Sunday 24 Feb 2013 08:52 AM | ACG, American College of Gastroenterology, DGL Licorice, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, GERD, Heart Burn, Nexium, Prilosec, Tagamet, Zantac
This is a health epidemic with disastrous consequences. The disaster is made worse by the medications that are commonly used to treat the condition. Every day millions of people are using antacids such as Tums, or acid-blocking drugs such as Tagamet, Zantac, Prilosec, Nexium, etc. As a health-oriented pharmacist, these drugs drive me crazy. I want to explain why these drugs cause additional health problems, and offer a natural therapy that is very effective.
First let me explain the problem with the medications that neutralize or shut down or shut down acid production. Hydrochloric acid, which is normally produced by cells in the lining of the stomach, is critical for the digestion of food, especially protein. A slightly acidic condition in the intestinal tract is also required for the absorption of many vitamins and minerals. Taking medications that neutralize or shut down acid production shifts the acid/base balance in the GI tract to a more alkaline condition which inhibits digestion of food and absorption of nutrients.
One of the books I've written is titled The Drug-Induced Nutrient Depletion Handbook. In this book I list dozens of scientific studies that acid-suppressing drugs deplete vitamin B12, vitamin D, folic acid, calcium, iron and zinc. Over time, these nutrient depletions create other health problems and then people go to their doctor to get more drugs. Some of the health problems that can be caused by these nutrient depletions include osteoporosis, heart disease, birth defects, anemia and an overall weakening of the immune system. Also, lack of acid enables undigested protein to be dumped from the stomach into the intestinal tract where a process called protein putrefaction occurs. This is the rotting of undigested protein, which results in the production of carcinogens that increase the risk of bladder and colon cancer. Folks, please DO NOT start taking acid-suppressing drugs to treat the symptoms of acid reflux.
Some other tips to avoid acid reflux include the following:
a) don't go to bed with a full stomach or lie down within 3 hours of eating
b) avoid foods and drinks that can be triggers such as coffee, alcohol, chocolate, high-fat foods, etc.
c) eat small meals/don't overeat
d) eat slowly and chew your food until it turns to liquid
e) avoid processed and fast foods
That's all for now. Eat healthy and be well.