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Originally published December 7 2009

Beware of side effects of PPI drugs in acid reflux (GERD) patients, warn doctors

by E. Huff, staff writer

(NaturalNews) A new commentary published in the November, 2009 issue of Otolaryngology - Head and Neck Survery warns doctors to be cautious when prescribing proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), drugs commonly recommended for reflux diseases such as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) and laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR). Research is revealing that acid is not the only contributor to reflux diseases and that PPIs are not always an effective treatment.

PPIs come with a slew of negative side effects that include inhibited calcium absorption that can lead to hip fractures, alteration of the gastric pH levels that can negatively affect vitamin B12 and iron assimilation, and increased propensity to develop certain types of diarrhea and pneumonia. For these reasons, researchers are urging doctors to carefully monitor patients prescribed these drugs.

In the past 20 years, there has been a four-fold increase in the number of people in Western countries seeking medical help for their reflux symptoms. As a result, there has been a corresponding increase in the volume of PPIs being administered despite the fact that they may often be causing more harm than good.

The study authors are encouraging doctors to weigh the pros and cons and carefully consider whether PPIs are necessary before prescribing them so freely. They implore doctors to consider venturing towards a more holistic approach in which dietary modifications and lifestyle changes are prescribed rather than drugs.

Mainstream medicine claims ignorance about the causes of acid reflux but it is increasingly clear that the over-processed, nutrient-deficient Western diet is to blame for the rapid increase in acid reflux problems among the population. For this reason, it is wise advice to consider a dietary reformation in response to acid reflux symptoms.

Regular intake of probiotic-forming foods like kefir, fermented fruits and vegetables, raw milk, yogurt, kombucha, and probiotic supplements will help tremendously in balancing the digestive system and eliminating the problems of over-acidity. Reducing carbohydrate intake while increasing intake of other foods like fruits and vegetables, nuts, and grass-fed meats may help to eliminate the symptoms of acid reflux as well.

Many people have had great success treating acid reflux symptoms with apple cider vinegar. Highly inexpensive and incredibly alkaline-forming, apple cider vinegar is an excellent addition to one's daily health regimen. Keeping digestive enzyme supplements on hand for use as needed is another great option; they work great in a pinch and will not damage the body like PPIs do.

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