Acid reflux is a condition a lot of acupuncturists frequently encounter problem. Happily, this problem responds extremely well with Chinese herbs and acupuncture.
Gastrointestinal Reflux Disease (GERD or GIRD) happens occurs when acid in the stomach improperly flows back into the esophageal tract. A lot of individuals occasionally experience this problem but for about 30% of Americans, GERD has become a chronic condition that affects their life in a big way. In the West, the most common medical treatment for GERD is the intake pharmaceutical drugs that either lower the production or neutralize stomach acid. They can provide temporal relief and are safe to use for occasional heartburns. But if used often enough, these drugs can have adverse side effects. For example, the magnesium hydroxide, sodium compounds, aluminum hydroxide, and calcium that antacids are made of can have a variety of side effects.
Magnesium hydroxide (milk of magnesia) – considered a laxative, too much intake of this compound can lead to hyper-magnesia particularly affects patients with renal failure. Hyper-magnesia may lead to neurological and cardiovascular conditions.
Sodium – too much sodium intake can lead to various renal conditions, heart failure, and hypertension in the arteries.
Aluminum hydroxide – long term use of this compound can result in osteomalacia and hypophosphatemia. Renal weakness and constipation may also result.
Carbonate – high and regular intake of this may result in alkalosis that consequentially can lead to kidney stones and polyuria (frequent urination). When hydrochloric acid and carbonate is combined it produces carbon dioxide that may in turn cause gastric distension as well as poor muscle flexibility and headaches.
Side effects associated with GERD medications such as Protonix, Aciphex, Prilosec, Nexium and others include:
-Gynecomastia (male enlargement of the breast, rare)
The long term use of these drugs may lead to more significant health problems including a greater tendency to develop dementia, nutritional imbalance and a high susceptibility to infections.
Chinese herbal medicine and acupuncture are very effective in helping treat or manage acid reflux, sometimes even completely curing it. Acupuncturists will initially examine the patient and the symptoms manifested by the disorder. From this, they formulate a plan of treatment that is uniquely customized for the patient. This type of customized treatment is why acupuncture and Chinese herbs is often extremely effective.