Heartburn relief — Natural alternatives to Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid

In addition to the long-term health consequences, the body reacts to these medications by compelling the stomach to make more acid.

In addition to the long-term health consequences, the body reacts to these medications by compelling the stomach to make more acid.

by Dr. Julie Gorman — 

We often ignore the signals our bodies give us about a physical ailment. Heartburn is a prime example.

Most people regard heartburn as a nuisance or an antacid deficiency and go to their doctors for stomach-acid-suppressing medications. The problem is that while these medications may provide temporary relief, they do not cure the problem. In fact, they actually worsen it.

When stomach acid production is blocked or neutralized with medications, it decreases our ability to digest food, impairs absorption of nutrients such as calcium and vitamin B-12, and lessens immune defenses, making the body more susceptible to pneumonia and other illnesses.

In addition to the long-term health consequences, the body reacts to these medications by compelling the stomach to make more acid. As more acid is produced, more heartburn follows, and a vicious cycle known as acid rebound begins.

Twenty-five million people suffer unnecessarily with daily heartburn. Whether heartburn is brought on by poor eating habits, food allergies, infection or as a side-effect of medications, simple dietary and lifestyle changes along with natural supplements can provide healing and lasting relief. Frequent heartburn should be evaluated by a doctor to rule out other more serious health conditions.

Tips for avoiding heartburn

  1. Diet — Avoid trigger foods such as coffee, alcohol, soda, tomatoes, onions, citrus, chocolate, peppermint, and spicy and fried foods.
  2. Change eating habits — Eat slowly and chew well. Avoid eating big meals, and eat dinner at least three hours prior to bedtime.
  3. Lifestyle changes — Stop smoking and lose weight, if necessary.
  4. Digestive enzymes — Take a complete enzyme formula with meals to help digest fats, proteins and carbohydrates.
  5. DGL licorice — Chewing and swallowing one to two tablets protects the stomach lining, and is also an excellent solution for patients who must take aspirin, NSAIDS, corticosteroids or osteoporosis medications.
  6. Aloe vera juice — Two tablespoons in a glass of water will help soothe the stomach.
  7. Acupuncture — Regular treatments can help relieve symptoms of “stomach fire” and promote balance in the body.

 

Dr. Julie Gorman is a naturopathic medical doctor who provides comprehensive care for a variety of digestive complaints. She can be reached at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine Center in Phoenix. 602-265-1774 or www.AIMcenterAZ.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 24, Number 6, December 2005/January 2006.

 

 

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