T Nation

Gastric reflux disorder

Im wondering if anyone here knows of any natural things to help alleviate gastric reflux disorder. im trying to find out some things for a friend who is having a hard time eating to gain because of this.

Calcium will cause the “valve” at the distal end of the esophagus to close thus preventing reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus and “heartburn”. Calcium in capsules/pills which dissolve in the stomach will not be useful. I take my calcium aspartate capsules apart, put it in a glass of water, and after drinking-instant relief. Other forms of calcium should work also if they are chewed (e.g. tums)or dissolved in water and drank. They key is that the cells lining the distal esophagus must come into contact with the calcium.

Hi, my wife has suffered from gastro-reflux for most of her life, so I have a lot of experience coping with the condition. Ultimately, the action that helped her the most was a laproscopic surgery that used a portion of her stomach to increase the tension of her esophagus/stomach barrier. Before her surgery, she also saw benefit from raising our beds headboard a few inches to help keep acid from rising into her esophagus at night, natural peppermint and licorice lozenges, and a fairly bland diet. Her physician has also told her not to eat past 8pm (hard to stick to that when bulking!), and to remove as much stress from her life as possible. Also, since giving up all red meat and keeping protein intake to mostly fish and a little chicken, she has had very little reflux problems. Good luck to your friend!


thanks a lot for the responses. ill definitely pass on the information. regarding tums for example do you mean you chew them up and them spit it into a glass of water and then drink that?
Dan, do you mean the peppermint and licorise losenges were used to combat an episode? or prevent episodes.
what seems to cause her the most problems is chocolate which is a big trigger for her. and she has a hard time saying no to chocolate.

I have the same problem and tried several things (eliminating coffee, acidic foods etc) but got no real relief until I stated taking prescription ranitidine. What a godsend, while I don’t like the idea of being on any drug long term, I will keep taking this one as nothing else helped. Also, the long term exposure to stomach acid can cause some abnormalities where it escapes into the esophagus-possibly leading to cancer (according to my doctor). Surgery would be an absolute last resort for me.

I had GERD for years and didn’t even know it. The big symptom was dysphagia, “impairment in the movement of swallowed material from the pharynx to the stomach.” I’d be eating and all of the sudden my esophagus would go into spasm and the food wouldn’t move into my stomach. I usually had to regurgitate the food stuck in my esophagus before it would relax. My dad had the same problem and never found a cure from his doc, so I always thought it was some genetic thing and just learned to live with it.

I'm lucky in that my doctor is my best friend's wife, and I've known her since she was an undergrad. She was well acquainted with my symptoms by the time she started practicing and I became her patient. Since the three of us frequently go out to eat together, and I would lock up on a fairly regular basis, she had a vested interest in fixing the problem. (Sitting around watching me wait to unlock after everybody else finished eating is a real pain in the ass.) She started me on Prevacid in late '99, and I haven't had a problem since. This stuff is great! I take one in the morning and one at night with my supplements. I don't lock up any more and I don't have heartburn that drops me to my knees every afternoon at 4:30 like I used to. Forget the "natural things." I tried them all and they don't work. See a doc and insist on Prevacid.

Try the prescription drug Prilosec. Works great.

First lets make sure we are talking about the same thing: I assume that we are talking heartburn here i.e. burning sensation deep to your breastbone. For the tums all you need to do is to chew them up and drink with water. If that does not work it must be because the form of calcium in tums if not well absorbed. What I would try then is to call health food stores looking for e.g. calcium citrate, or calcium aspartate (second choice would be calcium gluconate, lactate, etc) in capsule form. Empty a capsule into a glass of water (it may not dissolve and be lumpy, but that is OK) and drink.