Hippocrates said, “All diseases begin in the gut.” He wasn’t far off. A healthy digestive system is crucial for good health. It enables you to pull vital nutrients out of the food you eat and excrete what you don’t need as waste. Researchers are also finding that healthy gut bacteria is a pillar of the body’s immune system, killing and flushing dangerous microorganisms before they can make you sick.
For at least one in 10 Americans that healthy gut behavior is thwarted at least once a week by the pain, nausea, bloating and gas of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or heartburn. In children, who are affected by GERD in similar numbers, manifestations include excessive spitting up in infants, respiratory problems and lack of growth in older kids.
When we eat, a ring of muscles called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) prevents food from backing up into the esophagus. When that mechanism fails, stomach acid irritates the esophageal lining, leading to GERD.
In most cases, GERD can be relieved by managing what and how much you eat, and when you eat it:
While you’re working to change your dietary habits, osteopathic treatment can also relieve GERD symptoms by strengthening the LES so it’s better able to keep food where it belongs — in the stomach.
Untreated, GERD can lead to more serious health problems. If you suffer from heartburn regularly, don’t risk the damage that can come from ignoring it. Give our office a call at (631) 377-3629 to make an appointment.