What Seems Like A Minor Health Problem Can Snowball Into Irreversible Health Decline
Occasional heartburn is not a medical issue… so popping an antacid now-and-then to relieve the pain is fine…
But when acid reflux becomes chronic, it’s your body’s way of telling you of an issue that needs to be addressed.
But for the sake of convenience, most people ignore the warning signs and continue to mask the symptoms with a pill.
It’s kind of like taking a strong painkiller for a painful in-grown toenail… the pain will disappear for a while… but if the toenail isn’t treated, the agony returns as soon as the painkillers wear off.
It’s the same with acid reflux… if you mask the symptoms with medication and never address the problem… it will keep coming back, and the root-cause of the problem will only get worse.
While doctors wouldn’t dream of prescribing strong painkillers for an in-grown toenail… 170 million prescriptions for acid reflux are filled every year… and that’s just for America alone.
The crazy thing is, that acid reflux can be treated naturally… and the added benefits of treating the problem at its root cause are INCREDBILE.
What a lot of people don’t realize it that acid reflux medication is only meant to be taken for occasional heartburn.
If you read the small print for all kinds of acid reflux medications, you’ll find that the FDA warns to only take these meds for short periods of time.
Ignoring these warnings can come with some serious side effects.
Proton Pump Inhibitor Warning
Omeprazole is an acid reflux medication… which is the third most prescribed drug in the US.
It’s classified as a proton pump inhibitor (PPI), which is used to decrease the production of acid in the stomach.
Omeprazole comes with a warning – alerting users that Omeprazole shouldn’t be used for longer than 8 weeks at a time.
Unfortunately, most doctors don’t take the time to warn their patients the serious health problems that come with long term PPI use. To make matters worse, Big Pharma has been accused of playing-down the possible side effects (because it’s such a profitable market).
Here is a list of possible health problems that can arise from long-term Omeprazole use:
The pancreas is an organ responsible for the production of digestive enzymes.
The pancreas also produces insulin, a hormone important in the control of blood-glucose levels. Healthy blood glucose levels are incredibly important for maintaining a slim waistline.
In recent years, the use of proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s), especially omeprazole, has been associated with development of chronic kidney disease (CKD).
Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have discovered evidence in mice and in human studies that suppressed stomach-acid reduces good gut bacteria in a way that promotes liver injury… and can trigger three different types of chronic liver diseases.
Long term use of Omeprazole decreases diversity of good bacteria in the gut (known as the microbiome).
A healthy microbiome has been proven to be essential for physical and mental wellbeing. So much so, that the microbiome is considered and essential body organ.
Research reveals that an unhealthy microbiome (gut dysbiosis) is associated with a long list of different ailments, including inflammatory, autoimmune, metabolic, neoplastic and neurodegenerative (brain) diseases.
Ironically, an unhealthy microbiome is usually the original cause of acid reflux… taking omeprazole, masks the symptoms, and degrades the microbiome even further… making the user dependent to the drug.
A study published in August 2016 suggests that PPI’s increase the risk of heart attack.
Seventeen RCTs covering 7540 patients were selected. The pooled data suggested that the use of PPI’s was associated with a 70% increased cardiovascular risk.
Research concluded that Omeprazole could significantly increase the risk of cardiovascular events and, so, should be used carefully.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Use Can Cause Weight Gain
Have you noticed steady weight gain since you began taking PPI’s?
A clinical research team from Japan examined the effects of long-term proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy on body weight in patients with chronic acid reflux. They concluded long-term PPI treatment was associated with weight gain.
Reduced Ability To Absorb Vitamins And Minerals
Many vitamins and minerals require an acidic environment for optimal absorption. Iron, vitamin C, and vitamin B12 absorption are dependent on the intestine’s acidic environment.
Several studies and case reports describe associations of omeprazole with altered calcium, magnesium, and vitamin B12 absorption.
This is compounded by the fact that the microbiome (good bacteria) are needed for optimum vitamin absorption.
Persistent heartburn puts the body into a state of chronic inflammation.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Lawsuits
If lawyers are circling around PPI side effects like vultures… with some who even specialize in PPI grievances… we can only assume that the problem is worse than we think.
In 2016, AstraZeneca paid the United States Department of Justice a $7.9 million penalty for engaging in an alleged kickback scheme involving the sale of Nexium and Prilosec.
In 2015, AstraZeneca settled a national class action involving deceptive marketing of Nexium for the sum of $20 million.
In 2003, AstraZeneca faced allegations by the European Commission that the company provided false and misleading information in order to protect its patent on Losec (sold in the U.S. as Prilosec). After a two-year investigation, the Commission ordered AstraZeneca to pay a fine of €53 million (approximately $67.5 million USD).
In the court filings, lawyers argue the following:
- Nexium and Prilosec are defective and unreasonably dangerous.
- The manufacturers (including AstraZeneca, Proctor & Gamble, and Pfizer) were negligent in the production of the drug.
- The manufacturers failed to properly test the medication and failed to warn doctors and patients of certain risks.
- The manufacturers concealed evidence of the dangers from the government and the public and misrepresented the safety of the drug in its marketing material.
Aluminum Hydroxide and Magnesium Hydroxide Warning
This milky substance offers instant relief for acid reflux. But it is not recommended for long term use.
