HIATUS HERNIA, ACID REFLUX (GERD)
Written by Slawomir (“Swavak”) Gromadzki, MPH
Hiatus hernia is caused by weakness of the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a large dome-shaped muscle that separates chest cavity (thorax) from abdomen. Under normal conditions, oesophagus passes through an opening in the diaphragm and connects to the stomach.
In hiatal hernia the muscle tissue surrounding this opening becomes weak or even damaged as a result of the following factors: Bad diet and unhealthy lifestyle, refined sugar, nutritional deficiencies, stimulants (especially smoking, caffeine and alcohol), free radicals, stress, toxins, certain prescribed medications, lack of exercise, obesity, insufficient rest and sleep, etc.
As a result the upper part of the stomach protrudes through the weak opening in diaphragm into the chest cavity (thorax). It happens especially when you create a persistent and intense pressure on the surrounding muscles by: Straining during bowel movement (constipation), vomiting, persistent coughing, sneezing, overeating, lifting heavy objects, bloating and indigestion, or during pregnancy and delivery.
The most common symptom of hiatus hernia is acid reflux (GERD). Also high blood pressure, belching, hiccups, chest pressure (or pain), and difficulty swallowing may occur as a result of hiatus hernia.
– Centaurium tincture (Vogel). This is probably the most important remedy and it helped many people suffering from hiatus hernia and acid reflux. The following short testimonial by a person with hiatus hernia is an example of effectiveness of this herb: “This is the best medicine ever for stomach trouble. Mine is hiatus hernia and I have taken centaurium for years. Through taking it I feel normal every day and it helps me to digest. Before it I felt very ill. It keeps me going and I live a normal life because of it.”
If you want to avoid alcohol look for the Centaurium or Centaury Concentrated Non Alcoholic Tincture
– Charcoal tablets or powder might be very helpful too (requires drinking more water in between meals).
– Chlorella (requires drinking more water in between meals). It is very effective in lowering acidity, detoxifying the body, boosting energy and regenerating damaged tissue.
– Good probiotic formula to increase number of beneficial bacteria in your intestines.
– Formulas with variety of digestive enzymes will improve digestion. Fresh raw sprouts are 30 times higher in digestive enzymes than other healthy foods!
– Magnesium citrate to relax stomach muscle and intestines: 2 times a day 200-400mg 1 hour before meal and 1-2 hours before bed. MagCitra (HealthAid is an excellent magnesium citrate as it is high in elemental magnesium).
– Slippery Elm is another very effective remedy. It protects the mucus membranes of the oesophagus against inflammation caused by acid. In addition slippery elm also reduces acidity by stimulating mucus production.
– During 1-2 glasses of fresh and raw vegetable juices (carrot, beetroot, kale, etc.) 2-3 times a day before meals.
LIFESTYLE AND DIET RECOMMENDATIONS
– Please read carefully and implement principles included in the Health Recovery Plan >
– Go on plant-based unrefined 50-85% raw diet. Hallelujah diet is the best example.
– Avoid: overeating, lifting heavy objects, smoking, caffeine (coffee, cola, black and green teas, etc.), and decaffeinated coffee, chocolate (extremely acidic), alcohol, meat, dairy, sugar, glucose, fructose syrup, refined foods, white flour products, white rice, hot spices, antibiotics, refined salt.
– With your meals use mild spices such as marjoram, fennel, cumin, oregano, etc. to improve digestion
– Drink 3 times a day about 3 glasses of water 1 hour before meals or 2 hours after meals. Try to drink only distilled water. Never drink water or other liquids with meals (except ½ glass of juice).
– Avoid straining during bowel movement. Find out how to cope with Constipation >
– Proper regular exercising techniques such as lifting up both legs while lying on bad will help to strengthen stomach muscles.
– If possible avoid drugs (nitrates, sedatives, theophylline in black and green tea, calcium channel blockers) that can make reflux worse as they may decrease the pressure of the lower oesophageal sphincter. Even peppermint tea or peppermint oil can have similar effect and should be avoided.
– If the symptoms are stronger at night, elevate the head of your bed by six to eight inches (to prevent stomach acid from refluxing while you’re lying down).
– Use an acid reflux wedge pillow as it will relieve symptoms by elevating the upper body.
– Learn to control stress.
– Fast walking every day.
– Don’t eat within two to three hours of bedtime.
– Don’t lie down after meals. Light physical activity such as walking is most beneficial after meals.
– Avoid acid-suppressive drugs as they have significant side effects and cause rebound increase in acid production.
