The Weighty Problem of Heartburn, Acid Reflux (GERD) and other Digestive Issues
While excessive weight and obesity can lead to serious problems down the road, new studies also indicate that they can be responsible for more immediate ailments concerning the digestive and circulatory systems. In many cases, these ailments are the pre-cursors to more serious problems. In addition to losing the excess weight that causes them, treating these conditions now can help combat uncomfortable symptoms, as well as reduce the risk of serious long-term damage.
One of the ailments most commonly reported by both overweight and obese individuals worldwide is frequent heartburn. This condition, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (or GERD), occurs when acids from the stomach are allowed to rise up into the esophagus as a result of the malfunctioning of the muscle valve which usually keeps the acids in their place. This not only causes painful burning sensations in the chest, but can eventually result in significant damage to the esophagus.
In a study performed in 2006, researchers discovered that people who were overweight were more than 50 percent more likely to develop GERD. Obesity more than doubled a subject’s odds of developing the disease. (GERD is also linked to hiatus hernias, so be sure to check with your physician if you continue to suffer from severe heartburn and tightness in the chest even after treatment).
Despite its uncomfortable symptoms, the ultimate concern of those that suffer from GERD is primarily that the disease has been linked to certain types of esophageal cancers. These arise due to the constant irritation and corrosion of the esophagus by stomach acids. Interestingly, studies show that cases of esophageal cancer have increased roughly 600% since 1971, which closely mirrors the incredible increases in the number of overweight and obese Americans we have seen in recent decades.
Scientists and nutritional specialists are also currently investigating the extent of the damage that being overweight or obese can cause to the digestive system. Many have already posited that digestive conditions such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) are linked to excessive weight and obesity, and links to other gastrointestinal maladies are currently being explored.
While the best way to combat GERD and weight-related digestive ailments is to lose the excess weight that causes it, there are also a variety of natural remedies available that can help alleviate the painful symptoms of these conditions. In many cases, GERD may be so bad that sufferers are unable to exercise without pain, making it even harder to lose weight. There are all kinds of herbal and homeopathic treatments that can heal the stomach and settle the digestive system. Natural medicines can soothe the symptoms of IBS and other gastrointestinal issues, and in combination with exercise and a healthy diet can also help to eliminate them.
Obesity and excessive weight are also known to increase the prevalence of circulatory problems such as high blood pressure and cholesterol levels. These conditions contribute to the risk of heart disease and stroke, and as a result of the growing population of overweight citizens, there has been a steady rise in the prescription of various blood thinners and cholesterol-lowering medications over recent years.
While pharmaceutical drugs can be very effective on their own, they can also be used in conjunction with herbal and homeopathic remedies to restore the natural health of the body and circulatory system. When used in combination with a healthy diet and regular exercise, it may also be possible to avoid the use of prescription drugs altogether.
For more information on remedies for weight loss and conditions associated with excessive weight or obesity, be sure to check out the complete Native Remedies line of natural and homeopathic products designed to heal the body without the side effects of prescription drugs.
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