GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is the major cause of today’s heartburn epidemic. GERD results from stomach acid leaking back into the esophagus and coming up (refluxing) into the throat. GERD also occurs in severe cases of osteoporosis, when the rib cage and upper body collapse to the point where normal food transit is impeded. (My own mother suffered from this; it was extremely painful.) People who suffer from acid reflux are far more likely to develop cancer of the esophagus, now the fastest growing type of cancer in the western world. What puts you at risk for GERD or chronic heartburn? Overeating, enzyme deficiency, too much fast foods and fried foods (all acid-forming), prescription drug side effects, having a hiatal hernia or severe osteoporosis can all lead to GERD.
Signs you may have GERD:
– Chronic heartburn, chest pains and bloating after eating
– Belching, hiccups and regurgitation after eating
– Difficulty swallowing and a full feeling at the base of the throat
– Chronic hoarseness
Detox diet for chronic heartburn or GERD:
Healthy detoxification therapies ease chronic heartburn or GERD, naturally. A healthy detox diet eliminates acid-forming foods and alkalizes the system for fast heartburn relief. You can boost your benefits by continuing with fresh juices, enzyme rich foods and whole herbs long after your cleanse is over.
Start with this sample cleansing diet:
Cleanse the digestive system and establish good enzymes. Follow a detox mono diet of just apples and apple juice for 2 days. For the next 4 days, consume 70 % fresh foods diet (fresh fruits and vegetables, mixed green salads) and brown rice for extra B vitamins.
Continue your cleanse benefits with a largely vegetarian diet. Drink healthy juices for stomach acid balance at least once daily. Choose from: barley grass or spirulina green drinks for chlorophyll; carrot/cabbage juice, a stomach healer; pineapple-papaya juice for extra enzymes; or aloe vera juice, an esophageal soother before meals.
Add cultured foods like yogurt, kefir and miso soup to the ongoing diet for balancing friendly flora. Add lightly steamed vegetables, and enzyme-rich foods like papaya and pineapple. Other alkaline-forming foods to include regularly: mineral water, seaweeds, herb teas, brown rice, honey, and most fruits. (Note: Melons often aggravate reflux.)
For long term GERD prevention, eliminate fried food and spicy foods—they slow the rate at which your stomach empties, allowing food to travel back to the esophagus. Avoid refined carbohydrates and sugary foods—they boost gastric acidity.
Further, skip red meats, high fat dairy foods, sodas, hard alcohol and caffeine (especially coffee). Switch to herbal teas, like a green and white tea blend with ginger for better digestion.
•If 1 tsp. cider vinegar in water relieves your heartburn, you may need more stomach acid.
•If you have flatulence, a catnip or slippery elm enema often provides immediate relief.
• Good digestive teas to include: peppermint, spearmint, ginger, dill, and caraway ease digestion. Try wild yam tea, especially if you have eaten too much refined sugar.
• Try to eat when relaxed. Eat smaller meals. Chew food very well. Don’t take liquids with meals. Don’t lie down after eating. It definitely aggravates reflux problems.
• Consider herbs for GERD relief and healing. Herbs are especially helpful after heavy meals, and for an overeater’s weight control program.
You don’t have to suffer needlessly from chronic heartburn or GERD. Natural therapies are an excellent option, alkalizing the system, soothing discomfort and helping to support tissues. Most people feel better right away!
To Life-long health,
Linda Page Ph.D., Traditional Naturopath is the author of the bestselling book, Healthy Healing- A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone. Her newest ebook release is Healthy Healing’s Detoxification- Programs to Cleanse, Purify and Renew.
Roth, J.Scott, M.D. “Hidden Hernia. Bottom Line Health, April 2008
“A Healthy Diet Saves Your Throat,” Alternatives, March 2008 (Am J Epidemiol 08;Jan 23 E-pub ahead of print)
Dowdle, Hillari, “Fire Fighters,” Natural Health, Nov. 2006
Faloon, William, “The Hidden Cancer Epidemic,” Life Extension, Feb. 2003