, trouble breathing, a bitter taste in the mouth, black stools, and difficulty swallowing often indicates GERD in older children or adults. It frequently occurs if you are overweight or pregnant due to extra pressure on the stomach area. Contrary to popular opinion, GERD is not caused by too much stomach acid, but rather too little. Inflammation is also linked to the development of the disorder as chronic inflammation causes damage and dysfunction to the esophagus.3 Approximately 25 to 40 percent of Americans suffer from the condition.
Calming Symptoms With Diet and Lifestyle
- A few simple adjustments to your diet and daily habits can make a significant impact on the frequency and discomfort of GERD. These include:
- Opting for still water instead of alcohol or carbonated beverages
- Eating foods such as ginger, bone broth, fermented and cultured foods, apple cider vinegar, and fiber-rich oatmeal and psyllium.2
- Minimizing the consumption of high-fat food, vegetable oils, processed foods, chocolate, caffeine, citrus, tomatoes, spicy food, and mint.
- Staying upright for at least 2 hours after eating
- Avoiding restrictive clothing and late-night meals
- Eating smaller meals and chewing your food thoroughly
- Taking steps to manage stress
Herbal Medicine for Rapid Relief
If you are suffering from GERD or other digestive issues, including leaky gut, medicinal herbs are an outstanding option for symptom relief and healing. Here are my favorites, which can all be found in my Balanced Gut Blend tincture.
Maintaining a healthy gut flora is crucial when you are dealing with any kind of digestive issue, including GERD. Turkey tail mushroom is an excellent option as it feeds beneficial bacteria and controls the overgrowth of candida, thereby reducing bloating and pressure that can trigger a GERD episode. Addressing inflammation is also important. This is where the medicinal mushrooms reishi and lion’s mane come in.6,7 Along with turkey tail, both are exceptionally anti-inflammatory and tackle leaky gut as well. Moreover, a study published in Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine found that lion’s mane helps to protect gastric tissues.1
Another excellent anti-inflammatory herb, plantain also coats and protects the mucous membranes of the throat, stomach, and intestines.5 Marshmallow and slippery elm are two of the best herbal remedies you can use for soothing the digestive tract by forming a protective layer.4 Marshmallow helps to encourage gastrointestinal tissue regeneration as well. This is not only important for GERD, but for other issues such as ulcers and leaky gut.
Interested in experiencing rapid relief from GERD, digestive issues or leaky gut? Visit the Apothecary to learn more about my Balanced Gut Blend tincture!
Wishing you an abundance of healing and health!
Nicole’s Apothecary Products in this Post
Wong, J. Y., Abdulla, M. A., Raman, J., Phan, C. W., Kuppusamy, U. R., Golbabapour, S., & Sabaratnam, V. (2013). Gastroprotective Effects of Lion’s Mane Mushroom Hericium erinaceus (Bull.:Fr.) Pers. (Aphyllophoromycetideae) Extract against Ethanol-Induced Ulcer in Rats. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2013, 492976. https://doi.org/10.1155/2013/492976
Morozov S, Isakov V, Konovalova M. Fiber-enriched diet helps to control symptoms and improves esophageal motility in patients with non-erosive gastroesophageal reflux disease. World J Gastroenterol. 2018;24(21):2291-2299. doi:10.3748/wjg.v24.i21.229. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5989243/
Altomare A, Guarino MP, Cocca S, Emerenziani S, Cicala M. Gastroesophageal reflux disease: Update on inflammation and symptom perception. World J Gastroenterol. 2013;19(39):6523-6528. doi:10.3748/wjg.v19.i39.6523. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3801363/
Alexandra Deters, Janina Zippel, Nils Hellenbrand, Dirk Pappai, Cathleen Possemeyer, Andreas Hensel,
Aqueous extracts and polysaccharides from Marshmallow roots (Althea officinalis L.): Cellular internalisation and stimulation of cell physiology of human epithelial cells in vitro, Journal of Ethnopharmacology, Volume 127, Issue 1, 2010, Pages 62-69, ISSN 0378-8741,https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jep.2009.09.050.
Hussan, F., Mansor, A. S., Hassan, S. N., Tengku Nor Effendy Kamaruddin, T. N., Budin, S. B., & Othman, F. (2015). Anti-Inflammatory Property of Plantago major Leaf Extract Reduces the Inflammatory Reaction in Experimental Acetaminophen-Induced Liver Injury. Evidence-based complementary and alternative medicine : eCAM, 2015, 347861. https://doi.org/10.1155/2015/347861
Joseph, S., Sabulal, B., George, V., Antony, K. R., & Janardhanan, K. K. (2011). Antitumor and anti-inflammatory activities of polysaccharides isolated from Ganoderma lucidum. Acta pharmaceutica (Zagreb, Croatia), 61(3), 335–342. https://doi.org/10.2478/v10007-011-0030-6
Yao, W., Zhang, J. C., Dong, C., Zhuang, C., Hirota, S., Inanaga, K., & Hashimoto, K. (2015). Effects of amycenone on serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α, interleukin-10, and depression-like behavior in mice after lipopolysaccharide administration. Pharmacology, biochemistry, and behavior, 136, 7–12. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pbb.2015.06.012