Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD):
A Review of Conventional and Alternative Treatments
Lyn Patrick, ND – 1984 graduate of Bastyr University; consulting practice in chronic hepatitis C; Board Consultant for the American College for the Advancement of Medicine and on the faculty of ACAM Environmental Medicine and Metal Toxicology courses and lectures internationally on chronic hepatitis C, and Environmental Medicine; Contributing Editor for Alternative Medicine Review. Email: lpatrick@frontier.net
Lyn Patrick, ND
Abstract Gastroesophageal reflux disorder (GERD), a common disorder in the Western world, can lead to complications that include esophageal stricture and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Multiple challenges are associated with GERD treatment. First, lack of symptoms does not correlate with the absence of or the healing of esophageal lesions. Second, proton pump inhibitors, the current standard of care for GERD, are ineffective for the majority of GERD patients who have non-erosive disease. This article discusses these challenges, investigates the mechanisms of damage in GERD, and explores the existing data on unconventional forms of treatment, including melatonin, acupuncture, botanicals, and dietary interventions. (Altern Med Rev 2011;16(2):116-133)



World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Dec 14;18(46):6819-28. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i46.6819.
Moxibustion inhibits interleukin-12 and tumor necrosis factor alpha and modulates intestinal flora in rat with ulcerative colitis.
Wang XM, Lu Y, Wu LY, Yu SG, Zhao BX, Hu HY, Wu HG, Bao CH, Liu HR, Wang JH, Yao Y, Hua XG, Guo HY, Shen LR.
Source
Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200437, China.
Abstract
AIM:
To investigate the effect of moxibustion on intestinal flora and release of interleukin-12 (IL-12) and tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) from the colon in rat with ulcerative colitis (UC).
METHODS:
A rat model of UC was established by local stimulation of the intestine with supernatant from colonic contents harvested from human UC patients. A total of 40 male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomly divided into the following groups: normal (sham), model (UC), herb-partition moxibustion (HPM-treated), and positive control sulfasalazine (SA-treated). Rats treated with HPM received HPM at acupuncture points ST25 and RN6, once a day for 15 min, for a total of 8 d. Rats in the SA group were perfused with SA twice a day for 8 d. The colonic histopathology was observed by hematoxylin-eosin. The levels of intestinal flora, including Bifidobacterium, Lactobacillus, Escherichia coli (E. coli), and Bacteroides fragilis (B. fragilis), were tested by real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction to detect bacterial 16S rRNA/DNA in order to determine DNA copy numbers of each specific species. Immunohistochemical assays were used to observe the expression of TNF-α and IL-12 in the rat colons.
RESULTS:
HPM treatment inhibited immunopathology in colonic tissues of UC rats; the general morphological score and the immunopathological score were significantly decreased in the HPM and SA groups compared with the model group [3.5 (2.0-4.0), 3.0 (1.5-3.5) vs 6.0 (5.5-7.0), P < 0.05 for the general morphological score, and 3.00 (2.00-3.50), 3.00 (2.50-3.50) vs 5.00 (4.50-5.50), P < 0.01 for the immunopathological score]. As measured by DNA copy number, we found that Bifidobacterium and Lactobacillus, which are associated with a healthy colon, were significantly higher in the HPM and SA groups than in the model group (1.395 ± 1.339, 1.461 ± 1.152 vs 0.045 ± 0.036, P < 0.01 for Bifidobacterium, and 0.395 ± 0.325, 0.851 ± 0.651 vs 0.0015 ± 0.0014, P < 0.01 for Lactobacillus). On the other hand, E. coli and B. fragilis, which are associated with an inflamed colon, were significantly lower in the HPM and SA groups than in the model group (0.244 ± 0.107, 0.628 ± 0.257 vs 1.691 ± 0.683, P < 0.01 for E. coli, and 0.351 ± 0.181, 0.416 ± 0.329 vs 1.285 ± 1.039, P < 0.01 for B. fragilis). The expression of TNF-α and IL-12 was decreased after HPM and SA treatment as compared to UC model alone (4970.81 ± 959.78, 6635.45 ± 1135.16 vs 12333.81 ± 680.79, P < 0.01 for TNF-α, and 5528.75 ± 1245.72, 7477.38 ± 1259.16 vs 12550.29 ± 1973.30, P < 0.01 for IL-12).
CONCLUSION:
HPM treatment can regulate intestinal flora and inhibit the expression of TNF-α and IL-12 in the colon tissues of UC rats, indicating that HPM can improve colonic immune response.




World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Aug 21;20(31):11000-11. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i31.11000.
Randomized controlled trial: Moxibustion and acupuncture for the treatment of Crohn's disease.
Bao CH, Zhao JM, Liu HR, Lu Y, Zhu YF, Shi Y, Weng ZJ, Feng H, Guan X, Li J, Chen WF, Wu LY, Jin XM, Dou CZ, Wu HG.
Author information


Abstract
AIM:
To evaluate the clinical efficacy and safety of acupuncture and moxibustion for the treatment of active Crohn's disease (CD).
METHODS:
Ninety-two patients were equally and randomly divided into the treatment group and received herb-partitioned moxibustion combined with acupuncture, and the control group received wheat bran-partitioned moxibustion combined with superficial acupuncture. The patients received three treatment sessions per week for 12 wk and were followed up for 24 wk. The main outcome was evaluated using the CD Activity Index (CDAI) score, and the secondary outcomes were evaluated using laboratory indicators such as hemoglobin (HGB), C-reactive protein (CRP), erythrocyte sedimentation rate, quality-of-life, endoscopic ratings, and intestinal histology scores.
RESULTS:
The CDAI scores of both the treatment and control groups were significantly reduced after treatment compared with those measured before treatment. However, the degree of improvement in the treatment group was significantly greater than that of the control group. The improvement in symptoms in patients of the treatment group was sustained at follow-up, whereas that of the control group was not. The overall efficacy of the treatment was significantly greater than that of the control. Both groups demonstrated significant improvements in quality-of-life ratings after treatment, but the improvement was significantly greater in the treatment group than in the control group. In addition, the patients in the treatment group showed significantly increased HGB and significantly decreased CRP levels and histopathological scores at the end of treatment, whereas the control group did not exhibit significant changes.
CONCLUSION:
Moxibustion with acupuncture provided significant therapeutic benefits in patients with active CD beyond the placebo effect and is therefore an effective and safe treatment for active CD.