Heartburn Medicines Destroy Health
A u.s. Department of Health and Human Services’ survey found 60% of the adult population experience heartburn (referred to as GERD) within a 12 month period; and 20% of people have weekly heartburn symptoms. This resulted in nearly 64 million prescriptions given for GERD in 2009. The majority of these prescriptions were for heartburn drugs called PPI’s – which stands for proton pump inhibitors.
Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid are the most commonly prescribed PPIs. These drugs work by reducing acid production in the stomach. Unfortunately giving drugs to reduce acid is the exact opposite of what people with heartburn need. Heartburn is caused by not having enough stomach acid, NOT too much. Usually heartburn occurs when the muscular valve where the esophagus and stomach meet stays open. The signal that closes this valve is the flow of more stomach acid. When people aren’t making enough stomach acid this valve stays open allowing slightly acidic stomach contents to splash back into the esophagus causing the heartburn symptoms.
Lack of stomach acid is bad for our health. It results in incomplete digestion of our food, poor nutrition, and upsets the balance of the important good and bad bacteria in our gut. Our immune system starts with having enough stomach acid as our first line of defense against food poisoning.
PPI drugs are linked to pneumonia, increased risk of bone loss and fractures, and chronic diarrhea. PPI drugs may seem to relieve the heartburn symptoms but are dangerous to our long term health! Integrative medicine practitioners understand the importance of stomach acid and how heartburn develops. I urge you to learn more so you can taper off these health robbing heartburn drugs. There are natural ways to address the root cause and restore your stomach acid levels.
If you’re ready for a new approach to your heartburn problem, call my office today to schedule your free screening visit.
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