Friday, September 8, 2017
Acid Reflux Natural Remedy: Positional Therapy
The act of stomach liquids backing up into the esophagus is actually normal. It also happens to those without acid reflux disease. In the case of acid reflux patients, however, the stomach contents have more acid than the normal, and the acid tends to stay in the esophagus in a longer period of time.
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The human body, of course, has its own mechanisms to lessen the harmful effects brought about by the refluxed acids. An example of such is the salivary glands found in the mouth. These glands produce saliva, a liquid which contains bicarbonate. When we swallow, the saliva containing bicarbonates passes through the esophagus.
Bicarbonates have the ability to neutralize acids, which may have remained after an earlier regurgitation. Also, studies have shown that most cases of reflux happen during daytime. At this time, individuals are usually on an upright position. With the aid of gravity, reflux is minimized because the stomach contents are held back down. Moreover, when awake, individuals frequently swallow, which maximizes the benefits that saliva does in reducing the level of acids in the throat.
The natural ways the body protects itself are important in the maintenance of the esophagus. However, saliva, swallowing, and gravity can only work when a person is in an upright position. During the night time, when individuals are asleep, gravity cannot help much. Also, saliva secretion is reduced and so is swallowing. Acid reflux which occurs at night stayed longer in the esophagus and does more damage to it.
There are ways to help the body minimize the occurrences of reflux. One of the easiest to implement is positional therapy. This is done by elevating the head and the torso when in a sleeping position. Pillows, which are readily available, can be positioned to raise the torso about six to eight inches. This position can provide maximum effectiveness in holding back reflux. Surveys have shown that the use of increased elevation results in less acid reflux during sleep.