Reflux & Heartburn
Esophageal Reflux - Heartburn, Indigestion Heartburn afflicts 44% of
Canadians & American non-ulcer dyspepsia afflicts 20-40%. Swallowed food descends
through the chest in the esophagus into the stomach. Pain in the central chest
may come from an inflamed esophagus. This pain is often burning in quality but
may also be a severe ache, suggesting a heart attack.
A hiatus hernia may show up on the x-ray, but treatment with diet revision
will often help or resolve the problem. Many patients who benefited from proper
diet revision have reported that their heartburn and indigestion only returns
when they eat the wrong foods - this food intolerance may last for many years.
Here are the basic principles:
- Digestive disorders are common and originate in the food supply.
- Diet revision should be primary therapy.
- Digestion of food is achieved by the Gastrointestinal Tract.
- The likely source of digestive disorders is the food passing through it!
- The solution is to adjust the incoming food supply until the problem is
The gastrointestinal tract is a sensing, reactive device which monitors the
material flowing through it. Symptoms arising from this system provide
information about its dysfunction. Seven basic symptoms alert the patient to
gastrointestinal tract displeasure with food choices - nausea, heartburn,
vomiting, bloating, pain, constipation and diarrhea.
Further down in the stomach, a surface reaction results in upper-middle
abdominal pain and nausea; sometimes vomiting is triggered-a defensive reflex
which gets rid of the offending food and usually relieves the pain. Some
patients induce vomiting to avoid discomforts after eating.
Recurrent irritation in the upper GIT is food-caused until proven
Obviously smoking, drinking alcoholic beverages, coffee and teas are the
first problems to eliminate, but surface "allergy" to common, "normal" foods may
also be responsible. Symptoms from the upper digestive tract are often
associated with lower abdominal pain, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. A
trial of diet revision can provide prompt relief. If the clearing diet is
unsuccessful, further investigation is always required.
Self Treatment of Symptoms
Self-therapy of milder symptoms - dyspepsia and early ulcer-like symptoms
consists of retreating to Alpha Nutrition Phase 1 foods, using brown rice
instead of white rice with the option of taking tagamet or zantac as
recommended by the manufacturer. Remember that the bedtime dose is very
important because your stomach will spend 8 hours or more in a near-empty
condition vulnerable to the action of accumulating acid.
Phase 1 of the Alpha Nutrition should be sustained for 2 weeks or until all
symptoms are gone and then food is reintroduced using the medium track - foods
from Phases 2 and 3 are reintroduced next. If adequate diet revision does
not resolve symptoms promptly and/or prevent recurrent gastritis or ulcers, you
need medical assessment and treatment.