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Natural Alternative Strategies to the Top Ten Prescription Drugs – Part 2

Wednesday, May 1, 2024 10:38 AM

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Article by Mark Anderson of Standard Process West  
and Kerry Bone of MediHerb. 
- Nebel OT, Fornes MF, Castell DO. Symptomatic gastroesophageal reflux: incidence and precipitating factors. AM J Dig Dis. 1976;21(11)”953-956
- Spechler SJ. Epidemiology and natural history of gastro-esophageal reflux disease. Digestion. 1992;51(supp 1):24-29.

- Evidence indicates that up to 36% of otherwise healthy Americans suffer from heartburn at least once a month, and that 7% experience heartburn as often as once a day. 

- It has been estimated that approximately 2% of the adult population suffers from GERD, based on objective measures such as endoscopic or histological examinations. 

- The increase of GERD increases markedly after the age of 40, and it is not uncommon for patients experiencing symptoms to wait a year before seeking medical treatment. 

The lower esophageal sphincter: 
-    The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a ring of increased thickness in the circular, smooth-muscle layer of the esophagus. At rest, the LES maintains a high-pressure. The LES relaxes before the esophagus contracts and allows food to pass through to the stomach. After food passes into the stomach, the LES constricts to prevent the contents from regurgitating into the esophagus. 

- The resting tone of the LES is maintained by myogenic (muscular) and neurogenic (nerve) mechanism. The release of acetylcholine by nerves maintains or increases LES tone. It is also affected by the different reflex mechanisms, physiologic alterations, and ingested substances. The release of nitric oxide by nerves relaxes the LES in response to swallowing, although transient LES relaxations may also manifest independently of swallowing. The relaxation is often associated with transient gastroesophageal reflux in normal people. 

Gastic Mucosa:
- The lining of the stomach contains deep collections of cells organized into gastric glands. These gastric glands secrete various substances into the stomach. The opening of the gastric glands into the surface of the stomach are called gastric pits. Mucous cells in the gastric pits secrets mucus. In the deeper part of the gland, parietal cells secrete hydrochloric acid. G cells, which are present predominantly only in the antrum of the stomach, secrete gastrin. ECL cells secrete histamine, and chief cells secrete pepsinogen (an inactive form of the pepsin digesting enzyme pepsin). Intrinsic factor, needed for the absorption of vitamin B12 is also secreted by the gastric mucosa (most likely the parietal cells).
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