Acid Reflux
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TCM Treatment Evaluation for Acid Reflux

TCM Treatment Evaluation for Acid Reflux
A number of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) treatments have been tried to reduce symptoms of reflux and GERD. Acupuncture is a type of traditional Chinese medicine. It uses small needles to rebalance energy flow and stimulate healing. Acupuncture has been used for at least 4,000 years.

Electroacupuncture (EA) uses electrical current along with the needles. It has been shown to increase the strength of the LES. Acupuncture has also been shown to reduce temporary (transient) lower esophageal relaxations (TLESRs), which can promote acid backflow. Acupuncture research is still preliminary. However, it may be able to treat GERD in some people.

According to study, peppermint oil has been found to accelerate gastric emptying. GERD is associated with delayed emptying. Therefore, in theory peppermint oil could help relieve symptoms for some people with GERD. However, peppermint can also be a GERD trigger.

Melatonin is usually thought of as the sleep hormone. People mostly talk about melatonin made in the pineal gland. However, nearly 500 times as much melatonin is synthesized in the intestinal tract. Most melatonin is made in the stomach, small intestine, and colon, and some is made in the esophagus as well. Studies have suggested that melatonin can stimulate activity of the LES in animal studies. 

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