What if simply by drinking alkaline water could be the simplest way to treat reflux?
It sounds crazy but the research is very interesting let me tell you. Prior to becoming a Naturopath I was diagnosed with (GERD) or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease at the age of 25. I was in a lot of trouble back then and needed to be medicated daily to control my symptoms. It was quite horrible and I am sure those of you who are GERD sufferers, your with me on that one. So you can imagine my delight to discover research suggesting that water that has been pH modified can assist in reducing the symptoms of GERD.
Firstly, lets look at what all the fuss is about. Simply put GERD is when the acidic contents of the stomach flow backwards causing oesophageal tissue irritation, which can be painful. The real concern is that over time this can lead to potential cancerous changes in the oesophagus. So it’s essential that we stop these acids from back flowing.
Lets get back to the research, what they found is that water with a pH of 8.8 could reduce pepsin (a protease enzyme that breaks down proteins). The problem with pepsin it’s great in your gut but not in the soft tissues of your throat. The researchers suggest that damage done by GERD is not from acidity rather from the pepsin enzyme irritating your soft tissues.
They concluded that through altering the diet and with the addition of Alkaline water, pepsin became inactive, along with a reduction in HCL acidity too. This lead them to further conclude that Alkaline water a useful and safe way to treat reflux disease. To me this is pretty cool, as I used to suck down a ant-acids just to cope. No I wonder what else is possible?
*Koufman and Johnson, Potential Benefits of pH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease, July 2012, The Annals of otology, rhinology, and laryngology 121(7):431-4