One Step At A Time
Join me each month as I share insights from my journey to non toxic living.
Acid Reflux and Natural Treatments
So this is a biggy for me. As a result of some chemotherapy damage to my lower esophagus, I developed some intermittent acid reflux about 8 years ago. My doctor prescribed Prilosec and told me I would need to be on it for the rest of my life. Hmm….
Fast forward to several years ago when as part of my non-toxic journey I began asking some of my alternative practitioners about other healthy options for treating acid reflux. As you know, I’m not crazy about taking medication unless absolutely necessary. My Boston acupuncturist recommended that I check out DGL or black, chewable licorice flavored tablets containing enzymes that actually stimulate and accelerate the natural protective aspects in one’s digestive tract. I’ve been using them in addition to my Prilosec regimen for several years. Two years ago I made the big leap from taking Prilosec twice per day to just once in the morning when I wake up. And then a month ago I had to make another big decision.
Recent bloodwork revealed less absorption of essential nutrients that I was eating. My nutritionist suggested that the Prilosec might be limiting my absorption and asked if I would consider going off the Prilosec altogether since studies show that long term use of these type of antacids can contribute to bone loss, hip fractures, pneumonia and other serious intestinal infections.
For the past month, this is how I’ve been working to slowly wean myself off Prilosec: I started by reducing my daily dosage, mostly by staggering-one day on, one day off and so on. I am currently at one day on and four days off. I’ve also been supplementing my diet with DGL licorice tablets, Mastic Gum and apple cider vinegar, and increasing my probiotic dosage. The goal: to heal the stomach, and increase nutrient absorption while reducing my Prilosec dosage.
While it would be great to completely get off the Prilosec I feel it’s also important to check with my doctor given the nature of my earlier diagnosis. Perhaps there’s a happy medium, once in which I continue with a minimal dosage of Prilosec AND continuing natural supplementation.
I have had mostly good luck but not without some stomach discomfort along the way. I know I’m “re-working” things in my gut and it’s part of the process. I welcome feedback from you, my readers, as to any of your challenges and successes with moving away from western medications as a way to treat Acid Reflux.
Peace and Good Health!
Top 15 Healthy Grilling Tips!
Most of us are enjoying our grills this summer season, whether your food of choice be meat or veggies. No one wants salmonella from uncooked meat, poultry, or seafood, but let’s also make sure we aren’t ingesting toxins from overcooked, burnt food or inhaling carcinogenic smoke either.
The American Cancer Society notes that cooking meat at high temperatures can create chemicals that may increase your cancer risk. In fact, one study linked regular consumption of charred, well-done meat with a 60 percent increase in pancreatic cancer (University of Minnesota). Did you know the smoke from our grills contains toxic chemicals that we inhale when we’re standing over our grills?
The Burning Question (no pun intended!)
Are there ways to enjoy grilling meat in a more healthy way? The answer is YES!
Carol and I have enjoyed your blog very much for a long time now. We think it is a wonderful source of valuable information and presented in a very professional manner.
I found your GERD very interesting because I have the same problem. I’ve been on Pepcid (also a proton pump inhibitor) for probably 15 years or more. Because of a Washington Post article about these drugs, and the increased risk of heart attack. I asked my doc to put me on something else. He slowly weened me off Pepcid and put me on ZANTAC (ranitidine) 300mg, one tab at bedtime. That was about 3 months ago, and I’m doing OK with it. Sometimes, especially at night, I need to supplement with a Tums or two, but that’s it. I will investigate the DGL licorice tabs, and the other suggestions you offer. Dick W-Maine
I chose not to take Prilosec, Zantac or Pepcid. It may be a mistake, but during my research to find a more natural alternative for GERD, one strong opinion was to take none of it, as well as raise the head of your mattress 6 or more inches (which I’ve done by sliding 2 foot long wooden wedges under my mattress). The single best solution I’ve found so far was Aloe Vera Juice. I dilute a couple ounces with 2/3’rds more water and guzzle it down. The stuff seems to work well, and I think it’s worth bumping up the frequency given its overall health benefits. Thanks for the licorice suggestion too… I’m hoping to find it at the health food store next time I go.