Gastro-esophageal reflux disease

Gastro-esophageal reflux disease

GERD is a condition in which the contents of the stomach reflux backwards into the food pipe (esophagus). As the stomach contents are acidic in nature, this damages the inner lining of the food pipe and causes symptoms of pain, heartburn etc.

Some amount of reflux of stomach contents is usual in all individuals but not everybody develops GERD. The main cause behind this is that only in some individuals this refluxed fluid is more acidic and remains in the esophagus for longer time and causing GERD. Dietary causes and certain faulty lifestyle are frequently responsible for initiate this condition in individuals who are prone to develop it.

At the junction of the food pipe (esophagus) and the stomach is a muscular gateway called lower esophageal sphincter. Under normal circumstances, this sphincter remains contracted in order that no contents of the stomach can return into the esophagus but when this sphincter becomes relaxed because of any reason or is weak, it can allow the contents of the stomach to flow back into the esophagus causing inflammation of the lining of the esophagus. There can also be many other causes of GERD which will be discussed in details later.


There are many causes accountable for initiating GERD, and different causes can be functioning in different individuals or even in the same individual at different times. The most common causes accountable for GERD have been listed below:

Functional abnormalities of the lower esophageal sphincter

  • Unusually weak contractions of the sphincter
  • Abnormal relaxations of the sphincter both of the above contribute to enhance chances of backflow of the stomach contents into the esophagus.

Hiatus Hernia

A condition in which there is projection of the stomach up into the opening usually occupied by the esophagus in the diaphragm the muscle that divide the chest (thoracic) cavity from the abdomen.

Abnormal esophageal contractions

Manage esophageal contractions cause the onward movement of food because of the esophagus into the stomach. When the wave of contraction is faulty, the refluxed acid is not pushed back into the stomach and it can cause damage to the lining of the esophagus.

Delayed emptying of the stomach

When food remains in the stomach for a longer time, the stomach is bloated for longer time and this enhances the chances of reflux of the stomach contents.

There are several other contributing factors for GERD which are as follows:

  • Dietary habits: Fatty & fried foods, chocolates, onions and garlic, drinks with caffeine, acidic foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, spicy foods, pungent foods, mint flavorings, etc
  • Habits: Consumption of alcohol, cigarettes smoking; poor posture (slouching) particularly after meals
  • Drugs: Antihistamines, Calcium channel blockers, theophylline, nitrates
  • Eating habits: Huge meals, eating soon before sleeping
  • Other contributory conditions: Obesity, pregnancy, diabetes, rapid weight gain, etc.
  • Stress: Though this has not been directly linked to GERD, most patients report an increase in their symptoms during stressful times.
  • Other medical conditions: Diabetes, pregnancy, Obesity


  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation
  • Dry cough, hoarseness of voice, bad taste in the mouth is other symptoms caused due to the regurgitation of the food.
  • Occasionally patients may develop nausea (though this is not very frequent) and GERD should always be considered in patients who have unexplained nausea.
  • In children, the common symptoms are vomiting, coughing and other respiratory problems.

Homeopathic Treatment for GERD

The best results in GERD treatment are able to be achieved if the premeditated treatment is targeted at the roots of GERD plus the symptoms. The homeopathic treatment addresses exactly the same. Homeopathic has been found to be enormously effective for GERD.

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