Dr. James Chandler, N.D.,  Ph.D - Chandler Naturopathic Health Center
Chandler Naturopathic Health Center

Heartburn, GERD, and Gastritis

Stomach problems can be cause by numerous things.  Some of them are: food allergies, gluten intolerance, helicobacter pylori (H-pylori bacteria), high gastrin levels, low or high acity, fungal infections and parasites.  Though medicines can sometimes be a tremendous benefit, they often have severe side effects and if used for prolonged periods can make matters worse. Try the following non-prescription recommendations to help relieve an ill stomach.  Please remember, different measures help different people.
Things you want to avoid:
  • antacids, (they make the problem worse in the long run)
  • asprin
  • big meals (try several small meals throughout the day)
  • carbonated beverages (especially those that contain HFCS)
  • chocolate
  • coffee
  • dairy products (except Greek yogurt of kefir)
  • eating in a lying position
  • eating excess meats, poultry and game (especially deli meats)
  • eating fatty foods
  • drinking fluids with the meal (drink 1//2 before or 1 and 1/2 hour after)
  • eating late night meals (do not eat within 3 hours of bedtime)
  • night shades (tomato, potato, egg plant)
  • peppermint
  • salty foods (especially if diagnosed with H pylori)
  • smoking
  • strong spices
  • sugars and starches
  • black or green tea
Try these things:
  • digestive enzmes with each meal
  • Probiotics
  • mastic gum extract
  • slippery elm
  • zinc conaining foods (or supplement) like seafood, legumes and whole grains
  • bitter herbs such as : dandelion, milk thistle, arugula, chickory, dill or parsley they jump start the digestive fluids and should be used before or at the beginning of the meal
  • increase fiber intake through foods or supplements (glucomannon fiber is recommended)
  • lying on your left side can help relieve heartburn
  • chew your food slowly and well
 If you have been diagnosed with H pylori try these herbs:
  • aloe vera
  • astragalus
  • cabbage juice (1/2 to 1 glass per day)
  • chamomile (do not use if allergic to ragweed, taking warfarin or cyclosporine, pregnat or nursing)
  • clove
  • DGL licorice (do not take if you have diabetes, glaucoma, heart disease, high blood pressure, histiry of stroke, pregant or nursing)
  • garlic
  • pau d' arco
  • thyme
  • slippery elm
  • goldenseal
GERD can can strike anyone at any age.  GERD can scar the esophagus and can cause asthma-like symptoms if acid makes it's way into the lungs.  GERD can also lead to changes in the cell lining of the esophagus (called Barrett's esophagus) which can lead to esopahgeal cancer.  These tips may help you to avoid serious problem.  If you cannot get your symptoms under control, see your doctor or alternative health care practitioner.
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