Treating Reflux and Heartburn naturally
by Diana Coxhead
Have you heard of PPIs?
PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors, for example, Oesomeprazole, Pantoprazole) suppress stomach acid production and are commonly prescribed for GORD (Gastro-Oesophageal Reflux Disease) to be used in short courses for treating gastric ulceration by doctors, amongst other things.
Earlier this year prescribing restrictions were placed on their use after 3 decades of mounting evidence of side effects e.g. nutritional deficiencies, gastrointestinal infections, bone fractures and also some rare but serious side effects. It is not a case of ‘set & forget’ or should I say ‘prescribe & forget’ (I refer you to the NPS, the National Prescribing Service, website for details).
A PPI may be well indicated for short term use but there are other ways of approaching the problem.
Simple things you can do to decrease reflux:
- Stop caffeine, nicotine & alcohol (these open the cardio-oesophageal sphincter making you more prone to reflux & erosion at the bottom of the oesophagus).
- Avoid big meals at night.
- Avoid fatty meals (fat delays the gastric emptying time)
- Avoid drinking at meal times.
- Take digestive herbs to optimise function e.g. dandelion coffee, peppermint tea, chamomile tea, ginger.
As we get older our digestive function diminishes and we need to learn how to look after it and optimise health. Why not pop in and see us for a personalised herbal formula to help? Or, we could develop a plan to help you restore your normal digestive function, using optimum food combining, enhancing your microbiome, foods for stress and help your recovery from disease.
Apart from the pain & discomfort of Reflux, untreated it can lead to a precancerous condition called Barrett’s Oesophagitis. This is serious and should be monitored by your doctor. People can also have ‘silent reflux’ which can send reflex nerve messages to your respiratory tract and heart, upsetting normal function of these tissues.
It really is in your best interest to optimise digestive function and is fundamental to whole body health. Remember, your body sends you messages in the form of symptoms for a reason- something is not working properly!
Good luck on your de-coding adventure!