by Joan Haynes, NMD
Up at night with heartburn? Worried about the side effects of acid blocking prescriptions? Learn what other options you can explore to tame the discomfort and optimize your digestion and thereby your overall health.
Conventional medicine offers patients little insight into the cause of heartburn and instead puts a band aid on the problem by prescribing stomach acid-blocking medications such as Pepcid and Nexium. Often patients take these medications for many years, leading to nutritional deficiencies and diseases such as osteoporosis and dementia. There are other options.
Here are factors your naturopathic physician considers in patients with heartburn:
- Evaluate food and lifestyle factors
- Improve digestion
- Evaluate for low stomach acid See Reflux: Could You Have Low Stomach Acid?
- Consider enzymes, bitters, bile acids
- Asses stress reduction needs
- Correct nutritional deficiencies
- Screen for gallbladder and pancreatic problems
- Soothe and repair inflamed tissue with natural remedies
- Screen for H. pylori and dysbiosis – imbalance in the gut flora
- Evaluate for hiatal hernia
- Promote smoking cessation if needed
- Evaluate if weight loss is needed
- Screen for more serious diseases such as ulcers or inflammation in esophagus
Reducing or eliminating acid blocking medications can be uncomfortable and even impossible without laying the proper foundation for healing. It often helps to get professional help through the many variables – the naturopathic physicians at Boise Natural Health Clinic can all help navigate your way to pain-free digestion.