Do you take a lot of acid blockers for acid reflux? If so, read on, there might be a solution to your reflux that can help you use those pesky antacids less.
Why worry about taking frequent acid blockers?
Proton-pump inhibitor medications like Prilosec (omeprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole), and Prevacid (lansoprazole) can block your body’s absorption of important vitamins and minerals. Your body NEEDS these vitamins and minerals to function optimally. Daily consumption of Proton-pump inhibitors has been associated with increased risk for pneumonia, neuropathy, and specifically Vitamin B12 deficiency. Arguably, they are one of the most addicting prescription medications available. The recommendation is to take proton-pump inhibitors for no longer than 6 weeks, but most people who start taking them never stop. This is a problem!
So, what can we do to limit our intake of proton-pump inhibitors?
1. Stress management : ain’t no lie, stress is at an all-time high in this culture of COVID-19 and increasing social media use. When the body is stressed, it is using its sympathetic nervous system, the so-called “fight-or-flight” system. The counterpart to the sympathetic nervous system is the parasympathetic nervous system, the “rest-and-digest” system. Let me say that again : REST and DIGEST. Your body digests food well when you are calm and focused on the task at hand (eating). So, my number one suggestion is to take a minute to de-stress before you eat. Put your phone down and focus on eating. Otherwise, your body will have more trouble digesting its food and some of that food may come back up your esophagus if it can’t digest properly.
2. Magnesium – Some people have trouble with the relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle that allows food to get into your stomach). This can be for a variety of reasons, but sometimes it’s just a simple lack of magnesium in the diet. Our American soil is not rich in Magnesium like it used to be and we get suboptimal levels of it in our diet. This is why Magnesium has been in my top 5 supplement list for several years. We need it. We especially need it for relaxation of smooth muscle and, if you have gastric reflux, you need it to help food get down into your stomach and stay there.
3. Natural Supplements to try : Zinc carnosine (150mg daily), Cetraxate HCl (800mg daily), Slippery Elm (400mg daily) and Licorice (300mg daily). The naturopath nerd inside me loves these. These supplements have been shown in well-conducted studies to coat, protect, and even heal the stomach lining. Try them for at least 8 weeks to see if you can wean down on proton-pump inhibitors or fix a reflux issue.
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