Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is no stranger to officer workers. So, come take a tour of your gastrointestinal tract with a naturopath Catherine Terril to see what can go wrong inside your belly.
The stomach is an amazing organ. It can endure hyperacidity and break down the food you eat into nutritious chemical substances. The stomach communicates with brain and other organs in the gastrointestinal system, and adapts in size to the amount of food intake.
How does the stomach work?
The stomach is a hollow organ that takes in food to store and chemically breaks it down. The digestion in the stomach is second in order to the mechanical breaking down of food by chewing.
There are many types of specific cells and glands in your stomach. The most important ones are the following:
1. Gastric glands which secrete gastric juice to exterminate harmful bacteria which may be contaminated in the food.
2. Goblet cells which secrete mucus to protect the stomach from abnormal acidity.
3. Enteroendocrine cells which produce gastrointestinal hormones and hormone-like chemicals and release them into the blood for systemic effect.
Heartburn or heart attack?
One of the most common abdominal problems is heartburn. The name owes to the similarity between heartburn symptoms and the symptoms of a heart attack that rushed people to the hospital confused in fear they might be having a heart attack.
Actually, what happens when you have a heartburn attack is reflux of acid from the stomach to the gullet (esophagus) where no acid protection is in place. The acid then burns the gullet and makes you feel uncomfortable. This is something you rather not experience but it can happen to anybody. It may be on and off or persisting. But if it becomes chronic then it could burn an ulcer onto the gullet.
GERD red flags
1. Too much eating or drinking
4. Physical movements that cause food to spill from your stomach
5. Physical position after eating
6. Abdominal over binding such as skin-tight clothing or girdles
7. Food and lifestyle such as very spicy food, greasy food, chocolate, smoking, alcohol or caffeine.
1. Stay away from the risk factors and eat a lot of vegetables, fruits and grains.
2. Maintain a healthy weight
3. Eat less more often is better than big meals
4. Do not lie down right after eating or avoid eating right before bed
5. Wear loose clothing
If you have suffered from GERD, you would understand how painful it could be. So take good care of your health, eat digestive food and supplements, exercise regularly and follow the suggestions above or seek professional advice if any of the symptoms appear.