Claudette's Specialties: Female and Male Hormonal Imbalances, PMS, Period Pain, Fibroids, Polycystic Ovaries/Syndrome, Endometriosis, Menopause, Prostate Problems, Low Libido, Natural Fertility Management: Contraception, Overcoming Infertility Problems (females and males), Preconception Care, Sex Selection, IVF support, Pregnancy Care: Pregnancy nutrition and remedies, Miscarriage support, Birth preparation, Doula: Childbirth support, Post-natal care for mother and child.

Is Heartburn Causing You Heartache?

Reflux is commonly known as heartburn as it strikes in the chest and can feel frighteningly like a heart attack. Symptoms of acid reflux may include laryngitis, hoarseness, sensation of a lump in the throat, post-nasal drip, chronic throat clearing, excessive throat mucous, sore throat, cough, spasm of the throat and/or throat pain. The issue is not with an excess of stomach acid, although it may feel that way, but with a defect in the closing of the oesophageal sphincter that separates the stomach from the oesophagus.

Several foods trigger reflux, including alcohol, chocolate, coffee, spicy foods, tomatoes, capsicums, carbonated drinks (soft drinks), junk food and citrus fruits. Not all of these foods will cause symptoms. Become acquainted with your triggers and avoid them.

Tips to reduce the onset of heartburn:

Leave 3 hours between eating and bedtime so you do not go to bed on a full stomach.
Avoid coughing and throat clearing: swallow or sip water instead.
Elevate the head of your bed with a telephone book or brick.
Avoid tight clothing, overeating and excess weight.
Chew your food well and eat slowly
Lose weight if you are overweight.
• Limit any water immediately prior or during a meal as it dilutes your digestive enzymes.

How to heal your heartburn:
•      Eat soft foods only for 2 days to heal the oesophagus (and lining of the digestive system) from any prior damage that may have been caused by excessive acid in the past. No nuts, crackers, toast, popcorn, biscuits, breakfast cereals, hard crunchy salads/fruit. Eat soft, lightly cooked foods eg. rolled oat porridge, eggs, soups, stews, casseroles, steamed veges, cooked rice, soft fruits, mashed potatoes, yoghurt, bread.
Drink 1 Tsp – 1 Tb apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water before meals which will help rebalance the acidity and improve digestion.
Slippery elm is a soothing demulcent powder that prevents stomach acid from resurfacing. 1-2 tsp in a glass of water after every meal allows your oesophagus to heal.
If you don't like slippery elm powder you can use raw honey instead. Having 1 tsp any time you feel discomfort or pain as well as before bed soothes and heals the oesophagus.
If on the run, carry a Red Delicious Apple with you. These apples contain a chemical which is a natural antacid.

For my patients, I prescribe herbal medicines or nutritional supplements that coat and heal the gut lining and rebalance your digestion and stomach pH. These are individually prescribed depending on the cause, such as that old friend, stress.


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