There can’t be many people who have not experienced that burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up towards the throat. It’s what scientists call ‘gastroesophageal reflux disease’ or GERD, though it’s more commonly known as acid reflux. Not only is it very unpleasant but it is also brings the risk of complications when it becomes chronic. Acid reflux can cause significant damage as it travels back up from the stomach, not to mention the effects it has on digestion.
Fortunately, there is now a wide range of options for preventing or treating GERD. Some are pharmaceutical-based but there are also natural solutions that have been used for many years. What exactly are the remedies on offer? How can you reduce the symptoms of acid reflux disease? How can you lower the risk of complications? Who is affected by it? This article contains everything you need to know about how to get rid of acid reflux effectively and sustainably.
How Can You Treat Acid Reflux Naturally?
Nature is full of good surprises, and the treatment of acid reflux is no exception. For example, there’s the beneficial effects of liquorice root for combating digestive problems. Studies show it can be effective at relieving numerous digestive disorders including providing heartburn/acid reflux relief. However, it’s important to take care when using liquorice. The root must be free from glycyrrhizic acid as it can have adverse side-effects, particularly on the cardiovascular system. This is why dietary supplements are now available that contain deglycyrrhizinated liquorice, or DGL.
Though highly effective, liquorice root is by no means the only natural treatment for acid reflux. Perhaps you’ve heard of red elm? Known scientifically as Ulmus fulva, this plant has been used as a home remedy for acid reflux for many years. It features in the traditional pharmacopoeia of Native Americans, and is now popular as a nutritional supplement in many parts of the world. Red elm is often combined with other active principles, such as in the product Anti-Acid Reflux Formula. Developed by the SuperSmart laboratory, this formula for acid reflux combines a selection of the most effective natural cures: extracts of red elm, deglycyrrhizinated liquorice root, orange peel, pomegranate …
Natural Anti-Reflux Remedies: How Effective Are They?
Before we discuss the efficacy of natural anti-reflux solutions, it’s worth restating exactly what GERD is. It’s a complaint characterised by stomach acid travelling back up towards the oesophagus, sometimes as far as the mouth. The acidity of this fluid is linked to that of gastric juices. So how can it be stopped? By taking the perfect combination of substances found in Anti-Acid Reflux Formula. Formulated from a number of active principles, this supplement acts at various levels to prevent or treat gastric reflux.
Some of these active ingredients boost the body’s defences against attack by acid secretions. Others act as natural antacids by neutralising excessive acidity. They are just as effective at treating acid reflux as they are at preventing it! What’s more, several have anti-inflammatory and soothing effects.
How Does This Formula Act Against Acid Reflux Symptoms?
To really understand the benefits of a particular acid reflux treatment, it’s important to think about the condition’s symptoms. The obvious one is a burning sensation in the chest but GERD can have a number of other effects, particularly pain. Acid reflux symptoms are often summarised by experts as:
- acid regurgitation, when stomach acid travels back up the oesophagus towards the mouth;
- a burning sensation, referred to as heartburn or pyrosis, which is felt in the chest, from the epigastric region moving up behind the sternum;
- epigastric pain which is present, on average, in a quarter of all those affected
Exerting anti-inflammatory, antacid and soothing effects, the combined active ingredients in Anti-Acid Reflux Formula thus offer significant benefits against acid reflux. They can help:
- prevent the return of stomach acids to the oesophagus;
- relieve heartburn caused by acidic gastric juices;
- ease acid reflux pain.
They can also help to prevent the complications caused by acid reflux. As mentioned, GERD is not a risk-free condition.
Risks Associated With Acid Reflux: Why It’s Important to Act Fast
Though often overlooked, the risks associated with acid reflux are very real – they’ve been frequently observed and highlighted in various scientific studies. While a one-off incidence following a heavy meal may be nothing to worry about, repeated acid reflux could be a cause for concern, as it can give rise to complications primarily linked to the acidity of the fluid coming back up from the stomach. Acid reflux is particularly damaging to the oesophagus wall, potentially resulting in:
- dysphagia, where you feel as if there’s something blocking the passage of food after swallowing;
- odynophagia, characterised by pain in the pharynx or oesophagus when swallowing, but without the sensation of a blockage;
- digestive haemorrhage, blood loss in the digestive tract which can lead to anaemia (low levels of haemoglobin in the blood);
- œsophagitis, ie inflammation of the oesophagus mucosa;
- ulcers in the oesophagus wall.
