Our first post concerns one of the most common medical conditions experienced by the population of America and the Western world — acid reflux, heartburn, and acid indigestion.
Now you may wonder what all the fuss is about, assuming that the odd case of acid reflux is a natural part of life, but the truth of the matter is that it’s an extremely uncomfortable, even painful, condition for vast numbers of people — about half the population are expected to suffer from heartburn or acid reflux at least once a month.
Now this raises the interesting question of why heartburn is so widespread. One of the answer seems to be that it’s related to some stressful conditions, although the link is not yet proven. A lot of doctors take the view that acid reflux can be dealt with by the prescription of proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs, such as Prilosec.
However there is plenty of evidence that dealing with acid reflux by prescribing these medications has several disadvantages. First and foremost amongst them is the fact that PPI’s are heavy duty medication that stops us productions them very effectively, but when you stop taking it there’s a massive rebound effect because the body has become dependent on them.
Secondly, they do have some dramatic side-effects, which is mostly round susceptibility to pneumonia, Clostridium difficile, bone loss and osteoporosis in elderly people.
They were designed originally for dealing with severe conditions like ulcers, and certainly there are questions over their use for minor cases of acid reflux, no matter how comfortable this condition may be.
And a better approach is properly to take hydrogen blockers such as Tagamet or Zantac, manufactured under the generic names of ranitidine and cimetidine. These are an older generation medication but they are effective in suppressing the production of stomach acid, and they don’t have the same side-effects as compounds like Prilosec.
Now another approach to dealing with acid reflux is to actually eliminate this causes of the problem, which includes stress, a fact which is entirely under your control. Other conditions which are so associated with acid reflux include the presence of Heliobacter pylori in the stomach, which is an infection with bacteria, and is usually dealt with by antibiotics, and symptoms of hiatal hernia.
Treating Heliobacter pylori by means of antibiotics is a double-edged sword, because antibiotic resistance is becoming a major problem in society, and in any event, there’s plenty of evidence that dealing with this infection is not eliminating the underlying causes that allow it to flourish.
These conditions could be summed up as: an excessive consumption of sugars, low stomach acid due to lack of vitamin D, poor nutrition, and the absence of the correct dietary supplements necessary for good health.
Having experienced acid reflux myself I actually agree with him completely, but nonetheless the fact of the matter remains that unless people switch to holistic medication and self care, then the prescription of these drugs is going to remain the standard treatment for acid reflux for a very long time to come.
My recommended approach to treating acid reflux is to obtain some kind of therapeutic help (to eliminate any stress that may be contributing to the excessive production of acid in the stomach and reduce or eliminate that acid), gradually wean yourself off PPIs if you’ve been prescribed them, and substitute hydrogen blockers, and then use a program like heartburn no more, which outlines one of the most effective holistic treatment approaches possible for this condition.