Heartburn afflicts more than 40% of adult Americans.Go here to read about some chewable tablets that confer symptomatic relief from heartburn and dyspepsia without the risks associated with drugs used to reduce stomach acidity.
When someone suffers frequent or painful heartburn bouts, they are often diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
There remain widespread misconceptions about the underlying cause of heartburn.
Mass-advertising of drugs such as Nexium®, Prilosec®, and Prevacid® has convinced GERD sufferers that to relieve symptoms, they need to block production of acid in the stomach.
But the human stomach must operate in acidic conditions to digest food properly. And long-term use of GERD drugs (proton pump inhibitors) involves serious health risks—ranging from kidney1,2 and cardiovascular disease3,4 to increased mortality.5,6
A common cause of GERD is a weakened sphincter muscle at the end of the esophagus that functions to keep food and acid in the stomach. When the sphincter fails to close properly, stomach contents back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and increasing esophageal cancer risk.7,8
...Mainstream medicine has long targeted the wrong body organ to prevent and treat GERD, focusing on the stomach and the high level of acid it produces. As a result, pharmaceutical companies have taken advantage of the huge market stemming from this perceived “need” to reduce stomach-acid production. They have flooded consumers with advertising for a wide array of drugs designed to alter the pH balance of the stomach, which can have long-term adverse impacts on one’s health.
In 2013, more than 15 million Americans were prescribed GERD-relieving medication and many more bought this class of drug over-the-counter.1,15 These drugs include omeprazole, lansoprazole, pantoprazole, esomeprazole, and rabeprazole, sold under a variety of trade names such as Nexium®, Prilosec®, and Prevacid®.
Targeting stomach-acid production with these drugs does indirectly reduce reflux symptoms in the esophagus. The hidden side effects, however, constitute massive overkill and cause serious—and potentially fatal—health consequences.
Reducing the stomach’s acidity weakens its ability to serve as a barrier to infection. It can also contribute to nutrient malabsorption. More critically, the drugs used to reduce stomach acidity—known as proton pump inhibitors or PPIs—have serious risks.
Long-term use of proton pump inhibitors increases the risk of kidney disease,1,2 blood vessel calcification,16 nutritional deficiencies,17-19 cardiovascular disease,3,4 infection (including pneumonia),20-24 diarrhea,25-27 microbial disruption (dysbiosis),28-30 and bone fracture.19,31-33 And taking these drugs in high doses is associated with a 2.6-fold higher risk of death.5
So the challenge has been to neutralize acid and other stomach contents specifically in the esophagus without reducing stomach pH balance. This would enable GERD sufferers to reduce their dose of PPI drugs or steer clear of them altogether
Friday, January 11, 2019
Alleviating heartburn without the use of drugs
Michael Downey writes in Life Extension magazine,