Oh, romantic holidays…delicious steak dinners, elegant chocolates, expensive red wine. The heart is a’thumping…and then burning! That’s no way to start a romantic evening.
Acid reflux, or heartburn, is a common digestive complaint affecting approximately 44 percent of the adult U.S. population at least once a month, and 20 percent feel it at least once a week. It occurs when the sphincter of the lower esophagus does not close completely. As a result, stomach contents leak back into the esophagus and even up into the throat, causing a burning sensation. Because the esophagus and throat do not have the same sturdy lining as the stomach, they cannot endure the strong acids of the stomach and become injured.
Acid reflux is also called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, and it can lead to more serious problems. Often pregnant women experience GERD, with up to 80 percent of moms-to-be suffering heartburn, stomach pain or discomfort, reflux, belching and bloating, partly because the stomach has less room and contents are more easily upset. Symptoms tend to worsen over time, and many women avoid taking medicine for fear of harming the developing fetus.
Many people undergo dangerous surgery to heal acid reflux or take drugs that list serious side effects: irregular heartbeats, seizures, trouble breathing and a severe intestinal condition called Clostridium difficile.
The great news is that you don’t need to take any of these risks when you heal your heartburn the natural way!
Acupuncture heals the channels of the entire digestive system, curing the underlying causes of acid reflux. Acupuncture helps ease symptoms and discomfort immediately, relieving indigestion, stomach ache and acid reflux. A 2007 study in the journal, “Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics”, as well as a 2006 review in the Journal of Gastroenterology suggest that acupuncture may be a viable treatment option for GERD.
Acupuncture may also benefit acid reflux patients who find their symptoms are brought on or worsened by stress, anxiety and emotional issues. Acupuncture works to relieve the body of these stressors by helping to calm the nerves thus inducing a state of relaxation.
Here are some tips that can further help you fight the acid attack!
– Enjoy your food! Take your time eating at the table, preferably with loved ones, instead of in front of a screen.
– Avoid caffeine and nicotine.
– Avoid foods heavy in sugar or fat, especially ice cream.
– Avoid fizzy foods.
– Avoid foods that you’ve noticed give you acid reflux, such as spicy foods, acidic foods such as tomatoes or oranges or gassy foods, such as Brussels sprouts.
– Stop eating several hours before bedtime. This can be done!
– Eat highly nutritious foods. These foods will reduce your cravings for “quick-fix” foods.
– Drink more water. Drink more water. Did we mention drink more water?
– Reduce the stresses in your life. Again, this can be done!
– Increase relaxation with yoga, meditation or Qi Gong.
– See your acupuncturist!
There is so much more in addition to digestive health that acupuncture can be helpful for. For more information, please visit us at www.ctacupuncture.com.
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Sources: “Journal of Gastroenterology”; Acupuncture for functional gastrointestinal disorders; T. Takahashi; 2006