Reflux - regurgitation of stomach acid into the oesophagus
The word reflux means the flowing back of a liquid. In medical terms this means the flowing back of the stomach acid into the oesophagus (gastroesophageal reflux). Another form of reflux is from the bladder back into the urethra.
The cause of reflux is a weakening of the muscle which seperates the stomach and the oesophagus. Highly acidic gastric contents then flow back into the lower third of the oesophagus where a chronic and painful inflammation occurs over a period of time.
What are the signs of reflux?
The typical symptoms are burning pain behind the sternum, often at night, and acid regurgitation. A gastroscopy needs to be carried out to confirm the diagnosis. Other warning signs are pain when swallowing and weightloss.
The clinical treatment
The clinical treatment is based solely on prescription medication known as proton pump inhibitors which significantly reduce gastric acidity. The most commonly prescribed medication is Pantoprazol which is very effective, but must be taken over a long period of time. Side effects are indicated in the package insert of the corresponding medication. It is also recommended to avoid smoking, alcohol, coffee and spicy foods.
The natural treatment of acid reflux with Cayenne
The natural remedy is in direct contrast to the medical remedy which suggests avoiding spices. Cayenne pepper significantly enhances the protective mucous layer in the stomach thereby protecting it from the acid. Since it is not easy to eat cayenne pepper, it is available in capsules (Caya Vida) which dissolve in the stomach. Starting with one capsule taken with the main meal, the dose should be gradually increased if there is no discomfort. In my experience, cayenne pepper capsules are far more effective than Pantoprazol and have the added benefit of burning fat since they increase the metabolism.