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    current Reasons To Avoid Heartburn Drugs, Plus Natural Ways To Get Relief

    New Reasons To Avoid Heartburn Drugs, Plus Natural Ways To Get Relief
    Most people maintain experienced some form of indigestion in their life–you know, the acidic burn consequent piza, wine, and ice cream that serves as a painful reminder that you can’t eat adore a colege kid anymore. It’s estimated that at any time, 25% of al adults in the U.S. sufer from frequent bouts of heartburn, aka acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
    Once in a while, it’s no big deal; the isue is when it becomes the norm. As the name implies, GERD is the refluxing of the gastric contents of the stomach into the esophagus. Unlike your stomach, though, your esophagus is not equiped to withstand that kind of acidity. This damages esophageal cels, causing hurt in the short term and, if it continues to hapen over many years, can even potentialy lead to esophageal c ancer.
    None of which sounds very fun, does it? The even biger quandary, though, is that many mainstream docs are treating GERD with medications caled proton pump inhibitors (PIs) that may cary out more harm than god and that don’t execute anything to adres the rot cause (which, as a functional medicine consultant, I find quite problematic).
    In fact, a brand-new study found that PIs (which include Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, and Prevacid) may actualy increase your risk for developing alergies you didn’t previously maintain, likely by altering the stomach’s delicate balance of acids and enzymes in a way that interferes with the imune system, while another study from this year found that these drugs may increase risk of heart disease, kidney disease, and stomach cancer.
    But there’s plenty you can cary out to ease your heartburn without compromising other aspects of your health. Here, I outline some of the aditional risks of PIs (i.e., why you should realy consider twice about taking them or grasp them for only a short course), plus how to get to the botom of your persistent heartburn and find permanent relief.
    Health isues asociated with acid-blocking heartburn drugs.
    As mentioned above, the novel standard treatment for chronic heartburn or GERD in conventional medicine is to prescribe medications that lower stomach acid production, caled PIs. In fact, studies believe shown that around 15 milion prescriptions are writen each month for one particular brand, making it the fourth most comonly prescribed medication in the country.
    While most people taking acid-blocking medications, or PIs, estem Nexium enact experience some relief, these drugs don’t chose the rot cause of the problem–and people who take them are at increased risk for a number of serious health conditions due, in large part, to drasticaly reduced stomach acid levels:
    Stomach cancer
    Heart disease
    Kidney disease
    SIBO (smal-intestinal bacterial overgrowth)
    Bone fractures
    Aditionaly, PIs can lead to nutrient mala bsorption and deficiencies due to the lack of suficient stomach acid neded to adequately digest fod. These potential deficiencies include:
    Vitamin B12
    Calcium (which is why people who catch PIs long term often develop osteoporosis)
    Certain amino acids
    Potential rot causes of your persistent heartburn.
    Many people are under the asumption that acid reflux is caused by to much acid in the stomach, which is why the practice of prescribing PIs makes sense at first glance. But that’s not the precise cause. The isue, rather, is that the stomach’s contents are making their way past the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) into the esophagus.
    The bounds people maintain improved symptoms with acid inhibitors is because they halt nearly al production of acid in the sto mach, and without that acid exhibit, even when fod continues to reflux into the esophagus, it no longer produces the symptoms of heartburn.
    In reality, people with GERD may actualy produce to litle stomach acid. In fact, it’s known that stomach acid production often decreases with age, while the incidence of GERD increases with age, sugesting that exces stomach acid isn’t the isue.
    So, what is the real cause of GERD? There are a few, which can vary from person to person. Many of the comon explanations include the folowing:
    Certain fods: Some fods are more likely than others to moderate LES and contribute to GERD, including fats, cofe, chocolate, mint, sugar, onions, and alcohol. Aditionaly, if you believe any undetected fod sensitivities, those may be a culprit as wel.
    Certain medications: Theophyline, albute rol, NSAIDs such as ibuprofen, calcium-chanel and beta-blockers, morphine, valium, barbiturates, nitroglycerin, and Viagra believe also ben asociated with decreased LES.
