Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

What Most Doctors Might Not Tell You About Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Total Health Nutrition & Chiropractic Center & Dr. Frank Gomez, Chiropractic Physician

4844 Sunrise Highway, Sayville, NY  11782

631-991-3492 –   F – 631-563-1074,

GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is basically “heartburn.” This, of course, does NOT arise from the heart, but rather, is usually the reflux of the stomach’s acidic contents into the esophagus (the tube that runs between the mouth and stomach). GERD has been reported to be the most common cause of heartburn and affects up to 40% of adults at some point in life and tends to be more common as we age. Ten percent of adults who complain of heartburn experience symptoms on a daily basis. Though it’s been reported that a small amount of stomach acid rebounds into the esophagus when we eat, it is usually not symptomatic and has no health consequences. Antacids are one of the most commonly prescribed medications, but they are not without potentially negative side effects. So the question arises, what can be done for GERD that is safe, effective, and easy to administer?


1.  Hike up the head of the bed: Gravity is a BIG factor in GERD and laying down encourages the stomach’s contents to spill into the esophagus. Hence, an easy fix is to elevate the head end of the bed by placing blocks under the bed legs towards the head board to produce a slight slope so gravity works in your favor. Since we can’t sleep standing up, this is an effective alternative. Some people find lying on the left or right side can help as well (try it to find out which side you prefer).

  1. Eat less acidic foods: Avoid foods that are more acidic (lower in pH) like citrus juices, tomatoes, coffee, bile salts, and pepsin as these can irritate the lower esophageal lining. Agents that raise the pH or lessen stomach acidity include buffering agents (oral antacids, bicarbonate in saliva, and anti-cholinergic agents). Certain foods reduce GERD by retaining or increasing the tone of the junction between the stomach and the esophagus (referred to as the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, though it’s not a true “sphincter”). These include eating foods high in protein, carbohydrates, nonfat milk, and low doses of ethanol. Foods that decrease LES tone (and increase GERD) include fatty foods, whole milk, orange juice, tomatoes, antiflatulant drugs, chocolate, high doses of alcohol, certain spices, and oils (such as spearmint and peppermint), garlic, onions, as well as carbonated beverages.
  2. Hiatal hernia (HH) issues: This occurs when the upper aspect of the stomach slides or rolls (two types) up through the diaphragm effectively negating the LES allowing the stomach’s acids to easy spill into the esophagus. HH is three times more common in multiparous women (birthed two or more children), but the symptoms are due to GERD not the HH directly as 30-50% of adults demonstrate HH on x-ray but only 5% report symptoms of heartburn. That being said, there are antecdotal reports that downward pressure just under the sternum during deep exhalation can facilitate in some cases of HH which reportedly helps reduce heartburn associated with HH. Your doctor of chiropractic can show you how to do this!
  3. Don’t go to bed right after eating: Avoid large, heavy meals before bedtime. Symptoms can include chest pain that radiates to the midback (60%), arms (40%), and neck (5%) and difficulty in swallowing, belching, coughing, and shortness of breath (unrelated to exercise) can also be GERD related which increases when lying down or bending over. Running can increase the gastric pH (a “good” thing) and in general, exercise does NOT increase GERD symptoms. Drinking coffee, other caffeine-rich drinks, and smoking can also increase GERD. Certain nutritional supplements that facilitate digestion can also help.

Don’t forget about our NEW Wellness and Science Based Nutritional Program. We get help get you healthier than you have been in 10 years through Metabolic testing, Diet Counselling and supplementation.


To introduce these services, we are extending you a 50% discount off your first nutrition consultation! Contact our office today to set up your appointment. 631-991-3492

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With all the cleverly marketed supplements, fad diets and conflicting nutrition information available today, it can get confusing. Our office uses diagnostic testing (like blood work) to formulate vitamin and nutrient recommendations specific to YOUR body’s needs. No more guessing!

These tests can also indicate if you’re progressing toward the development of a serious illnesses or disease. Are you already taking medications? Get to the root of the problem with our nutritional analysis and see your personal health transform.

Early detection and correction are key elements to living a healthy life. We look forward to serving your nutritional needs.


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We at Total Health Nutrition & Chiropractic Center realize you have a choice in who you choose to provide your healthcare services.  If you, a friend or family member requires care for low back pain, we sincerely appreciate the trust and confidence shown by choosing our services and look forward in serving you and your family presently and, in the future


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No Appointment Necessary, Walk-in Chiropractic Care:

New patients welcome. No Long Term Care Plans


Since Back Pain, Neck Pain and Headaches are one of the most common complaints presenting to the chiropractic physician, please ask for more information about this if you or a loved one is suffering.  It’s one of most significant acts of kindness you can give to those you care about.


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This information should not be substituted for medical or chiropractic advice. Any and all healthcare concerns, decisions, and actions must be done through the advice and counsel of a healthcare professional who is familiar with your updated medical history.