Do you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux? You are not alone. It is estimated that 60% of the adult population will experience some type of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) within a 12-month period and 20-30% will have weekly symptoms. Approximately seven million people in the United States have some symptoms of GERD. Source: www.healthline.com/health/gerd/statistics.
The majority of those who suffer with GERD treat it by taking over-the-counter or prescription drugs designed to reduce the amount of acid produced in the stomach. However, as we get older we actually produce less and less stomach acid which leads to a decreased ability to digest food properly. This is a condition known as hypochloridia. It is crucial that we have properly functioning stomach acid in enough quantity for the proper digestion of food otherwise other digestive health issues can occur.
The actual problem with GERD that the stomach acid is not staying in the stomach. A round muscle sits at the top of the stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter. Its job is to open when food enters the stomach and close afterwards preventing anything from coming out of the stomach into the “food pipe” or esophagus. Sometimes this muscle is not able to close properly because of improper nerve function as it supplies the muscle. This muscle receives its nerve supply from the nerves exiting the spinal cord and then the spinal column at the level just below the shoulder blades. When we have a misalignment in this area of the spine, or what doctors of chiropractic call a subluxation, it prevents these nerves from giving the muscle on the top of your stomach proper signals. This prevents the muscle from closing all the way and allows stomach acid to travel out of the stomach creating heartburn or acid reflux.
Chiropractic adjustments gently remove subluxations or misalignments in the spine. This allows for nerves to properly send messages from the brain to all parts of the body including the muscle that helps control stomach function. By using chiropractic care as one of several options for treating GERD more naturally, patients are able to avoid taking unnecessary and potentially dangerous medications with numerous side effects.
Dr. Heinecke truly has a passion for serving patients. He believes in an integrated approach to health care as the best way to provide superior results, which is why he has chosen to practice chiropractic at Healing Horizons Integrated Health Solutions.