Are There Natural Options for Treating GERD?
A few months ago, I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. I felt a squeezing of my heart. The tests said my heart was fine, but that I had GERD. I now take Pepcid for it. Can you recommend a healthier solution?
GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, is an excess of stomach acid that rises into the esophagus. You feel heartburn, a burning discomfort behind the breastbone. If this occurs more than once a week, you could have GERD.
Anybody with GERD should avoid what I call the four evils: tobacco smoke, aspirin, alcohol, and caffeine. These substances have the potential to weaken the sphincter between the esophagus and the stomach below. If the sphincter loosens, more acid can reflux upward causing the irritation and discomfort.
An addition, here are some remedies that have helped patients of mine with GERD. Try one or two for a week and see what works best for you.
- Deglycyrrhizinated licorice (extracted from licorice root) promotes repair and regrowth of the digestive tract lining, and is very soothing. Some patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, who also had GERD, told me that the licorice cleared up the reflux. Howís that for a side effect? Take it as a tincture under the tongue, a full dropperful three times throughout the day. Or you can also use chewable tablets. Take 250ñ500 mg once or twice a day after meals.
- Glutamine is an amino acid that supports the immune system and also has GI tract reparative properties. One patient experienced relief from 1,000 mg of glutamine in ginger tea daily. I suggest 1–3 grams a day. Take as powder or capsule.
- Slippery elm tea may also be beneficial, taken after meals or at night. This herb is very soothing for the digestive tract.
- Kimchi, a cabbage-based Korean staple, was recently hailed by Health magazine as one of the five healthiest foods in the world (along with yogurt, olive oil, soy, and lentils). Cabbage contains a substance known as vitamin U, which has anti-ulcer properties. Several patients have told me they ìcuredî their reflux problem by adding this dish to their diet. As a note of caution, while cabbage, along with other cruciferous vegetables, has a reputation for protection against gastritis and ulcers, donít overdo it. These vegetables have the potential to cause gas, and the last thing somebody with GERD wants is bloating and more GI discomfort.
You can purchase all of these products at most health food stores.
Enjoy What You've Just Read?
Get it delivered to your inbox! Signup for E-News and you'll get great content like you've just read along with other great tips and guides for Dr. Sinatra!
Meet Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra is a highly respected and sought-after cardiologist and nutritionist with more than 30 years of clinical practice, research, and study. His integrative approach to heart health focuses on reducing inflammation in the body and maximizing the heart's ability to produce and use energy. More About Dr. Sinatra
Dr. Stephen Sinatra's Favorites
Doctor-recommended support for healthy cholesterol ratios, blood pressure & overall heart health
Refuel your cellular engines for efficient heart function
Strength, energy, endurance--get the targeted nutrient support a man needs most
Stay youthful, healthy, vibrant and balanced with nutrient support designed to meet a woman's needs