Acid Reflux through the Ages

Reflux Surgery Wasn’t Always an OptionYou can contact your GERD surgeon about reflux surgery now, but what used to be done for reflux relief?

Acid reflux has been a problem for centuries, and there haven’t always been the technologically advanced cures and comprehensive medical treatments that we have today. What would Fred Flintstone have done if he had a bout of heartburn? There was no GERD surgeon offering reflux surgery in Bedrock. What about back in the first century, when cases of heartburn were first being documented?

The Romans started struggling with heartburn during the first century. Pliny the Edler, a famous naturalist of the Roman Era, used “coral powder” to treat heartburn, a type of calcium carbonate that is still used in certain heartburn medications today. Of course, this early medication didn’t offer much relief from the burning pain that was affecting the health of people across the world at this time.

The Greeks took a shot at curing heartburn in the second century and came up with a term for the ailment while writing about its symptoms. Galen, the famed Greek physician, called heartburn “kardialgia,” which means heart pain.

Successful treatment for heartburn wasn’t an option until several decades ago.

As time went on and civilizations continued developing into city-bound cultures, more and more people started experiencing heartburn. Until recently, there wasn’t much more to do about the pain than there was during the first and second century.

Herbal remedies, dietary tricks and lifestyle adjustments have been recommended for hundreds of years, but often to no avail. As you might know from firsthand experience, small adjustments and dietary supplements aren’t always enough to ease the burn. Once the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is damaged, you are in need of specialized medical care to keep stomach acid in its place.

Luckily, you don’t have to cope with the same lack of treatment methods that our ancestors faced. Natural treatments that were used in the past are still around, and often function as great complementary treatments for acid reflux relief. They are not, however, as powerful or useful as reflux surgery, and you shouldn’t try any natural remedy without first discussing the treatment with your GERD surgeon.

People had to make lots of assumptions about how to treat their heartburn in the past, but you don’t need to do that. Be thankful that you live when and where you do. In Dallas and Ft. Worth you have plenty of options for comprehensive heartburn treatment, so there is no reason to suffer through your heartburn any longer.

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