Feeling the Burn?

Are you suffering from heartburn and reaching for an over-the-counter antacid or prescription acid blocker on a daily basis? Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), otherwise known as heartburn, is typically treated with a class of drugs called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or over-the-counter medications known as “antacids.” So, what’s wrong with that?

Too little stomach acid? It is reported that over 90 percent of people with “acid indigestion” are not making too much stomach acid but too little stomach acid, i.e. hypochlorhydria. Symptoms include bloating, belching, gas, indigestion, diarrhea or constipation. Not pleasant! Stomach acid not only plays a critical role in digestion but also helps to protect you from food poisoning, H. pylori and many other infections. In addition, in a Dutch study of more than 300,000 patients, it was found that users of heartburn and ulcer drugs such as Nexium, Pepcid and Prilosec faced almost double the risk of developing pneumonia after nearly three years of use. As stomach acid (HCL) is needed to not only break down proteins, but also absorb nutrients (especially calcium, iron, zinc, B12), taking PPIs long-term is linked to osteoporosis, anemia, increased risk of fracture, kidney problems and dementia. A study published in JAMA Neurology reported that the reduction of B12 caused by these drugs leaves the brain vulnerable to damage.

A Better Way: Enhance digestion, don’t disable it! If you suffer from occasional heartburn and acid indigestion, I would first advise discussing this with your healthcare professional. If digestive enzymes are recommended, let us help you choose a formula that is best suited for you. Herbs such as marshmallow (not the candy), slippery elm and aloe have soothing properties, while either plant-based enzymes or HCL may assist with the efficient digestion of protein, fats and carbohydrates. Support the body’s natural processes rather than suppress enzyme activity. Your gut will thank you for it!

An 80-year-old customer of ours was suffering from acid indigestion and refusing to take PPIs, knowing the side effects. After discussing her dilemma with Nick (favorite team member) she chose Acid Ease and DGL to support her digestion. She returned four days later to give Nick a big hug and thank him as her digestive problems completely resolved! Stop by The Natural Alternative and let our friendly staff assist you in finding the right digestive support for you. Find out “what better feels like!”

– Bobbi Conner, CNC, ACN, MH