It is recognised that acid reflux may also be accompanied by atypical symptoms unrelated to the digestive tract:
- asthma attacks;
- chronic cough;
- hoarse voice;
- pharyngitis or laryngitis;
- tooth erosion caused by repeated contact with acid.
When complications start to appear, specialists tend to refer to it as pathological gastroesophageal reflux. This needs satisfactory and urgent treatment as it can have significant long-term repercussions. More serious cases may require surgery which usually consists of inserting an anti-reflux device to prevent stomach acid from travelling back up the oesophagus. This produces acceptable results but can have side effects such as difficulties swallowing, inability to belch or vomit, diarrhoea and flatulence.
Why Does Acid Reflux Develop?
Acid reflux is caused by a simple dysfunction in the body’s anti-reflux mechanisms. There are various systems for preventing the stomach’s acidic contents from returning to the oesophagus. For example, a ring-shaped muscle called the sphincter controls the passage of food from the oesophagus to the stomach and prevents gastric reflux. It is normally contracted, meaning the oeso-gastric junction stays closed, relaxing only to allow food to pass during the act of eating and swallowing. However, the sphincter can sometimes remain in a relaxed state outside of these situations, resulting in acid reflux.
Such dysfunction may occur rarely – after a heavy meal, for example, when the amount of food is too great for the sphincter at the oeso-gastric junction to function properly. But it can also be a frequent problem, in which case it could be a sign of a defect in the anti-reflux mechanism or the result of one or more risk factors.
What Are the Risk Factors? Who Is Affected?
Over the years, scientific research has identified a number of risk factors for acid reflux. These include:
- constant pressure in the abdomen and/or sphincter, perhaps from wearing clothes that are too tight or being overweight or obese;
- a hiatus hernia – when the top part of the stomach moves upwards across the hiatal orifice to the lower part of the oesophagus;
- pregnancy which brings anatomical changes;
- taking certain drugs, in particular those for asthma (theophylline) or for cardiovascular disease (nitro-derivatives, calcium inhibitors), or hormone-based medications (progesterone);
- dietary habits such as consumption of alcohol, coffee, and chocolate, as well as spicy, acidic or fatty food, or eating too much in the evening.
There are thus many risk factors that predispose towards acid reflux, a complaint which can develop at any time and affect large numbers of people of all ages. Often, GERD can be easily diagnosed by a simple medical consultation. However, in some cases, additional tests may be required. An endoscopy may be used to view the digestive system, confirm the diagnosis and assess the risk of complications. In less obvious or more complex cases, health professionals may also carry out an oesophageal pH test or manometry test. The former gives a precise measurement of acidity in the oesophagus, while the latter analyses muscle contraction and relaxation.
How to Prevent Acid Reflux
Though it is sometimes viewed as inevitable, acid reflux can be prevented by following certain guidelines and taking advantage of appropriate remedies. First of all, it’s sensible to heed the following advice issued by experts on preventing acid reflux:
- avoid heavy and excessively fatty meals;
- avoid triggers such as fizzy drinks, spices, coffee, alcohol, etc.
- don’t take intensive exercise after a meal;
- avoid bending over;
- don’t go to bed within three hours of eating your evening meal;
- try to sleep on your back and elevate your head;
- don’t smoke or give up smoking;
- don’t wear clothes that are too tight especially round the waist;
- avoid gaining weight.
Secondly, you may want to capitalise on the benefits of a natural cure for acid reflux. As mentioned, there are a number of recognised home remedies for acid reflux which have been used for many years. As a result of scientific and technical progress, these types of acid reflux remedy are now included in ranges of gastro-intestinal supplements. These supplements can offer a number of advantages for preventing or stopping acid reflux.
Why Choose Supersmart’s Anti-acid Reflux Formula?
This article has set out in some detail the symptoms, causes and risks of gastroesophageal reflux. It’s a condition that can develop at any time, affect many people, and produce pain and long-term complications. It was for all these reasons that the SuperSmart laboratory decided to develop the dietary supplement Anti-Acid Reflux Formula. In a single capsule, it combines a selection of active principles recognised for their anti-reflux properties. They are all natural-source compounds with benefits confirmed by a multitude of scientific studies.
What’s more, Anti-Acid Reflux Formula benefits from all the expertise of the SuperSmart laboratory. Established in Europe in 1992, SuperSmart began by importing nutritional supplements from the United States before developing its own formulations. Today, the SuperSmart brand is recognised for offering high-quality supplements, available internationally via its website. Why not explore the American site https://us.supersmart.com/ where you’ll discover a wide range of nutritional supplements to suit every need!