GERD is the popular name for Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or heartburn. This is often caused by the action of a spiral-shaped bacterium called Helicobacter Pylori which uses its whip-like tail to burrow into the stomach or intestinal walls, causing discomfort.
Both acid reflux and heartburn are common digestive conditions that many people experience from time to time but when signs and symptoms occur on a weekly basis, you may be diagnosed with GERD. Most people try to manage the discomfort of GERD with over-the-counter medications
The symptoms of GERD are classic stomach ulcer symptoms including:
- A strong burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), sometimes spreading to your throat, along with a sour taste in your mouth
- Intense pain in the mid-upper abdomen
- Difficulty staying asleep in the early morning
- Abnormal hunger
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia)
- Dry cough
- Hoarseness or sore throat
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid (acid reflux)
- Sensation of a lump in your throat
Causes of GERD
In addition to Helicobacter Pylori, GERD is caused by frequent acid reflux — the backup of stomach acid or bile into the esophagus. During the act of swallowing, the lower esophageal sphincter — a circular band of muscle around the bottom part of the esophagus — relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow down into the stomach. Then it closes again.
However, if this valve relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your esophagus, causing frequent heartburn. This constant backwash of acid can irritate the lining of your esophagus, causing it to become inflamed (esophagitis). Over time, the inflammation can wear away the esophageal lining, causing GERD.
Making a GERD Diagnosis
Most conventional methods of GERD diagnoses are invasive and can be somewhat traumatic for the patient as they may involve a lighted scope being inserted down their throat. Other GERD diagnosis procedures may involve a fine needle aspiration or biopsy needle being inserted into the patient. These procedures include colonoscopy, flexible sigmoidoscopy, upper GI endoscopy, ERCP, endoscopic ultrasound and liver biopsy.
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, our GERD diagnosis approach is different. Firstly, the symptoms that the patient is presenting with will be evaluated. A functional evaluation will be performed to assess the functioning of each organ that may be potentially contributing to the symptoms. This is important since the dysfunction of an organ can be as symptomatic as a disease of one. The patient will then be evaluated to see what kind of nutritional supplementation will be required to bring the organ function back into alignment.
Natural GERD Treatment
At LifeWorks Wellness Center, once the diagnosis described above has been made, natural GERD treatment will then be offered. This will be tailored specifically to each individual patient and will involve testing to see which nutritional supplements they will respond best to, in order to rebalance the gastrointestinal tract. There may be multifactorial issues which may be setting off a “chain reaction” throughout the body and so it is important to handle all components of these multiple issues, to ensure the body begins to heal properly.
Clearwater & Tampa’s Best GERD Doctor
LifeWorks Wellness Center is long recognized as one of the foremost natural health clinics in the US. At our Tampa Bay, Florida alternative medicine office we have been offering natural GERD treatment for a long time and many of our patients have benefitted from it. Our patients fly in from all over the world because they simply can’t find clinics offering natural GERD treatment & solutions where they live.
We have helped many patients with GERD and we would love to help you, too. To become a patient, or for more information, feel free to call our New Patient Coordinator at (727) 466-6789 or simply submit an online web inquiry with your request.