Are Probiotics Effective For Treating GERD?
Studies show that 15-30% of the North American population suffer from GERD or Acid Reflux.
The World Gastroenterology Organization defines GERD as troublesome symptoms that impair an individual’s quality of life that result from the reverse flow of stomach contents into the esophagus or respiratory tract.
Management of GERD generally involves diet and lifestyle changes. Reducing portion size, avoiding key allergens, and avoiding caffeine and alcohol have all been noted to help curb the symptoms.
GERD And The Gut
Reflux symptoms are often perpetuated by small intestine bacterial overgrowth (SIBO). This condition occurs when microorganisms make their way from the large intestine to the upper-most portion of the small intestine. The fact that heartburn often comes from the symptoms of SIBO shows us that oftentimes GERD is caused by imbalances within your gut.
Probiotics for GERD
Although studies are ongoing, there is evidence that repairing the gut can help reduce the symptoms of acid reflux for a few reasons:
- Inflammation: Inflammation is one of the main features of GERD. Probiotics have anti-inflammatory properties and can ease the symptoms of inflammation.
- Breaks Down Food: Oftentimes GERD symptoms are triggered after a large meal. Probiotics break down food faster to optimize digestion.
- Nutrient Absorption: Probiotics increase the uptake of vital nutrients.
It’s important to find the right probiotic for you! Everybody is different so being patient and consistent is the most important.