Acid reflux is a big problem in the United States and around the world. It is also known as "Reflux Esophagitis" and is considered to be a inflammation of the esophagus caused by the regurgitation of gastric juices(stomach acid) from the stomach into the lower esophagus. One of the most common symptoms of acid reflux is "heartburn." As much as ten percent of the entire adult population of the United States suffers from heartburn on a daily basis. Naturally, a lot of people want natural cures for acid reflux.
More severe cases of acid reflux are called GERD which stands for Gastroesophageal Refluc Disease. This is similar to acid reflux, which just about all people experience at one point or another, but it becomes chronic and recurrent. If it goes untreated it can cause serious health problems.
The treatments most people use for acid reflux and GERD are drugs which are supposed to suppress the acid. All of the drugs you see on TV are marketed some kind of magic miracle cure that will completely cure heartburn. As you might have guessed this is a huge business and these medicines are huge money makers for drug companies. For example, Prilosec become the best selling prescription drug for senior citizens all across the world. This made its manufacturer six billion dollars a year. AstraZeneca also created Nexium and spent millions of dollars marketing it just because their original patent on Prilosec ran out.
While this may not seem like a problem on the surface it is important the point out that many experts have run studies which concluded that Nexium isn't any more effective than Prilosec at all. The entire thing was a marketing move only to keep their patients on a drug which they had complete control over and no other competing company could produce. These drugs begin to look like less of a necessity to keep you in good health and more of a way to increase a multinational corporations profits.
The truth is that drugs are rarely, if ever, the best solution to taking care of common stomach problems such as ulcers and acid reflux. You can argue that Prilosec and Nexium are very good at what they do and there is no reason to switch over a natural cure for acid reflux. However, most studies have shown that these drugs don't solve problems of acid reflux at all and in fact might even make it worse.
There are a lot of drugs on the market which work the same way as Prilosec. They are called "proton pump inhibitors". There are also drugs such as Zantac, pepcid, and tagament which are called H2 blocker agents. Some experts have argued that these are terrible drugs to put into your bodies.
This is for a very good reason. These types of drugs are used to reduce the amount of hydrochloric acids in your stomach. This will have a few different effects. First of all it will begin to diminish your ability to properly digest your food. This also hurts your ability to fight food born illnesses. This is because hydrochloric acid is one of your bodies defense mechanisms against these illnesses. That means that your chances of food poisoning increase significantly when you are on these types of drugs. Of course, there are other problems as well. When you don't digest your food in the correct way as the result of having less acid in your stomach your will increase your risk of several other types of degenerative diseases. There have been atleast two major studies by Howard Hughes Medical Institute and the second at the University Of Michigan Medical School which showed that performed tests on mice using these drugs. They showed pretty conclusively that reducing the amount of hydrochloric acid is the absolute wrong approach to curing acid reflux.
Many people have forgotten about it already but only a few years ago there was a drugh called Propulsid on the market. This was a commonly prescribed drug for acid reflux and a lot of people were using it. It was later pulled because it was actually causing many of its users to die.
Natural Cures For Acid Reflux
As you can see using prescription drugs are probably not the best answer to curing your acid reflux problems. There are a lot of natural cures for acid reflux which you can consider. In the end these will not only help you take care of your acid reflux but also make you a much healthier person.
But where should you start? One of the first things you can do is get on a detoxification diet, begin drinking a lot of water everyday-preferably about one gallon of high quality filtered water- and begin taking some form of quality probiotics. This will go a long ways towards helping your body get back its natural balance in the stomach. Drinking water is highly beneficial to the body. You should drink enough water that your urine is always a light shade of yellow. Yes, you will have to go to the bathroom much more often when you drink this much water. The reason water is so effective is that it can dilute the acids in your stomach and help them return to a much more normal PH level.
There are a few other things you can do as well. Many people find a lot of relief from herbs such as Artemisia asiatica which is from wormwood and others eat garlic. It should become one of the foods that you eat every single day. Garlic does a great job of helping your bowel flora as well as killing dangerous food born pathogens you might be having trouble with if you have acid reflux. You need to make sure that you take the garlic a certain way however. You need to make sure that it is fresh, not dried, and it needs to be crushed up. You can chew on it, which I'm not sure I would recommend, or you can crush it up with a spoon or other utensil before eating it.