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GERD: The Disease That Isn't

Date: 01 July, 2009

By: Chief

Imagend a whole bunch of people have it. For real. My wife, for one, and it is utterly miserable. Kind of along the line of indescribable.

For the uninitiated, GERD stands for:

Gastro
Esophageal
Reflux
Disorder or disease.

Wonderful.

It also appears to be the disorder or disease du jour for the past several years — or longer. There is, however, one little technical problem with this disorder or disease — it ain't.

"What? But my doctor has been treating me for GERD for the past five years." Says you. Well says me "I don't care." And quit with the poor motor boat imitation — but, but, but.

Like it or not GERD is not a:

With that said, GERD is the:

of something else, namely an actual:

You can check it out for yourself right here or here o ye of little faith.

Okay, so what exactly is GERD? Ye asked and ye shall receive. Quoting WebMD:

"Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a digestive disorder that affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) — the muscle connecting the esophagus with the stomach."

The operative part of the above quote is:

"[...] [T]hat affects the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) — the muscle connecting the esophagus with the stomach."

Quoting Wikipedia:

"Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), Gastric reflux disease, or Acid reflux disease is defined as chronic symptoms or mucosal damage produced by the abnormal reflux in the esophagus."

In other words GERD does not produce anything. It is merely the effect, product or symptom of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) messing up and allowing stomach acids to flow back up into the esophagus. Quoting WebMD:

"In normal digestion, the LES opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and closes to prevent food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately allowing the stomach's contents to flow up into the esophagus."

And the real important part of that quote is:

"Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately allowing the stomach's contents to flow up into the esophagus."

You cannot take a magic pill or injection and have GERD go away. Neither can you ask your doctor to order surgery on your sorry butt to have your GERD removed (unless you are trying to have that big lump on top of your neck removed). This is because GERD is not a:

It never has been, either.

What is key is the lower esophageal sphincter or LES is not operating correctly. Simply put, when operating properly the LES is a one way valve. It allows food to flow from the esophagus into the stomach where the stomach acids digest the double triple whopper with extra cheese, onions and tomatoes you just ate — for a snack. Hey why not? I do.

But when the LES is not functioning properly it can allow those same stomach acids to flow back up from the stomach and into the esophagus. When this happens the result is not at all pleasant. Heartburn out the wazoo. A severe burning in the throat. Vomiting. Or even all of the above. And then it is off to a not so quick trip to the doc or, even worse, the get well shop. Gag.

Make no mistake — what the medical community tends to call GERD should be called LESAFU. LESAFU stands for:

Lower
Esophageal
Sphincter
All
Fucked
Up.

Call it what it is — LESAFU. Yeah, that works for me.

The cool thing is it can be fixed.

The most common method to correct LESAFU is surgery. Great. So while you are saving pennies, nickels and dimes in order to pay for the frigging operation the symptoms of LESAFU, namely GERD, are cleaning your clock on a daily basis. What can be done about that? After all, the painful part of LESAFU is GERD.

Oh the pharmaceutical companies have got you covered. Yeah and if pigs had wings we would all be eating chicken fried pork chops.

Most of the drugs available for the treatment of GERD are, at best, semi-worthless. Yeah they might work over a fairly short period of time and then what do you do? Secondly the drugs cost an arm and a leg if you don't have health insurance. Lastly almost each and everyone of them can take upwards of four days to take effect.

The better solution is — high fat content dairy products when you get hit with an attack of GERD. No, I am not kidding. I do not have a sense of humor of any recognizable kind that I am aware of. In fact the higher the fat content — the better.

What I am talking about:

Does it work? My word yes it works. How long does it take? Normally less than one minute. Furthermore and far more importantly — the pain stays gone. In addition it only takes about 1 - 2 tablespoons of nummy ice cream. No more having to stay up for three or four hours. You can, quite literally, hit the sack within a minute or two and not worry. Indeed, you shall sleep the sleep of the saved and the thankful (thank you Sir Winston).

For those who are lactose intolerant try creamy peanut butter.

The singular issue is the fat content. Like I just wrote, the higher, the better. But, it must be natural fat. None of this synthetic crap. Natural fat is healthy for you. The artifical kind is not. Allow me to provide a couple of examples of natural fat foods:

Believe me, Blue Bunny is mighty good tasting ice cream. However:

Don't like ice cream (you card carrying communist) then try this:

Believe me when I say it does indeed and in fact work. I know this from personnel experience. Why didn't I use the ice cream. I did and it did not work for me. However the heavy cream backed up by the 1/2 and 1/2 sure did. A real dream team by God.

That is a huge difference in fat content per serving and one worth paying for if you suffer from the pain of a GERD attack.

Finally, for those of you who simply cannot deal with diary products (you certifiable card carrying communist) then try:

I kid you not. First of all, tortillas absorb like there is no tomorrow. Hence the excess stomach acids are immediately absorbed. Secondly, flour tortillas are normally fried in lard. The lard acts as a coating within the stomach, etc. And there you have it. Natural and it works just fine — everytime.

So remember when it comes to LESAFU and GERD — when in doubt — fat it out.

Class dismissed. Now it's time to party. The ice cream, heavy cream, 1/2 and 1/2 and tortillas are on the doctors and pharmaceutical companies. Yahoo.

[Ed. note: This story has been updated.]

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