– Consume more alkaline foods and avoid or reduce acidic products:
Dr. David Williams suggests a following morning exercise to get the stomach back to its natural place:
“Drink a glass of room temperature or slightly warm water when you get out of bed in the morning. While standing, bring your arms straight out from your sides and bend your elbows so your hands are touching your chest. Stand up on your toes as high as possible and drop down. Drop down like this 10 times continuously. Then, while standing with your arms up in the air, breathe short quick breaths with your mouth open for about 15 seconds. That’s it. You are essentially forcing your stomach out of the hole. The warm water acts as a weight in the stomach, while relaxing the stomach muscles as well. The breathing at the end helps close the diaphragm and the hole where your stomach was lodged. As long as you have a hiatal hernia, this is an exercise you’ll have to do every morning to put an end to you acid reflux problems.” (VIDEO LINK)
“Ten years ago, at the age of 48, I developed a hiatal hernia. My gastroenterologist told me that there was nothing to be done about it, but to take acid-suppressors and hope for the best. As I don’t like taking any medications, I decided not to take them in the hopes that my constant heartburn would just go away. For the following 5 years, I suffered with chronic heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, gas and accompanying belching and burping. Whatever I ate seemed to just sit on my chest and give me discomfort. I had been a vegetarian for many years, but was still eating a lot of dairy and fish, and using salad dressing. The more heartburn I experienced, the more ice cream I ate to attempt to put out the fire in my chest.
Finally, about 2 years ago, I went back to my gastroenterologist and he put me on a strong acid inhibitor. My acid reflux had gotten so bad, it actually came up and burnt my throat, and I lost my voice three times! …
After another six months I was back in doctor’s office again! This time I had to endure a most unpleasant procedure involving a tube being put thru my nose and down my throat. I had to eat and sleep with this contraption in for 24 hours — he found nothing. I told him I was sure that something I was eating was causing all this distress. He said: ‘No! It’s all in your head, and I am going to put you on some Valium’. I said there was no way I was going to start taking a tranquilizer, and that there was nothing wrong with me other than the indigestion. I told him I was normally a very happy and well-adjusted person, and didn’t need Valium! He told me that he gives most of his female patients tranquilizers ‘because you women get so stressed about everything!’ That was the last straw! I left his office in disgust, never to return.
I then turned to my last resort, and went to see a doctor practicing in alternative medicine. The first thing I said to him was: ‘Although I never eat anything spicy, there must be something I am eating that doesn’t agree with me!’ He answered: ‘Nonsense! Digestive problems are caused by stress and not by food!’ He encouraged me to persevere with the acid suppressor, and gave me Kava Kava, a natural tranquilizer to calm your nervous stomach. I took one Kava that night, and experienced such severe stomach cramps and spasms from it, that I almost went to the ER! Since then, I read online that Kava has been found to be a very dangerous herb, and can be extremely toxic to the liver!!! So much for calming my ‘nervous’ stomach!
The following day I was at the health food store and happened to start a conversation with a woman who looked so well, I asked her if she was a vegan. She said she was. I then told her about my digestive problems, and that I was thinking about becoming a vegan. She said: ‘I follow one diet, and one diet, only – The McDougall Program. It just makes so much sense!’
After about a week of strictly following the Program, I was sitting on my couch relaxing and enjoying a TV program, when I thought: ‘Something is different…something is missing…’ and then I realized what it was… I FELT COMPLETELY AND BLISSFULLY WELL!!! What was missing was the indigestion, the gas & belching and that uncomfortable bloated feeling I had always had. The heartburn was gone, along with my lifelong struggle with constipation! It is so wonderful now, to be able to enjoy such delicious and nutritious food, and not be suffering with heartburn or the constant belching I had experienced after every meal. I also don’t miss being woken up in the middle of the night with heartburn!
Before going on the diet, I had also suffered for many years with sinus and migraine headaches and frequent head colds. These have all disappeared, along with the dairy! Also, contrary to what I had been led to believe, dairy does NOT prevent osteoporosis. I had very low bone density, even though I consumed such huge quantities of dairy products all my life.
Not only am I now full of renewed energy and high spirits, but I can eat as much as I like and not gain any weight. I have lost 20 lb. and now weigh just under 100 lb. After six months on the diet my internist was also impressed that my previously ‘good’ blood pressure dropped to an even lower 90/70, and my ‘normal’ cholesterol went down to 135 mg/dl. My triglycerides are now a low 53 mg/dl, and of course my HDL, LDL, ratio, etc. are all excellent! My protein levels were completely normal, even though I had not touched any animal protein. This is my diet for my lifetime. I wish others could discover how easy it can be to become healthy!” (ORIGINAL VERSION)
Read also: HEALTH RECOVERY PLAN
© 2016 Slawomir Gromadzki – All Rights Reserved
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