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Addressing The Root Of Acid Reflux With Functional Medicine From Toronto


If you get a burning sensation in your throat, our functional medicine Toronto practice could potentially promote alleviation. 

Acid reflux is a common digestive issue experienced in North America. Here’s what happens: the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) either doesn’t fully close or it incessantly opens. The LES is supposed to close when food enters. But with acid reflux, it doesn’t properly open or close. The stomach acid ends up traveling up the esophagus, and individual symptoms can cause discomfort in the form of heartburn, regurgitation, non-cardiac chest pain or swallowing problems. 

Uncovering the source behind acid reflux may help with addressing uncomfortable symptoms. In fact, personalized integrative medicine services could play a part in alleviation, as these treatments are designed for the patient’s unique biology and shortcomings. 

For this article, the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre (TFMC) highlights brief details about this health condition and how integrated health care may encourage relief.  

Quick facts about acid reflux

    • Clinical symptoms tend to exacerbate after eating. They can also worsen as you lie down; this is because the stomach acid cannot travel down the esophagus due to gravity changes. Individual symptoms may include: 
      • Bloating (abdominal pain)
      • Nausea
      • Issues with swallowing, dysphagia
      • Regurgitation (sour taste)
      • Indigestion
      • Heartburn (burning sensation) 
      • Sore throat
      • Unrelenting hiccups
    • Acid reflux is not the same as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). However, GERD has been used to describe acid reflux.
    • In some cases, the condition can advance into GERD, which can be thought of as a harsh, persistent form of acid reflux. When symptoms become chronic, the esophagus can become further inflamed, worsening your cellular health. 

Due to each patient’s unique biology, the functional medicine model can help uncover the source of digestive issues, such as acid reflux. For example, current lifestyle factors (i.e. poor diet, smoking, obesity, etc.) and using certain medications can instigate acid reflux. A personalized medicine approach from the TFMC could help pinpoint this root – this is because our functional medicine lab tests and therapies are slated for your unique health needs only. 

Functional medicine approach to this condition

At the TFMC, our compassionate health team recognizes that every patient is unique in all aspects of health, including yourself! This is why we offer a personalized approach to wellness and integrative health tools for encouraging relief.   

If you were to visit our functional medicine clinic for acid reflux, we may discuss the following for your integrated treatment plan: 

    • Functional medicine testing: We may recommend some core lab tests to scrutinize your digestion and gut health. One test we may run is a SIBO (small intestinal bacterial overgrowth) breath test, which can measure for bacterial overgrowth that may potentially trigger symptoms. A food sensitivity test may also be advised to help determine if symptoms are linked to the foods that you regularly consume (i.e. gluten). 
    • Sleep improvements: Due to the fact that acid reflux can worsen in a prone position, we may suggest you sleep on your left side at night. This may help with reducing “episodes”, such as regurgitation, which can cause sleep disturbances. 
    • Dietary/Lifestyle modifications: We will likely encourage you to cut out foods that tend to instigate heartburn. These include fried items, processed options, bacon, and carbonated drinks. We may introduce you to the Mediterranean Diet because of its embracement of whole foods, omega-3s and plant-based items. 
    • Herbal medicines: Licorice root is commonly advised by complementary practitioners for helping relieve heartburn. It’s available in the form of deglycyrrhizinated licorice (also known as DGL, which doesn’t cause blood pressure elevations). Scientific evidence has shown DGL to contain antimicrobial properties and anti-inflammatory effects.   

We want you to know this: you don’t have to settle for digestive setbacks! At the TFMC, we can help tailor a functional medicine wellness program to encourage you to reach your health goals. Get started by becoming a new patient with us today. 

Supporting health optimization at the TFMC

Functional medicine therapies can address health concerns linked to nutritional deficiencies, brain fog, body aches, digestive issues, hormonal balance, heart disease, chronic symptoms, and more. Thus, a customized, proactive, long-term health plan could support optimal wellness down the road, especially with custom tips for disease prevention. 

Recommended Reading: Improving Brain Health with Functional Medicine Nutrition Tips and Supportive IV Therapy from Toronto

Addressing the source of your current health issues can help manage a wide variety of individual symptoms. Our integrative medicine strategies include conventional medicine, naturopathic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, herbal medicines, hormone replacement therapies, acupuncture for stress management, and more. 

Personal results from functional tests allow us to tailor your treatment plan. In turn, we adapt modalities for your biological needs, including dosages of adjunct intravenous infusion supplements from our IV Lounge. When administered with other therapies (i.e. Western medicine) and a healthy lifestyle, functional medicine-based IV therapy could promote wellness improvements. 

Digestive issues can trouble the daily lives of Canadians, impeding optimal wellness. We can help you manage acid reflux issues – reach the TFMC today to find out more about your current gut health with functional medicine from Toronto. 

Disclaimer: The information in this article is designed for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for informed medical advice or care. This information should not be used to diagnose or treat any health problems or illnesses without consulting a doctor. You should always consult with a health care practitioner before relying on any information in this article or on this website. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your doctor or other qualified healthcare provider because of information you have read from the Toronto Functional Medicine Centre website or other affiliate media. 



Acid reflux and GERD: The same thing?” from the Mayo Clinic, posted July 1, 2023, viewed on October 31, 2023. 

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