Reflux, Heartburn and GERD. It’s Not In The Mind, It’s In The Muscle.
Reflux causes heartburn, a feeling of something stuck in the chest, excess saliva and phlegm and more. It affects 10 to 20% of the otherwise-fit population but is poorly understood by many: both its cause and its treatment options.
The first thing is that you know your body better than anyone else, if you experience these symptoms then they are real – don’t let anybody persuade you that they are not. The reflux may already be doing harm to the soft tissues in your upper oesophagus.
A Hiatal Hernia – The Common Cause Of Acid Reflux
The most common cause of reflux (or GERD, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a sliding hiatal hernia. In normal conditions your stomach is positioned below the diaphragm (hiatus), in your stomach cavity, and the valve at its neck allows food and drink to enter your stomach. Think of this as a one-way trapdoor. If the muscle of the diaphragm is weakened or ruptured (hernia), the neck of your stomach can sometimes slide up into the chest cavity allowing its contents to reflux into the oesophagus and up towards your mouth.
There is a temptation when you experience this reflux to think that it is the food and drink that you consumed that caused the problem. Changes in what you eat or drink are widely discussed. Dietary changes may help, but what effect do they have on the real problem: the hernia?
Treatment Methods For Hernias
Published NHS guidelines have, until now, restricted treatment advice to three phases. The first is to improve lifestyle: lose weight, drink less alcohol, raise the head of your bed and don’t go to bed too soon after eating – all sensible stuff. The second stage is the most commonly deployed: medication.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) drugs are prescribed to reduce the effect of the reflux. They make the stomach acids less corrosive but unfortunately, they make them a little less effective at extracting all the necessary nutrients from your food too; research it, and you will find that the reduced take-up of some essential minerals is a contributor to osteoporosis. The third option is surgical intervention that most people feel must remain a final choice if all else fails.
You may be wondering what any of the above treatments have to do with repairing a muscle weakness – and you’d be right.
There is now a NICE- and NHS-recognised treatment that acts on rebuilding the affected muscle and its command and control systems, but this is only very recent news, why? The reason lies in the way that we see muscle exercise and rehabilitation.
When our favourite footballer injures a muscle, he reports to the training ground for exercises designed to rebuild that muscle (they seldom recommend a diet change!). He carries out this training by doing what he is told and using his brain to flex the affected muscles, using his so-called voluntary systems.
The same is not true of the lower part of our oesophagus, the muscles around the hiatus canal and many others in the swallowing system;our involuntary processes operate these. Until someone invented a tool that made it easy to reach these organs, and to stimulate and rejuvenate the nerve systems that carry messages from the muscles to the brain and back again, you could not exercise these muscles.
IQoro® is a simple hand-held training device that you use for just 1½ minutes per day to train all the muscles and neurological pathways involved in the swallowing process, including those that need to be rebuilt in your hiatus hernia. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence just issued a briefing entitled “MIB 176: IQoro for hiatus hernia” which was a result of a two-year process of NICE experts reviewing scientific evidence alongside eminent expert commentators employed in the NHS.
IQoro is a CE-marked, Class 1 Medical Device, not yet available on prescription in the UK but currently used by much more than 10 000 people. At the IQoro website you can read more about your condition, the device itself, how to use it and how to purchase it. Read patient stories there too, including Jane from High Wycombe. Asked if she would recommend IQoro to someone with the same difficulties, she says: “Absolutely! Training is simple, it takes a couple of minutes per day and you can avoid medicines. It might sound like a cliché, but I have got my life back again thanks to IQoro.”
Start your journey to hernia relief at www.iqoro.com\ .
For all enquires contact firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 020 396 607 23 .