- Nutritional Vitamins & Supplements
The Best Cure for Acid Reflux
If you're experiencing sharp prolonged pain in your chest, and/or lower neck, but have a normal heart rate, there's a strong chance you're experiencing acid reflux. You may be shocked when I recommend this, but if the pain has been going on for more than several hours, and you're certain your pulse is normal, but you're finding yourself with your hand against your chest constantly, and worried and concerned over what the problem may be, and whether or not your life may be endangered, I would encourage you to finish reading this article BEFORE contacting your physician. Thousands of people every year are astonished to discover through their medical physicians that a chest and/or lower neck pain they thought might be life-threatening was merely the result of acid reflux. However, what a lot of these people probably don't know is that many of the drugs their physicians prescribe to treat this pain actually treat acid reflux about the same way alcohol treats depression, (i.e: an unhealthy temporary solution which, in the long run, can actually make the problem grow worse).
I was one of these people when I was younger, having experienced my first severe acid reflux attack at age nineteen. Realizing it wasn't going away on its own, and not knowing what to ultimately do about it, I eventually scheduled an appointment with a doctor. The doctor I visited on this occasion informed me, much to my satisfaction, that the problem was an ulcer. (In retrospect I don't believe it was an ulcer, but rather merely acid reflux caused by an unhealthy and unbalanced diet. However, the medically prescribed treatments for both situations were, and probably still are, typically very similar). In this situation, my doctor prescribed Zantac, which was available only by prescription at the time, but is currently available OTC. After only a few days of taking Zantac, I was amazed and relieved to discover the problem had completely vanished. Convinced Zantac was a wonder-drug with regards to this particular pain, when the problem returned about a year later, (when Zantac was available OTC), I took Zantac once again with the same success as I had experienced the prior year. However, the problem kept periodically returning, oftentimes a year or so after relieving it with Zantac.
At age thirty I began to notice a rash develop on various parts of my body after taking Zantac. Believing I had developed some sort of allergic reaction to this drug, I discovered a new drug for acid reflux called Prilosec, which was also available OTC. I saw a couple of doctors at this time as well for the problem, as the symptoms were the worst I had ever experienced, and I wondered if it was more than just pain that resulted from a common stomach ulcer. After being informed that my blood and heart were both healthy, both doctors recommended I continue taking Prilosec. Heeding this advice, after several weeks of taking Prilosec I noticed, much like with Zantac, it worked to resolve the pain, but only temporarily. And when the problem returned, it was oftentimes more severe than on previous occasions.
It wasn't until I began thoroughly researching acid reflux, (at age thirty-one), that I began to realize the drugs I had been taking, (both designed to either reduce or block acid production within the stomach), were actually making the problem worse in the long run. I discovered that stomach acid is a substance very much needed to break down foods for proper digestion, especially red meats, which I ate a lot of at that time. To reduce or block it's production only makes digestion far more difficult, which in the long run can lead to more severe acid reflux.
Determined to treat my acid reflux properly, and to prevent it from ever reoccurring, I consulted with an Herbalist at this time, who recommended food enzyme supplements to help assist with digestion, and probiotics to develop a healthier digestive tract. After informing the Herbalist that I oftentimes ate only one large meal per day, consisting of mostly, or entirely meat, and oftentimes washed it down exclusively with cola, and very little water, the Herbalist opined that it was more likely a poorly balanced diet, and too many unhealthy beverages, than an ulcer that was responsible for the acid reflux I had been experiencing. After suggesting three balanced meals per day to keep the digestive tract busy, the Herbalist recommended I eat less red meat and more vegetables, as red meat is far more difficult to digest. The Herbalist also advised me to develop a better balanced diet. In addition to following these instructions, I gave up alcohol and coffee for close to a year, and stopped drinking cola entirely, (replacing it with far more water).
In the months that followed these changes, I found myself reviewing Nature's Sunshine catalogs, or at GNC every couple of months purchasing inexpensive food enzymes and probiotics, which I took as instructed, (many of these products can be purchased through the internet at Amazon.com, eBay, and other online shopping sites as well). Not consuming coffee or alcohol would have seemed like difficult sacrifices during this time, but considering the severity of my most recent acid reflux attack, I avoided these two unhealthy beverages quite easily. I eventually began bringing small to moderate amounts of alcohol and coffee back into my diet, after the symptoms had subsided for a number of months, but have not went back to drinking cola throughout the entire eight years that have followed. Understanding that the body needs frequent cleansing, I imagined what would happen to clothing or automobiles if they were cleansed in cola instead of pure water, and realized that, with the exception of perhaps green tea, only pure water could cleanse the system the way it needs to be cleansed.
While I made numerous changes and sacrifices to combat acid reflux, today I extend the most credit for my success in preventing acid reflux entirely throughout the past eight years on my decision to boycott the medically recommended drugs I had taken when I was younger, (i.e. Zantac and Prilosec). I would strongly recommend to anyone suffering from acid reflux symptoms now to resist the urge to start taking medically recommended drugs for fast relief. This is no different than cheating at something for a profit, knowing there's a good chance you'll eventually get caught. In other words, it's beneficial if you're only concerned about the present, but detrimental if you have any concerns about the future, which I'm sure most people would agree is the time frame we should all be the most concerned about. The treatment I found to be proper requires time and patience, but it works with permanent results. It's the only treatment I would recommend if you're certain your chest and/or lower neck pain is the exclusive result of acid reflux. While I don't approve of many of the drugs doctors prescribe for this type of pain, if there's any doubt whatsoever regarding the cause of the pain you may be experiencing, a visit to your doctor would still nonetheless be advised.
I currently enjoy a healthy and delicious diet, consisting of plenty of red meats, fruits, vegetables, and spicy foods as well, (as I'm convinced the notion that spicy foods cause acid reflex is a complete myth). I drink alcohol moderately on occasions, and have coffee just about every morning. I'd say perhaps the biggest differences in my diet now from my diet of ten years ago is my habit of drinking at least twelve cups of water per day, and avoiding colas entirely. (I can honestly say, I don't miss the syrupy sweet black poison to the human digestive system in the slightest). I also eat three balanced meals per day for the benefit of my digestive system as, much like the mind, a digestive system needs to stay occupied to remain healthy. I no longer take the food enzymes and probiotics, but would recommend them to anyone experiencing acid reflux symptoms, as your digestive system may be in need of some assistance until you get the problem under control. I feel healthy today, and I assure you, with a little time, patience, and determination, you can too.