How This Helps
Antacid medications (proton pump inhibitors or H2-blockers) are the mainstay of management of GERD in conventional medicine. Appropriate life-style modifications are also suggested, such as weight reduction (for obese patients), smoking cessation, stress-reduction and relaxation practices, avoidance of alcohol, caffeinated beverages, other irritating/acidic foods, etc. Surgery is advised in refractory/advanced cases1.
Science and Research
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a multifactorial condition caused predominantly by regurgitation of contents of stomach into esophagus. Normally, nature has provided the human esophagus with a “valve” (lower esophageal sphincter), which prevents acidic contents from stomach to damage the esophageal mucosa. Due to combination of multiple factors, this “valve mechanism” is disturbed, which causes significant return of contents from stomach to esophagus causing irritation and inflammation of esophageal mucosa. Such factors can be obesity, hypersecretion of acid by stomach, delayed gastric emptying, sedentary life style, smoking, alcoholism, stress, hiatus hernia, etc.
Patients with GERD have symptoms like heartburn, regurgitation, difficulty in swallowing, chest pain, etc. Prolonged untreated reflux may lead to complications like stricture of esophagus, esophageal cancer, etc1.
As per theory of biochemic tissue remedies, diseases are caused by altered state of cells2. Natrum Phosphoricum is a useful remedy in diseases caused by excess of acidity. Important characteristics that suggest need of this remedy are symptoms of acidity, sour vomitus/regurgitate, sour taste in mouth, and presence of creamy coating at back of tongue in the morning2, 3.
Hence a subset of patients with GERD that have symptoms like sour/acid risings, symptoms of acidity, heart burn especially after meals, vomiting of sour contents from stomach, etc are benefited by this remedy.
For acute symptoms, Natrum Phosphoricum 6x is used every 1-2 hours till relief, alternating with other remedies, if required. For long standing symptoms, Natrum Phosphoricum 12x or 30x can be used 1-2 times a day for a few weeks.
Other additional remedies that may be useful in GERD are Ferrum Phosphoricum, Kali Phosphoricum, Magnesia Phosphoricum, Natrum Sulphuricum, Calcarea Phosphoricum, Silicea, etc, depending upon symptoms of the patient.