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Friday, 30 January 2015

Reflux, Heartburn, GORD? Why Homeopathy is the best treatment option

NHS Choices define GORD, Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease as follow
"Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) is a common condition where acid from the stomach leaks out of the stomach and up into the oesophagus (gullet). The oesophagus is a long tube of muscle that runs from the mouth to the stomach. Common symptoms of GORD include:
     * heartburn   burning chest pain or discomfort that occurs after eating
     * acid reflux   you may havean unpleasant taste in the mouth, caused by stomach acid coming back up into your mouth
     * pain when swallowing (odynophagia)
     * difficult swallowing (dysphagia)

GORD is more usually known as Reflux or Heartburn by non-medics. It can be an occasionally problem, but if symptoms persist it's usually regarded as a condition that needs treatment.

Conventional Medical Treatment

Self Help
NHS Choices suggest losing weight, giving up smoking, eating smaller, more frequent meals, removing 'triggers' from your diet, particular alcohol, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, fatty or spicy food, raising you hed in bed by about 20cms, 8 inches. Also it suggests that you ask you doctor to check whether any drugs for other conditions could be causing the problem.

Over-the-Counter Drugs
Antacids drugs, which neutralise the effects of stamach acids are mentioned "but the shouldn't be taken at the same time as other medicines". One of the most popular antacids, frequently advertised on television in the UK, is Gaviscon. For the side-effects of Gaviscon, largely rclated to one ol its ingredients, aluminium, ick here.

Alginate drugs, which produce a protective coating that shields the lining of you stomach and oesophagus from stomach acide. The side effects of these drugs are also included in the link above to Gaviscon.

Proton-Pump Inhibitors
PPI drugs work "by reducing the amount of acid produced by your stomach". NHC Choices state that patients should be on these drugs for no longer than one month, and on 'the lowest possible dose', presumably because of the D.I.E's they cause. They admit to the following side-effects of these drugs.
     * Headaches
     * Diarrhoea
     * Feeling sick
     * Abdominal pain
     * Constipation
     * Dizziness
     * Skin rashes

Here we are told about links between these drugs and fractures in post-menopausal women (Osteoporosis), and with infection by he superbug, Clostridium Difficile (C-Diff). The article underplays the importance of this research, and notably, does not include it under this particular illness in order to enable patients to make a fully informed choice.

H2 Receptor Antagonists
These drug will be prescribed if PPI drugs do not work, either in combination with them, or seperately. They block the effects of the chemical histamine, which is used by you body to produce stomach acid. NHS Choices admit to the following side effects.
     * Diarrhoea
     * Headaches
     * Dizziness
     * Tiredness
     * Rashes

However, a cursory inspection of the internet indicates that these drugs can also cause constipation, hives, nausea and vomiting, and difficulty urinating (see here). Moreover, one of the drugs of this class, Cimetidine, or Tagamet, is known to ctause more serious side-efffects, the following having been reported: somnolence, depression, agitation, disorientation, confusion, paranoia, delirium, unsteadiness, slurred speech, lethargy, hallucinations, coma, and also kidney and liver disease, amongst others.

If these drugs do not work, and the problem becomes persistent and troublesom, surgery is the next treatment offered by conventional medicine. It is also offered "if you don't want to take medication on a long-term basis". NHS admits that surgery 'can help relieve your symptoms' but that 'there are some associated complications that may cause additional symptoms'. The mention dysphagia (difficulty swallowing), flatulence, bloating, an inability to burp. The various types of operation are discussed.

Important Note. 
Homeopathy does not treat illness or diseases. It treats the individual who has been diagnosed with a particular illness or disease. The distinction is important, and if you wish to read more about this, click on the chapter  Illness Diagnosis  above.

The following homeopathic remedies, with brief descriptions, can help with occasional heartburn or with heartburn during pregnancy. They have been taken from the 'Homeopathy Vancouver BC' website, which recommends that chronic heartburn should be treated by a professional homeopath.

Heartburn that is worse after eating rich, fatty foods. These people feel worse in a warm room and better in cool, fresh air.

Natrum Carbonicum
Heartburn accompanied by problems with digesting food. These people have a lot of problems digesting milk and dairy products.

Heartburn accompanied by burning pain in the stomach relieved by drinking cold liquids.

Nux Vomica
Heartburn brought on by stress, alcohol or spicy foods. These people are chilly, oversensitive to stimuli and are very irritable.

Heartburn characterized by a burning in the esophagus or stomach, relieved by milk or warm liquids.

Carbo Vegetabilis
Heartburn accompanied by bloating, gas and belching.

The website also suggests that you try Natrum Phosphoricum 6X homeopathic cell salts, taken 2-3 times per day. This cell salt neutralizes the acidity in the digestive system.