Is it true that long-term use of proton pump inhibitor (PPI) medicines for heartburn can cause heart attacks? Recent research suggests that there could be an increased risk. But remember correlation is not causation. However, their habitual use can cause addiction, and stopping their use abruptly can cause a major symptom flair-up. H2 blocker drugs such as Tagamet and Zantac may not have this risk.
But there’s more to this story. Putting aside the possibility that products such as Prilosec and Nexium can cause heart attacks there are many other issues and many patients who are using drugs like these for heartburn really should not be using them at all!
The vast majority of patients who suffer from acid reflux disease will frequently have not enough stomach acid. Let me repeat that, NOT ENOUGH stomach acid which interferes with proper digestion and causes reflux.
By giving patients things such as digestive enzymes and acid products we can eliminate GERD in many cases. Some patients also have problems with bacteria such as the h.pylori which is responsible for causing ulcers. H. pylori can be part of the normal flora of the stomach, but it can cause problems including acid reflux if there’s too much of it. Taking additional digestive acid supplements such as betaine hydrochloride, we can kill the extra bacterial overgrowth and help normalize stomach function which will help eliminate the reflex symptoms.
Other conditions such as food allergies and hiatal hernias can be responsible for reflux as well. In our practice, we use many drug-free strategies including acupuncture, apple cider vinegar, aloe juice to calm the stomach, slippery elm, deglycerized licorice, etc., to help these patients with alternatives to drugs. If acupuncture and natural medicine measures fail, the patient should be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.
So if you are interested in a healthy lifestyle makeover and eliminating your symptoms of acid reflux you should contact our office acupuncture and integrative medicine offices in Davie, Boca Raton and Pompano Beach, for a complimentary consultation. You can also visit us on the web at www.drscottdenny.com.