The Fundamentals

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the substernal area caused by reflux of the stomach's acid contents into the lower esophagus. It may occur in any one at any age, and is often noticed in those who include running in their exercise regimen, whether or not food is present in the stomach. Heartburn and other conditions that affect the esophagus are now called Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). While heartburn may be occasional or chronic, GERD is a chronic disease which may require treatment on a long-term basis. Some studies have shown a direct link between obesity and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

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Gastroesophageal Reflux
Disease (Hiatal Hernia & Heartburn)
(Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
ffecting approximately 60 million Americans, heartburn is a very common occurrence. Conditions that cause reflux of stomach acids into the esophagus are now referred to as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) rather than chronic heartburn or acid indigestion. Heartburn may be accompanied by gas, bloating, shortness of breath, an acidic or sour taste in the throat, or nausea. It begins when an individual ingests food or drink. The pharynx and esophagus are the path by which ingested food and drink reach the stomach. Once food reaches the stomach, it is partially digested into a solution of hydrochloric acid, enzymes, and food particles. The stomach then pushes the partially digested food into the duodenum and small intestine to be further digested and absorbed. Heartburn is caused when the hydrochloric acid solution from the stomach backs up into the esophagus and causes tissues to become irritated or inflamed. Gastroesophageal reflux disease can scar the esophagus, and if stomach acids get into the lungs, asthma-like symptoms may occur. Gastroesophageal reflux can also lead to a condition called "Barrett’s Esophagus" in which changes in the cells lining the esophagus can induce cancer.
Studies have shown that deglycyrrhizinated (DGL) Licorice is especially helpful in alleviating some of the discomfort and pain of heartburn. It is an antispasmodic and has proved to reduce stomach acid. Scientific studies have also shown that when taken 30 minutes before meals, Gentian root is a remarkable heartburn preventative that aids digestion as well. Also aiding in poor digestion, Valerian root, a bitter digestive stimulant and sedative, is helpful, as is Wild Yam which is antispasmodic and anti-inflammatory as well.
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Note: This information is provided for educational purposes only and is not intended to replace the use of a qualified health care professional. We strongly recommend the use of a physician for the diagnostic phase of any treatment. With an accurate diagnosis in hand, we believe the consumer, at that point, has a basic, unalienable right to seek out factual information on all therapeutic approaches, both orthodox and alternative, and choose those approach(es) that are right for them. Nonetheless, a "good doctor" should be considered a requisite starting point.

To U.S. Users: None of the products mentioned on this page have been evaluated by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration; therefore, they are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.
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