Acid reflux or gerd (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a condition in which fluid splashes up from the stomach into the esophagus. This fluid contains mostly acid with some pepsin and bile. All three of these fluids are potentially dangerous to the sensitive esophageal tissue, with acid being the most harmful. This refluxed fluid can inflame and damage the lining of the esophagus (esophagitis). If this condition is allowed to become chronic, it can in time develop into Barrett’s Esophagus, which is the precursor of esophageal cancer.
Over 15 million Americans experience acid reflux daily. People at all ages are susceptible to this condition. Older people who suffer from acid reflux tend to be more seriously affected than younger people. 13,000 people are diagnosed with esophageal cancer each year. At least 12,000 people die from it. The overall survival rate is very poor. Acid reflux is the greatest known risk factor for developing Barrett’s Esophagus, which can become esophageal cancer.
Barrett’s esophagus occurs when chronic acid reflux or esophagitis is not controlled. Through constant inflammation and damage, the normal cells that line the esophagus called squamous cells turn into specialized columnar cells. Columnar cells are not normally found in human beings and can become cancerous.
Although this can happen to anyone, it usually occurs in people over forty who have had regular bouts of heartburn for more than five years. Some of the symptoms are difficulty in swallowing and being awakened in the night by the pain of heartburn. Some people have no symptoms at all.
Scar tissue can develop from the constant attack of acid on the tender lining of the esophagus. The tissue can become thickened and hard, making the esophagus narrower. This can make it difficult to swallow food or even water.
I am a firm believer in natural cures versus conventional medicine. When I go to a doctor it is for diagnostic purposes only. Then, instead of subjecting myself to a barrage of harmful pills and painful procedures, I attempt to cure the condition myself by using alternative methods. I have found that MSM (methylsulfonylmethane) has the ability to soften scar tissue, making it flexible and permeable. I believe that by taking MSM on a regular basis, one can possibly avoid the severe problems associated with chronic acid reflux.
MSM has been touted as the greatest natural healing agent since vitamin C. It seems to have the power to reduce pain and inflammation. It is currently being used to treat a wide range of ailments including, rheumatoid arthritis, fibromyalgia, osteoarthritis and gout. It’s even being used as a treatment for snoring and constipation.
MSM has been used with great success on horses and dogs, to control the inflammation associated with allergies. I use MSM to relieve the summer allergies of my twelve year old Jack Russell Terrier, Jack Pot. It works like magic. By giving him a gram of MSM in a little cheese twice a day, I have reduced his itching and running eyes, which are associated with air born allergies, to a bare minimum.
I also use MSM drops for my eyes. It evidently has the power to reduce, if not prevent, cataracts. It seems to dissolve them. My mother had cataracts in both eyes. She had one removed by her ophthalmologist. When she told me what she had one, I put her on MSM drops immediately. When she went back to the doctor a month later for her pre-surgery exam for the second eye, they discovered that the other cataract had completely disappeared.
Aren’t cataracts a form of scar tissue? I believe that scar tissue and Barrett’s Esophagus have an important connection. Therefore, if MSM does, in fact, have this beneficial effect on scar tissue, perhaps it can prevent, or at least improve Barrett’s esophagus. Maybe MSM can help prevent this kind of cancer? I don’t know, but I will continue to take it rather than to subject myself to so called “modern medicine”.
If you should choose to go the allopathic medical route, diagnosis of Barrett’s Esophagus involves an endoscopy. The doctor sticks a long mechanical tube down your throat to observe the esophagus and perform a biopsy. It can’t be a very pleasant procedure. And what if the results are negative? The doctor will most likely prescribe drugs which have harmful side effects. Some of these drugs include H2 blockers like cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine. Or he may prescribe the drugs omeprazole and lansoprazole, which are proton pump inhibitors.
Some of the side effects of these drugs are: headache, disturbances of the gut such as diarrhea, constipation, nausea, vomiting or abdominal pain, excess gas in the stomach and intestines (flatulence), dry mouth, skin reactions such as rash and itch, inflammation of the skin (dermatitis), dizziness, pain in the muscles and joints, swelling of the legs and ankles due to excess fluid retention (peripheral edema), pins and needles (paraesthesia), depression, agitation, confusion, difficulty sleeping (insomnia), sleepiness (somnolence), liver or blood disorders. The list goes on and on.
If the drugs don’t work then he’ll most likely suggest a surgical procedure called fundoplication, which entails removing the damaged part of the esophagus and attaching the remaining section to the stomach.
For myself, I will continue to search for and experiment with natural cures for acid reflux. I think that perhaps the medical approach could be worse than the disease itself.
I was a victim of acid reflux for many years. I had disappointing experiences with doctors, who knew nothing about nutrition or alternative medicine. Basically, doctors only know how to write prescriptions. They know nothing about healing. They are only taught how to treat symptoms by dealing drugs that support the pharmaceutical industry.
The Proton pump inhibitors, which my doctor prescribed, ultimately didn’t work for me. Besides the harmful side effects caused by these drugs, no one really knows what the long tern affect of them is on the human body.
Since conventional medicine didn’t help me, I was highly motivated to explore alternative means of healing myself. After much research and experimentation, I did find natural ways which allowed me to ultimately cure my acid reflux condition. MSM was one of them.