Eas­ing heart­burn and GERD woes

The Star Malaysia - Star2 - - Body, Mind & Soul -

HE­LEN no­ticed pe­ri­odic heart­burn dur­ing her late 30s. At 45, the symp­toms be­came more fre­quent and in­tense, with new ones added: dis­com­fort after eat­ing, gas and re­gur­gi­tat­ing acid into her throat dur­ing sleep.

She then ex­pe­ri­enced chronic heart­burn or gas­troe­sophageal re­flux dis­ease (GERD). She was put on an acid-block­ing drug, but could never get off them with­out symp­toms re­turn­ing in full force.

Food trav­els down a mus­cu­lar tube called the oe­soph­a­gus, which has two valves. In some peo­ple, the lower valve be­comes weak­ened or dam­aged, caus­ing acid re­flux – stom­ach acid seep­ing into the oe­soph­a­gus.

Stom­ach acid pH is close to bat­tery acid and can cause dam­age and pain when it reaches the oe­soph­a­gus, and this is heart­burn.

The other symp­toms of acid re­flux in­clude a sour-tast­ing fluid in the back of the throat, dif­fi­culty in swal­low­ing, or a feel­ing that food is stuck in the chest or throat.

Some pa­tients may even ex­pe­ri­ence a chronic cough or breath­less­ness, which is trig­gered by the acid re­flux.

Over time, GERD may oc­cur, fol­lowed by dif­fi­culty in swal­low­ing or breath­less­ness. This can cause chronic in­flam­ma­tion and lead to ul­cers.

Pro­ton-pump in­hibitors (PPIs) or acid block­ers used for up­per gas­troin­testi­nal dis­or­ders like GERD, dys­pep­sia and pep­tic ul­cer dis­ease work by re­duc­ing acid pro­duc­tion, giv­ing the di­ges­tive tract lin­ing a chance to heal.

Cur­rent guide­lines rec­om­mend PPIs be used for four to six weeks, after which it should be with­drawn or less­ened to less-po­tent ther­apy

In prac­tice, long-term and life­time use is more the norm. This has led to these drugs’ po­ten­tial to cause ad­verse ef­fects and longterm harm due to their pro­found acid sup­pres­sion ac­tions

With­out suf­fi­cient acid, food stays in the stom­ach for longer, un­able to break­down.

The body’s nat­u­ral di­ges­tive and de­fence mech­a­nisms be­come com­pro­mised, with PPI pa­tients hav­ing in­creased risk of gas­troin­testi­nal tract and lung in­fec­tions like pneu­mo­nia, bone frac­tures and trou­bled di­ges­tion.

Ad­vanced re­search in nat­u­ral ther­a­pies for gas­troin­testi­nal dis­or­ders now al­lows heart­burn or GERD pa­tients to con­sider al­ter­na­tives.

The conifer green nee­dle com­plex known as Bio­ef­fec­tive A is the re­sult of an ex­ten­sive 80-year botan­i­cal re­search pro­gramme.

Clin­i­cal stud­ies found pa­tients treated with Bio­ef­fec­tive A ex­pe­ri­enced a 92% im­prove­ment in GERD, gas­tri­tis, gas and bowel dis­or­ders.

Bio­ef­fec­tive A has been shown to help strengthen dam­aged or weak­ened oe­sophageal valves, im­part anti-in­flam­ma­tory ben­e­fits to the stom­ach lin­ing and sup­port nor­mal­i­sa­tion of di­ges­tive juices in the stom­ach.

As a start, the rec­om­mended dose for acid re­flux pa­tients is 320mg three times a day, with each dose taken 30 min­utes be­fore meals. Be­sides tak­ing smaller meals, He­len started on Bio­ef­fec­tive A and over the weeks, she no­ticed bet­ter tol­er­ance to food with­out re­gur­gi­ta­tion symp­toms oc­cur­ring fre­quently.

This ar­ti­cle is brought to you by the Nu­vaceu­ti­cals Di­vi­sion of Nu­vanta Sdn Bhd.

Ref­er­ences

Tal­ley NJ; Amer­i­can Gas­troen­tero­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion. Amer­i­can Gas­troen­tero­log­i­cal As­so­ci­a­tion med­i­cal po­si­tion state­ment: eval­u­a­tion of dys­pep­sia. Gas­troen­terol­ogy. 2005;129(5):1753–1755

Joel J. Hei­del­baugh, An­drea H. Kim, Robert Chang, and Paul C. Walker. Overuti­liza­tion of pro­ton-pump in­hibitors: what the clin­i­cian needs to know. Therap Adv Gas­troen­terol. Jul 2012; 5(4): 219–232

For more in­for­ma­tion, con­tact 03-5636 3758 or 1300 881 712.

Stom­ach acid seep­ing into the oe­soph­a­gus can cause dam­age and pain - this is known as heart­burn.

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