Nearly everyone occasionally experiences a painful but short-lived bout of acid reflux. But 20% of adults suffer from its more frequent and severe form, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Dan Wool, NMD, specializes in naturopathic treatment of acid reflux and GERD, taking an approach that may prevent complications that can arise from standard medications. If you struggle to control acid reflux, don't wait to seek help. Call Dr. Dan Wool’s office in Scottsdale or Tempe, Arizona, or connect online today to request a free in-person or telehealth consultation.
Acid reflux occurs when digestive juices come out of your stomach and go up (reflux) into your esophagus, the tube that carries everything you consume from your throat to your stomach.
Acid reflux may develop if you have:
The LES, a round muscle at the bottom of your esophagus, normally holds food in your stomach. A weakened LES lets stomach contents reflux.
Some medications can cause acid reflux or make it worse. A few examples include calcium channel blockers, certain asthma medicines, and nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs).
The muscle between your abdomen and chest (diaphragm) has an opening that lets the esophagus connect to your stomach. Hiatal hernias occur when your stomach protrudes up through that opening.
Anything that places extra pressure on your stomach and the LES can cause acid reflux. Examples include eating big meals, certain foods and beverages (e.g., gluten, dairy, tomatoes, coffee), wearing a tight belt or pants, and being overweight or obese.
SIBO occurs when you have too many bacteria in the small intestine. Gas produced by the bacteria may cause enough pressure to result in acid reflux and GERD.
Acid reflux is a mild form of GERD. An occasional bout of acid reflux happens to nearly everyone and seldom causes long-term problems. But when your acid reflux turns into a regular problem, you have GERD.
GERD frequently exposes your esophagus to stomach acid, which damages the esophagus. Then you can develop complications such as inflammation, scarring, esophageal narrowing, and precancerous changes (Barrett's esophagus).
As stomach acids enter your esophagus, you experience:
You may also feel like you need to clear your throat or have something caught in your throat.
As a naturopathic physician, Dr. Wool treats the whole person by determining all the possible causes of acid reflux, then creating a plan to heal each underlying problem. He begins your treatment with gentle, natural therapies such as botanicals and progresses to medications only when needed.
Dr. Wool's approach ensures you don't take medications that make the problem worse. The first line of treatment prescribed by conventional doctors includes antacids and proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs). However, PPIs reduce stomach acid, which may foster an unhealthy increase in small intestinal bacteria.
You can get natural and effective relief for acid reflux. To learn more, call Dr. Dan Wool or book an appointment online today.