Acid Reflux Disease Doctor
Dr. Greg Fors uses integrative medicine to create customized, holistic treatment plans to help those suffering from Gastroesophageal reflux disease. Dr. Fors will identify the root cause of your condition, and help you restore your health naturally. To learn more or to schedule your free consultation, please contact our clinic online, call 763-862-7100 or my visit our Blaine, MN office.
Acid reflux refers to the backward flow of stomach acid into the tube that connects your throat to your stomach (esophagus). This condition, also known as Gastroesophageal reflux or GER, differs from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, in that GER is not considered chronic.
The cause of acid reflux is gastric lining inflammation due to imbalances of the gastric ecosystem, food allergies, infection, or a combination of the three. This inflammation over time weakens or causes an irregular relaxation of the gastric sphincter, resulting in gastric acid flowing backward via the stomach and up into the esophagus. If left unchecked, this inflammation can progress to GERD and/or Barrett’s esophagus, cancer of the esophagus resulting from GERD in which 10-15% of Americans are diagnosed.
Addressing the root cause rebalances the gastric ecosystem and eliminates symptoms associated with acid reflux, such as burning, difficulty in swallowing, coughing, and laryngitis, to name a few. A functional medicine physician can aid in helping manage this condition without the use of over the counter or prescription medications. The most common treatments for acid reflux are antacids or proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). PPIs have demonstrated negative implications, including bone fractures, kidney disease, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, as well as clostridium difficile, a gut infection leading to severe and sometimes life-threatening diarrhea.
The Functional Medicine Approach
There are a variety of factors that play into acid reflux, ranging from pregnancy, large meals, and restrictive clothing. However a functional medicine physician is likely to address the following:
Assess Your Diet:
Acid reflux or GER can occur due to dietary habits that include spicy foods, alcohol, and highly acidic foods. However, the main culprits are food allergies and bacteria. Testing for both via blood and stool samples will support in identifying the cause.
Assess Your Lifestyle:
Additional weight can result in a variety of negative biologic and physiologic challenges, and acid reflux is not exempt. Extra weight in the abdominal area can result in added pressure leading to GERD. Additionally, smoking can also aggravate the gastric lining. Your functional medicine doctor will aid in supporting you with both.
Assess Your Medications, OTC, and Prescription:
Certain medications can irritate the stomach lining, such as ibuprofen, potassium, iron, and certain antibiotics to name a few. Your physician will audit all of your medications to identify any that may result in your having acid reflux, and look for alternatives where appropriate.
Acid reflux can be a real pain or should I say burn. Although tempting, antacids or prescriptions to control your acid reflux are not optimal. The acid in your stomach works as a protector to shield you from invaders that are introduced via the gut. When your defense system is ill equipped, then that medium rare steak or micro green salad that wasn’t washed as thoroughly as you had hoped, can wreak havoc in the way of bacteria setting up shop in the warmest and coziest of crevices. Luckily functional medicine can address the cause and to get your gut on track.