Indigestion & Reflux

Article by Angela Haldane

Q. Can you please tell me about reflux and indigestion. My 17 year old son has been to the doctor who put him on medication for a month, and if this doesn’t settle it in a month he is to have a gastroscopy. He said it is not common in young people. It occurs about 3am after a dinner eaten at 8pm.

A. The abdominal discomfort that occurs an hour after a meal or during the night is a primary symptom of a duodenal ulcer, (rather than a stomach ulcer). They are 4 times more common in men than in women. This can be determined with the gastroscopy. Diet and stress can play an adverse role.
Meanwhile, during this month you could work with some herbs which help with healing the gastrointestinal mucosa. Each night before bed have chamomile tea. Known in Italy as “Mother of the Gut” – it is antiinflammatory, healing, relieves trapped wind and is antispasmodic. Slippery elm either in tablet form or the powder mixed into some stewed apple is highly nutritive and heals any ulcerated intestinal mucosa.
Eat more fish/vegetarian diet rather than heavy red meats until he improves.
Probiotic capsules provide the friendly bacteria in the gut such that it breaks down the food and treats conditions such as indigestion and bloating. Take these capsules last thing at night in order to replenish the colony overnight.
Manuka honey has shown in studies to reduce the Helicobacter pylori which can predispose some people to duodenal ulcers, it is also a good healing agent.
Also avoid any food allergens that you might know of, to reduce inflammatory responses.