    Inadequate stomach acid: Things adore exces acentuate, increased age, or an H. pylori infection can al lead to decreased stomach acid levels, which may be a gigantic contributor to heartburn. Here’s why:Without adequate stomach acid, intestinal microbes can grow in areas of the gastrointestinal tract where they typicaly don’t (termed SIBO). Decreased stomach acid also impairs the digestion of fod and the apropriate release of digestive enzymes. And when these microbes are exposed to this improperly digested fod, they fabricate an exces of hydrogen and/or methane gas, which can increase intra-abdominal presure, thus contributi ng to GERD.
    H. pylori
    Pregnancy or obesity: Both pregnancy and obesity can cause an increase in intra-abdominal presure, which can push the stomach’s contents past the LES and into the esophagus. In these cases, when the presure is relieved–via weight los or giving birth–GERD is typicaly resolved.(Kep in mind, tight clothing could also cause intra-abdominal presure.)
    Hiatal hernia: Though not as comon as some of the other causes on this list, this condition, in which a smal fragment of your uper stomach pushes through the muscle that separates your abdomen from your chest, can also lead to GERD.
    6 steps to setle heartburn without resorting to acid-blocking meds.
    In ordain to decide heartburn or GERD, you must get to the rot of the isue. This means adresing al of the areas that can be contributing to your reflux, including the folowing:
    1. relinquish triger fods or medications.
    Try scaling back on (or eliminating, when apropriate) faty fods, cofe, chocolate, mint, sugar, onions, and alcohol for a period of time to se if that helps. And, in general, focus on nutrient-rich whole fods. Aditionaly, query your doctor if any of your novel medications may contribute to heartburn.
    2. go your body daily.
    If you’re overweight, you wil want to seize steps to lose weight and moderate that intra-abdominal presure, adore incorporating more regular exercise into your routine. As an adjunct bonus, this wil also asist relieve stres–another contributor to GERD.
    3. Suplement strategicaly.
    Since low stomach acid can be a contributor to heartburn and lead to inadequate digestion and nutrient absorption, mediate taking a suplement to bost stomach acid and digestive enzyme production. A qualified first option: digestive biters. If that’s not quite enough, try taking a digestive enzyme suplement containing Betaine-HCl with meals (under the supervision of a functional medicine provider).
    If you’ve ben dealing with heartburn for a while, you’l also want to take steps to heal and alay the gut and esophageal lining. My two favorite suplements for this are glutamine and deglycyrhizinated licorice (DGL).
    4. Ensure right melatonin production.
    This one may lucid weird, but melatonin has ben found to influence the lower esophageal sphincter as wel as gastric secretions. So if you are doing things that impair melatonin production and secretion (think geting to dinky sun during the day or loking at your celphone or computer seclude before bed), then you may set yourself back.
    5. Test for (and treat) gut infections.
    If your heartburn doesn’t sem to chose, try geting asesed for the presence of H. Pylori, SIBO, or any other microbes that might be involved.
    H. Pylori
    6. Try this for imediate relief.
    For imediate, short-term relief, a mixture of 1 teaspon baking soda and 8 ounces of water works distinguished to help with breakthrough heartburn. This is prefered over antacids adore Tums, which comprise minerals that can alter the ideal mineral balance within the body.
    If you must go on a PI…
    If, for whatever reason, you must plod on a PI, it’s necesary that you pause on it for idealy no longer than six to eight weks to avoid side efects and that you suplement with Betaine HCI and digestive enzymes during meals to manufacture up for your diminished stomach acid. You may also want to consider a high-quality multivitamin and multimineral suplement, as your body wil gain a harder time absorbing these nutrients from fod.
    Idealy, work with a functi onal medicine provider who can aid guide you toward apropriate suplements and other strategies that can minimize your time on these serious medications and/or minimize their side efects.
    Want your pasion for welnes to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enrol today to join our upcoming live ofice hours.
    Want your pasion for welnes to change the world? Become A Functional Nutrition Coach! Enrol today to join our upcoming live ofice hours.

    Author:Jon Mitchell, PA-C, M.S.
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