Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a popular treatment for heartburn, with $14 billion in annual sales in the US alone.
The chemical names of this class of drugs typically ends in “—prazole” such as omeprazole or lansoprazole. Brand names include Nexium®, Prevacid® and Protonix®.
These drugs work by shutting down your stomach’s ability to produce acid—with less acid in the stomach to rise up in your throat, many people feel relief from heartburn.
But at the same time, crippling the acid producing capability of your stomach can lead to impaired digestion (because your stomach needs acid to break down proteins), vitamin B12 deficiency (since acid is needed for your body to assimilate B12), more susceptibility to food-borne illness (which stomach acid normally protects you against), imbalanced gut flora (a consequence of poor digestion) and susceptibility to fractures (due to poor digestion and nutrient absorption).
Unfortunately it doesn’t stop there.
Because a new study by researchers at Houston Methodist and Stanford University has shown that proton pump inhibitors increase the risk of heart attack in the general population by about 15 to 20 percent!
It’s easy to see why. Previous studies have shown that PPIs can damage the inner lining of blood vessels. Once blood vessel damage has occurred, inflammation can set in and eventually the damaged areas can become a magnet for plaque buildup.
If plaque buildup occurs in an artery that is servicing the heart, that’s a heart attack in the making.
Safer answers for heartburn
If you are on PPIs it may be time to have a conversation with your doctor about reducing your dose or weaning off them altogether.
And rest assured there are safer, natural remedies for heartburn that can help you feel a whole lot better—without the risks of impaired digestion or heart attack!
Here are six measures you can try:
1- Try foods to reduce heartburn:
- Fresh ginger root has been used since ancient times as a natural anti-inflammatory and a treatment for digestive conditions. It can be peeled, sliced, diced or grated.
- Licorice root is soothing to the mucous membranes of the GI tract and can promote healing. Look for deglycerrhized licorice (DGL licorice) supplements in health food stores.
- Slippery elm bark is another herb which soothes mucous membranes and has been used as a remedy for stomach problems for centuries by European and Native American cultures.
2- Quit smoking
The toxins and chemicals in cigarette smoke cause overproduction of acid in your stomach.
3- Try aloe vera
Aloe vera juice is another natural anti-inflammatory that can help soothe inflammation in the stomach or esophagus. Aloe vera is available at many health food stores and retail merchants.
4- Consider chiropractic treatment
The nerves along your spinal cord are closely tied with the vagus nerve, which wraps around your digestive organs. So having something awry with your spine can actually affect your digestion.
Many people have gotten tremendous relief from heartburn (and other digestive conditions) with chiropractic adjustments.
5- Encourage better digestion
This is the heart and soul of heartburn relief--preventing it to begin with!
When your body can efficiently break down all your foods, there is less chance of overproduction of acid that can come gliding up into your throat.
And your stomach contents can stay "where they belong" and move into the intestinal tract like they're supposed to, instead of getting burped up.
Better digestion is a reflection of the meals you eat and your level of digestive enzymes:
The meal part
When you structure your meals carefully and pair together the right foods so that your stomach and intestines can tackle them more easily, your digestion can improve DRAMATICALLY.
The Great Taste No Pain health system will guide you on exactly what to do. (Note: If you’re gluten free, Great Taste No Gluten is for you.)
Now don't worry -- you'll still be able to eat foods you love. You just need to be a little more careful about what you eat together so everything can be broken down more efficiently.
And both programs are loaded with delicious recipes that are sure to become some of your family's favorites.
The enzyme part
Heartburn and reflux can also be the result of too few digestive enzymes.
You see, after years eating hard-to-digest meals, you can diminished your body's ability to produce enough enzymes, because you've used up SO many trying to digest complex meals for so long.
Once this happens, you can’t wave a magic wand and make more.
Plus eating cooked foods can use up more of your body's enzymes because the naturally occurring enzymes in the food are reduced the more it’s cooked...so your body has to do more of the work.
Digestizol Max digestive enzyme formula can give your body a much-needed boost to help tackle whatever kinds of foods you eat.
Digestizol Max is loaded with 14 natural, plant-derived enzymes that will give your body a hand in breaking down everything you eat--proteins, starches, carbs, fiber and fats alike.
Digestion is a parasympathetic process, meaning your body must be in a relaxed, non-stressed state for it to be accomplished efficiently.
But if you instead eat when your sympathetic nervous system is in gear (such as when you're working, driving, upset, stressed, rushing, etc.) that can destroy your digestion and lead to heartburn.
So slow down and relax! Avoid eating in a stressed state. Make time for meals and don't eat on the run.
See for yourself the difference it can make to naturally help your body reduce GI inflammation and carry out digestion the way it was designed to…