Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Try alternative remedies if heartburn hits during holidays from USAtoday

If you have GERD — a common condition that causes symptoms from acid indigestion to chest pain severe enough to be mistaken for heart attack — you've probably tried conventional treatments, such as over-the-counter or prescription acid-reducing medications.

But you may not know about alternative treatments for gastroesophageal reflux disease. Here are three options. Santa spoiler alert: One treatment will have you stepping away from the holiday cookies.

•Take melatonin. Mention this natural hormone and most people think "sleep aid." But research reported in the April 2011 Journal of Pharmacology shows melatonin reduces stomach acid but doesn't block it, as many GERD medicines do, notes Mark Stengler, a naturopathic medical doctor and author of books on integrative medicine. That matters because "you need stomach acid for normal digestion" and "to prevent bad bacteria," he explains. For his adult GERD patients, Stengler prescribes 3 to 6 milligrams of melatonin daily at bedtime; it is not recommended for children and pregnant women.

For the full article please go here.

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