"Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD are painful conditions where food and stomach acids irritate the esophagus, which can cause you to dread simple everyday activities such as eating, bending, lifting, lying down, and more. With Nutrition Response Testing, I can reveal the underlying cause of your condition, then design a customized dietary and lifestyle program to reduce and eliminate your discomfort and help get your life back on track."*
-Juliana Mazzeo, MS, CDN, Director
Nutrition Wellness Center of Nassau County
What is Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD?
Heartburn, which is also known as acid indigestion, occurs when the esophagus becomes irritated by stomach acid, which produces a burning sensation below the chest bone or upper abdomen, are the most common symptoms of acid reflux and GERD. Because the symptoms of heartburn are similar to those of a heart attack and heart disease, hence the name, it can often be mistaken for one of the two. Acid reflux, sometimes also referred to as "heartburn," occurs as a result of stomach acid from the stomach entering the esophagus. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is chronic or severe acid reflux or heartburn, which causes inflammation of the esophagus.
Common Symptoms of Acid Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD
Heartburn and acid reflux share common symptoms, which include:
GERD is a severe form of heartburn and acid reflux, may exhibit similar symptoms but occur more intense, for longer periods or frequent intervals, and tend to worsen at night. Some common symptoms of GERD include:
Common Causes of Heartburn, Acid Reflux, and GERD
One of the most common causes of heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD is dietary and lifestyle choices. Certain foods and beverages, including fried foods, fatty foods, garlic, onions, chocolate, coffee, peppermint, tomatoes, citrus fruits, and drinks can trigger heartburn and reflux, as do certain medications. Too much food in the stomach or excess pressure on the stomach, such as from pregnancy, obesity, and constipation can also trigger heartburn and reflux. Stress and lack of sleep are also major contributors of heartburn and reflux. Poor sleep habits can increase acid production, which can cause heartburn. Smoking is also a common cause of heartburn and reflux because it relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, which stimulates stomach acid.
Eating foods that are free of enzymes can also lead to heartburn. Enzymes help break down food before it enters the stomach, making it easier to digest. Consuming foods that are free of enzymes, such as processed and prepackaged foods, cause your digestive system to perform harder because it has to break down larger masses of food. Not chewing your food properly, or eating too quickly can also cause heartburn. Because digestion begins in the mouth, food must be thoroughly chewed to begin its breakdown; otherwise, the acid will be suppressed, and foods won't be broken down properly.
The usual treatments for heartburn and acid reflux include prescription medications and over-the-counter antacids. When these medicines are used for extended periods of time, generally more than eight weeks, advanced conditions can occur. Leaky gut syndrome, food insensitivities, constipation, an inability to metabolize calcium, iron, and vitamin B12, malabsorption of magnesium, as well as increased risk of developing hip, wrist, and spine fractures.
The Nutrition Wellness Center recommends dietary and lifestyle changes for the treatment of GERD. Our treatment targets decreasing the amount of reflux or damage to the lining of the esophagus from stomach acids and other refluxed material.
Nutrition Response Testing helps us create a nutritional program based on your specific needs, and both detoxifies and fortifies the body for improved overall health.
Through the use of gradual diet planning and whole food supplements, we can treat the cause of your heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD. Quite often, heartburn sufferers have too little stomach acid, which results in partially digested food in the stomach. When this occurs, it can allow alternative acid to travel up the esophagus and cause heartburn. If this is your case, we can create a personalized dietary plan that includes proper nutrition and whole food supplements that increase stomach acid, so food is broken down properly, and you enjoy long-lasting relief.
Left untreated, heartburn and acid reflux can transition into GERD, a more severe form of acid reflux, which can lead to a host of serious conditions including tooth decay, esophagitis, esophageal ulcers, esophageal stricture, Barrett's esophagus, a condition where stomach acids produce precancerous changes in cells, and esophagus cancer.
Juliana Mazzeo, Director of the Nutrition Wellness Center, has helped hundreds of people overcome chronic conditions and severe illnesses with personalized diet plans, which is why we look forward to helping you. Don't suffer from painful acid reflux, heartburn, or GERD, regain your life, as well as your health, with Nutrition Response Testing.
Please contact us today for a free consultation.