What Seems Like A Minor Health Problem Can Snowball Into Irreversible Health Decline
Acid reflux or heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest or throat, caused by stomach acid touching the lining of the esophagus (the esophagus is the passage that travels from the mouth to the stomach).
Since healthy individuals may also experience light reflux – occasional heartburn is not a medical issue that needs to be addressed.
Acid reflux disease however, also known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or GERD; is where a person suffers from heartburn persistently.
Some GERD sufferers may also experience:
- Bad breath
- Morning hoarseness
- Voice changes
- Difficulty swallowing (especially lumpy foods)
- Chronic earache
- Burning chest pains
- A sensation of food being stuck, choking or tightness in the throat
Damage of the Lower Esophegeal Sphincter (LES)
Some people suffer from GERD as a result of a lower esophageal sphincter (LES) malfunction.
The LES is a 3-cm to 4-cm ring of muscle that acts as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. When the LES does not close perfectly – stomach acid splashes up into the esophagus.
There are several factors/conditions, which can prevent the LES from being closed properly.
- Over-eating and obesity – Pressure from over-eating and obesity causes the LES to lose its shape, strength and ability to close properly.
- Some medications – There are certain medications that reduce the LES’s ability to do its job properly such as:
- Blood pressure medications
- Iron and Potassium supplements
- Sleeping pills
- Anxiety medications
- Angina medications
- Asthma medications
- Smoking – The tar from smoking damages the LES.
4. Alcohol – Although alcohol can be a GERD trigger for many people, it also relaxes the LES which allows stomach acid to rise into the esophagus.
Omeprazole (Proton Pump Inhibitors) Warning
Omeprazole is a GERD 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.
Some users may have noticed the warning but chose to ignore it because they are unwilling to make the lifestyle changes needed to naturally treat their GERD at its root cause.
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.
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.
According to Drugs.com, long term use of Omeprazole can inflame the pancreas (pancreatitis).
Long-standing inflammation in your pancreas can lead to pancreatic cancer (mayoclinic).
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 humans that stomach (gastric) acid suppression alters specific gut bacteria in a way that promotes liver injury and progression of three types of chronic liver diseases.
Gut Flora Disruption
Long term users of Omeprazole have decreased diversity of gut flora (good gut bacteria).
A healthy gut flora has been proven to be essential for physical and mental wellbeing.
Research reveals that an unhealthy gut biome (gut dysbiosis) is associated with a long list of different ailments, including inflammatory, autoimmune, metabolic, neoplastic and neurodegenerative diseases.
Proton Pump Inhibitor (PPI) Use Causes Weight Gain
A clinical research team from Japan examined the effects of long-term proton pump inhibitor (PPI) therapy on body weight in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). They concluded long-term PPI treatment was associated with weight gain in patients with GERD.
A study published in August 2016 suggests that PPIs increase the risk of heart attack.
Seventeen RCTs covering 7540 patients were selected. The pooled data suggested that the use of PPIs 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.
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.
Chronic inflammation. 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 a 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
Also known as Mylanta, 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 like Tums 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 flora, increases inflammation, and limits your absorption of vitamins and minerals.
Natural Remedies 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 (‘sodium’ is 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!
Turmeric. In traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine, turmeric is prized for its strong anti-inflammatory properties.
According to a 2007 study, chronic acid reflux (GERD) is caused by inflammation and oxidative stress. The report suggested that GERD should 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.
Chronic heartburn is a symptom of an imbalance in your stomach. If you only treat the symptoms, you’ll never be free of the problem.
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).
Treat Chronic Acid Reflux At Its Root Cause For Good!
If you’re tired of only treating the symptoms and want to naturally fix the problem for good, then it’s worth checking out “Heartburn No More” by Jeff Martin.
Jeff is a former severe acid reflux sufferer who reveals the only holistic system in existence that shows you how to permanently cure your acid reflux, achieving lasting freedom from most digestive disorders and regain your natural inner balance using a unique 5-Step Method
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