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Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease And Ayurveda!

Written and reviewed by
Dr. Payal Khandelwal 91% (32 ratings)
BAMS, MD - Ayurveda
Ayurveda, Bangalore  •  16 years experience
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease And Ayurveda!

Over the past several years, the prevalence of GERD (Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease) has increased in our communities due to unhealthy lifestyle and that can potentially lead to serious medical complications if left untreated.  

GERD is characterized by symptoms and/or tissue damage that results from repeated or prolonged exposure of the lining of the esophagus to acidic contents from the stomach and occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not seal off the esophagus from the stomach.

The two most frequently reported symptoms of GERD are heartburn, which can be described as a burning discomfort that begins behind the breastbone and radiates to the neck and throat, and acid regurgitation, which is characterized as a bitter, sour tasting fluid. One out of five people experience heartburn or acid regurgitation on a weekly basis and two out of five people experience heartburn or acid regurgitation at least once a month.

However, some patients may present with atypical symptoms such as a cough, asthma, laryngitis, or chest pain, and other patients with GERD experience no symptoms at all. 

Causes

1) Eating food while not feeling hungry
2) Eating in haste and in indigestion
3) Eating stale food
4) Eating spicy, hot  & tangy, fermented, stale food on a regular basis.
5) Excess consumption of tea, coffee
6) Sleeping immediately after meals
7) Drinking alcohol & smoking in excess
8) Mental stress
9) Staying awake at night, disturbed
sleep
10) Eating late at night.

Signs and symptoms:

  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Regurgitation of food
  • Belching
  • Bitter taste in mouth
  • Discomfort or pain in upper abdomen
  • Dry cough
  • Anorexia ( loss of appetite )
  • Excessive thirst
  • Heartburn especially after meals and at night
  • Loss of taste
  • Nausea & vomitting
  • Bloating
  • Giddiness

Treatment in Ayurveda focuses on:

1) Improving appetite
2) Help nourishment of body
3) Regulating the acid metabolism in the body
4) Improve the ability of digestion & absorption
5) Treat inflammation and cause healing of the digestive tracts
6) Protecting the intestinal layers from ill effects of acid 

Do's & Don'ts for GERD:

Do's

1) Eat light to digest food
2) Eat only when one is hungry
3) Gap between two meals should not be more than 6 hrs
4) Eat fruits  daily 
5) Food good for GERD - Old caged rice, Jowar roti, Moongdal, Bittergourd, pumpkin, dates, pomegranate, Indian gooseberry,  Lemon, mint, mangosteen, turmeric, coriander, cumin, asafoetida, coconut, cowghee, cow milk, fresh buttermilk .
6) Drink lukewarm water half hour after meals
7) Walk after every meal
8) Daily exercise for atleast 45 min

Dont's
1) Very spicy & hot, excessive consumption of chillies & curd
2) Excess tea, coffee & fermented food
3) Excess stress & negative thinking
4) Sedentary lifestyle
5) Excess smoking & drinking
6) Drinking excessive water 
7) Sleeping immediately after meals
8) Sleeping in the afternoon
9) Staying awake late night

Symptoms of GERD are very commonly found in the population. If it is not taken care of, it can lead to complications like Barrett's oesophagus, oesophagitis, ulcers, Ca oesophagus, bleeding, scarring and difficulty in swallowing. Ayurveda has a complete holistic approach in treating GERD. Treating on time helps in avoiding complications in future.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!
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