First of all, acid reflux is not a disease. It is an acquired condition that can be completely healed by eating properly. I wonder if people had acid reflux, GERD, and heartburn a thousand years ago. I sincerely doubt it. I believe it is a symptom of the quality of the food we eat today, our eating habits, and the stressful times in which we live.
People who eat convenience food on the run can’t expect to enjoy proper digestion. Proper digestion requires chewing food well and not diluting the digestive juices with liquids, the worst of these being carbonated beverages. And of course, all the fat associated with convenience food makes the situation worse. Most people who go to fast food chains eat a burger with fries and a large soda. The employees are trained to push the soft drinks on the customers. They look at you as if you are nuts if you opt to skip the big soft drink.
People today are always in a hurry, always late, both parents working and commuting to those jobs. There seems to be no time to shop for and prepare quality food. Children are forced to be self-sufficient from an early age. They prepare their own meals, microwaving food that has little food value and is loaded with sodium and fat.
We are raising a generation of future acid refluxers. The parents are no better off, grabbing junk food to eat in the office. No wonder so many people suffer from acid reflux. I’m sure that the big pharma is thrilled at the prospects of future sales.
The medical community wants us to believe that only prescription drugs are the answer to the symptoms of indigestion. Of course, this is not true. Antacids are, at best, a temporary fix and they are loaded with harmful ingredients such as sodium and aluminum. PPI drugs (proton pump inhibitors) like Nexium and Prilosec should only be used for eight weeks, at most. It says so right on the package, but after eight weeks what are we to do? Furthermore, these drugs only mask and hide the symptoms and have hundreds of harmful side effects. They don’t heal the condition! They only make the drug makers rich at our expense!
I used to suffer from acute GERD. I confess that I too ate on the run. I didn’t chew my food properly. I washed everything down with soda and became addicted to a PPI drug – that purple pill. It was so easy and convenient. I could abuse my body and not suffer for it. I thought that drug was my salvation until that illusion came crashing down on me.
After several years of taking this drug, my condition became worse and I was told to double the dose. I began to feel sluggish and tired. My vision suffered and my blood pressure soared. I realized that these were probably side effects of this PPI drug. Perhaps I was suffering from malnutrition? How does the body digest and assimilate food without stomach acid?
I did a computer search and found that there were hundreds of possible side effects. I was shocked at what I found! I was harming my body and I wanted to stop taking this drug! But when I tried to stop taking the PPI, the acid pumps, which had been shut off, went wild and produced more acid than ever before.
I can’t tell you how much I suffered. My esophagus was constantly burning and l feared that I would suffer permanent damage. I couldn’t sleep at night. I was afraid to eat or drink anything but water. My friends didn’t understand my problem. They would call and say, “Let’s go out for Southwestern barbeque”. Of course, I couldn’t. I loved to eat hot chili sprinkled with raw onions and jack cheese, but it was now my worst nightmare. My life was becoming unbearable!
No Help From The Doctor
I was determined to beat this illness. My doctor couldn’t help me – no one could tell me what to do. I had to heal myself. I became completely dedicated to finding the answers. I studied and researched. I wanted to discover naturopathic treatments as opposed to drugs. I searched high and low for natural remedies that might actually cure acid reflux. I tried every possible remedy and healthy diet I could find. I made myself a virtual guinea pig.
In the end, I found that the answers to the acid reflux problem are really quite simple. With a few changes in lifestyle and with the help of natural remedies, one can absolutely beat the acid reflux syndrome, without the use of drugs.
Remember, that the reason this condition exists in the first place, is due to a damaged esophagus. Let the esophagus heal by not eating the same foods in the same way that caused the damage. Losing weight, exercising, chewing properly, drinking sufficient amounts of water, and elevating the head at night, are all simple things that anyone can do to improve this condition.
There are also many natural ingredients found in any health store, which can help during, what I call, the acid reflux recovery period. Herbs, such as slippery elm and marshmallow have wonderful healing properties. Aloe vera juice, licorice, and natural honey can soothe the esophagus and assist in the healing process.