Aluminum is a highly toxic metal that accumulates in your system and can cause:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Liver and kidney failure
- Memory loss
- Aching muscles
- Speech disturbances
- Worsening gastrointestinal problems
Antacids seem like a relatively harmless over-the-counter drug. But like Omeprazole, they should only be taken for short periods of time.
Antacids neutralize stomach acid. As mentioned with the dangers of Omeprazole, low levels of stomach acid disrupt essential gut bacteria, increases inflammation, and limits your absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Prolonged acid reflux disease can lead to serious health complications. Those include:
- Inflammation of the esophagus resulting in scars from tissue damage
- Esophageal spasms
Or worse, ‘Barrett’s esophagus’ – a condition that manifest in an abnormal shape and color of cells in the esophageal lining. This condition is a precursor to esophageal cancer, especially in adults over 60 years old.
Esophageal cancer is the eighth most common cancer worldwide, accounting for 400,000 deaths each year.
A study by the International Journal of Cancer (IJC) revealed that a greater proportion of oesophageal cancer cases (compared to controls) used medications known for damaging the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).
Natural, Quick Fixes For Acid Reflux
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) is effective for instant acid reflux relief.
Half a teaspoon of baking soda dissolved into a four-ounce glass of water is the recommended dose for adults.
How does it work? Baking soda neutralizes stomach acid and temporarily relieves symptoms of acid reflux.
Although baking soda is great for instant relief, it is not recommended for daily, long term use because:
- It’s very high in salt
- Interference with calcium absorption is common
- Kidney damage and/or kidney stones are a risk
For this reason, this treatment should always be administered under doctor’s advice.
Ginger tea is one of the oldest Chinese remedies for digestive issues and a great temporary fix for acid reflux.
Ginger is proven to reduce inflammation. But If you take too much, you may make your symptoms worse.
Bananas are an alkaline fruit that helps neutralize acid in the stomach – ripe bananas are best!
Aloe vera. Evidence has shown that two tablespoons up to three times a day of both aloe vera juice and syrup may improve heartburn.
Turmeric. In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is prized for its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
According to a 2007 study, chronic acid reflux can be caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. The report suggested that acid reflux can be treated with anti-inflammatories and antioxidants.
Sleep on Your Left Side. Sleeping on your left side (called the “left lateral decubitus position”) may help you avoid heartburn during the night.
The esophagus enters the right side of the stomach. As a result, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) sits above the level of stomach acid when you sleep on your left side.
When you lay on your right side, stomach acid covers the LES. This increases the risk of acid leakage and causing heartburn.
Treat Chronic Acid Reflux At Its Root Cause For Good!
As mentioned before, acid reflux is commonly caused by an unhealthy gut microbiome.
The microbiome is a 2-5 pound mass of bacteria living in your gut.
As disgusting as that might sound… mountains of new research prove that a healthy microbiome, serves to maintain a long list of body functions.
You’ll be surprised to learn that these “good bugs” are responsible for:
- Maintaining optimum digestion
- Keeping you slim by regulating your metabolism
- Strengthening and supporting the immune system
- Producing and regulating hormones for mental clarity, feelings of happiness, and weight control
- Producing essential vitamins not found in the diet
- Promoting and retaining youthful looking skin
- Producing enzymes for digestion to give us long-lasting energy
- Maintaining a healthy inflammatory response so you feel great all the time
You’ll always have some bad bugs, but the good ones should dominate.
Modern living however, kills off the native, good bacteria in your gut… and the space that’s left behind gets taken over by bad bacteria… while preventing good bacteria from returning.
When the balance of your gut tips in the direction of bad bacteria, a wide range of digestion related diseases follow… such as acid reflux.
Bad bacteria don’t serve the body in any way… it simply grows like weeds… taking up space in your gut and making it tough for the remaining good bacteria to do its job properly.
So How Does An Unhealthy Microbiome Cause Acid Reflux?
An unhealthy gut microbiome is called gut dysbiosis… when there is too much bad bacteria, it can creep into the small intestine and create gasses.
This gas rises up and pushes acid from the stomach… up into the esophagus… resulting in that horrible burning feeling.
Acid reflux medications are responsible for the extinction of your good bacteria… making room for bad bacteria to grow and worsening your condition!
Acid reflux meds are designed to lower acid levels in in the stomach… which changes the pH levels of the gut… killing off good bacteria.
With lower acid levels, bad bacteria and fungus that would have otherwise been killed, pass into the gut where it begins to ferment and grow…
Take The Right Probiotics
If you suffer from chronic acid reflux… instead of reaching for a quick fix, you should consider restoring the health of your microbiome.
This can be done by taking probiotics.
The two most researched strains of probiotics that have been proven to treat acid reflux are:
Although these strains of probiotics are the best for treating acid reflux, they struggle to compete for space in the gut because of an overgrowth of bad bacteria. This means that it takes a very long time to feel any difference.
In the past, the only way to remove bad bacteria (without harming your good bacteria) was to starve them out… with controlled periods of fasting.
But now, science is fighting fire with fire… using a deadly virus that selectively kills bad bacteria only.
Check out this mind-blowing info page that explains how these deadly viruses are being used as ‘laser guided missiles’ to kill bad bacteria. Giving Lactobacillus acidophilus and Bifidobacterium lactis probiotics all the room they need to flourish…
Restoring the health of your microbiome and treating acid reflux at its root cause.