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Help for Acid Reflux

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Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 04:16 PM Current | Bio | Archive

Alex was a 62-year-old real estate attorney in relatively good shape — as he put it — mentally, physically, and financially.

While he had experienced bouts of mild depression when he was younger, they were always related to some kind of personal or professional stress that he was under. His second marriage was going strong, and he had been named managing partner in his law firm.

He’d been through some minor health issues over the years — lower back pain that flared up once in a while and some annoying allergies during the spring.

But for about six months, he had been suffering from heartburn and bloating after meals.

A specialist diagnosed Alex with gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, an irritation caused by stomach acid flowing back up the esophagus. He was told that he could manage the symptoms with some medicine and changes in his lifestyle.

The doctor gave Alex a long list of foods he should avoid if he wanted to improve his symptoms. These included chocolate, peppermint, fried or fatty foods, coffee, and alcohol.

Alex felt a wave of depression just looking at the list. He could easily live without peppermint, but he really enjoyed his coffee in the morning and a glass of wine at dinner.

But Alex was suffering enough to want to do something about his physical symptoms, so he started eliminating fatty and fried foods from his diet.

He also ate smaller, more frequent meals rather than just breakfast, lunch, and dinner.

Giving up his evening glass of wine and morning coffee was really tough. Alex started feeling his depression returning.

Alex’s doctor suggested he start drinking black tea, which can provide the caffeine he missed without the acid-stimulating effects of coffee. It helped, but he still suffered from an upset stomach, particularly in the evenings.

Then a friend told Alex about the benefits of probiotics. Alex started drinking kefir every morning with breakfast, and took a probiotic supplement every evening.

Within a week, his stomach felt better and his depression was gone.

Eventually, Alex was able to go back to drinking a glass of wine with dinner, but he still stayed away from drinking coffee, lest it stir up his stomach symptoms again.

More than 60 million Americans suffer at least one episode of heartburn each month, while 15 million experience it every day. Often, these symptoms are mild, but for some like Alex, they can disrupt everyday life and require changes in diet for relief.

Alex’s physical symptoms and lifestyle changes led to a depressive episode, which lifted when he felt better physically.

His improved mood coincided with his use of a probiotic supplement.

The research on the potential antidepressant effects of probiotics is still in its infancy, but it is possible that the alteration of Alex’s gut microbiota helped lift his mood since these bacteria produce mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters.
 

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More than 60 million Americans suffer at least one episode of heartburn each month, while 15 million experience it every day.
GERD, acid reflux, depression, probiotics
475
2017-16-19
Thursday, 19 Jan 2017 04:16 PM
Newsmax Inc.
 

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