You don’t need a pill to treat acid reflux. In fact, the pills most often prescribed by doctors don’t work and are often harmful to you.
One of the biggest myths of treating acid reflux is that it can only be managed by prescription. This isn’t true. We treat acid reflux every day without a single prescription or over-the-counter reflux medication.
As naturopaths, we treat from the inside out, while your regular doctor treats from the outside in. He or she treats symptoms, and we treat causes.
We’ve all been sold the myth that the only way to help acid reflux is taking a drug. We see it on television and in magazines. The drug companies use celebrity spokespeople to sell medications that don’t work.
The most common treatment for acid reflux is a proton pump inhibitor, or PPI, such as Prevacid, Prilosec, and Nexium. These pills reduce gastric acid, which makes no sense, because the true cause of acid reflux is too little stomach acid.
Taking proton pump inhibitors sets the patient up for failure from the start because of the erroneous belief that excess acid causes reflux. They may help reduce symptoms to start with, but acid reflux returns in most people, and long-term use of these medications has harmful side effects, such as esophageal cancer, bone loss, and Barrett’s esophagitis.
In fact, each of the PPIs comes with a warning that they are for short-term use only—no more than 14 days per year. Most people use them daily for years.
Another type of medication often prescribed for acid reflux is a histamine type 2 blocker, also known as an H2 blocker. You may know these as Pepcid AC, Tagamet, or Zantac. These pills also decrease the acid in your stomach, which doesn’t help the problem. Most people with acid reflux reach for antacids first, and they merely mask the symptoms.
Some doctors prescribe antibiotics to help your stomach work more effectively, but the long-term use of antibiotics is dangerous and unnecessary. Prokinetics are another group of medications used to treat acid reflux by helping the stomach process food more quickly, giving less time for acid reflux to occur.
Their side effects are unpleasant and include depression, mobility problems, and diarrhea.
As if these dangerous drugs weren’t enough, your doctor can refer you for acid reflux surgery! These operations focus on the stomach and the esophagus and try to fix something that isn’t broken. Often, doctors believe the digestive system of someone with acid reflux is faulty and needs to be corrected. Other doctors believe that acid reflux cannot be corrected, merely managed.
Again, none of this is true. Acid reflux can be controlled and corrected with simple lifestyle changes. When you have enough acid to digest food and keep the esophageal sphincter closed, you have conquered acid reflux.
Acid reflux can be treated with natural means and simple diet and lifestyle changes. The Cure Your Acid Reflux team will customize a solution for you based on your current symptoms and current habits.
You’ll learn about proper nutrition and supplementation, which will lead you to better health. You’ll discover any food sensitivities you may have, and you’ll learn about gut bacteria and how you can replenish them.
And best of all, no more burning throat and no side effects from medication. Contact us today to get started.