Heartburn is the worst feeling. That burning gnawing in your chest and throat can ruin your days, leaving you coughing and hoarse, and your nights as you toss and turn unable to sleep through the pain. It’s a miserable feeling.
So it’s really no wonder that in 2013 an estimated 15 million Americans alone were taking proton pump inhibiting drugs (PPIs)—such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid—designed to relieve heartburn symptoms by suppressing stomach acid. And that doesn’t even count the folks taking over-the-counter versions of these drugs.
But the evidence against taking PPIs has continued to pile up for years now.
PPIs can cause dangerous vitamin and mineral deficiencies that put you at risk for fractures and heart problems. They’ve been linked to vascular aging, which increases your risk for heart disease, heart attack and dementia.1,2,3
They may make it more likely for you to develop certain serious and even life-threatening infections such as pneumonia and C.diff.4 And a study published in early 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine concluded PPIs significantly raise your risk of developing chronic kidney disease.5
Stroke risk skyrocketed in PPI users!
Now a new Danish study has reached another startling conclusion about the consequences of using these drugs. According to the research presented at the American Heart Association 2016 Scientific Sessions in New Orleans, using PPIs could raise your risk of ischemic stroke by 20 percent.6
In other words, these drugs are bad news and if you’re already on one you should talk with your doctor about weaning yourself off of it. You should never just stop a PPI cold turkey because they can cause a wicked rebound effect, causing your heartburn to come rushing back worse than ever.
But you don’t have to simply suffer through the heartburn. In fact there are a number of effective home remedies that can quickly soothe the burning pain and even help keep it from coming back.
Following are six of our favorite drug-free solutions for relieving heartburn…
1. Raw potato juice:
Rinse a whole potato off and pop it into a juicer. Drink the potato juice for some instant soothing relief from heartburn pain.
2. Fresh pineapple and papaya:
Both of these tropical fruits contain enzymes that help break down food so it’s easier to digest. Pineapple contains betaine, an enzyme that helps break down proteins and papaya contains papain, which helps break down fiber. Eating the fresh fruits before or directly after a meal may stop heartburn before it even starts.
3. Fennel seed tea:
Steep about 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds in a cup of boiling water for two minutes and then sip until gone to reverse heartburn quickly.
4. Baking soda:
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon to a full teaspoon of baking soda in 8 ounces of cool water and drink slowly. The baking soda will help neutralize your stomach acid providing some quick relief. (If you’re salt sensitive you might want to avoid this one.)
5. Chewing gum:
If you’re prone to heartburn make a habit of chewing sugar-free stevia sweetened gum after every meal for thirty minutes. Chewing the gum will stimulate your salivary glands increasing saliva flow and diluting any acid build up.
6. Apple cider vinegar:
Believe it or not heartburn is often the result of having low stomach acid. Acid signals your lower esophageal sphincter to close so that partially digested food and acid don’t escape causing the burn we dread. So not having enough acid in your stomach may mean the sphincter remains partially open leading to heartburn. Mix a tablespoon of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar into a glass of cool water and sip before or during your meal.
1. “Proton Pump Inhibitors Accelerate Endothelial Senescence,” Circ Res. 2016 Jun 10;118(12):e36-42.
2. “Proton Pump Inhibitor Usage and the Risk of Myocardial Infarction in the General Population,” PLOS One, Published: June 10, 2015
3. “Proton Pump Inhibitors and the Risk of Adverse Cardiac Events,” PLOS One, Published: December 27, 2013
4. “Perils and pitfalls of long-term effects of proton pump inhibitors,” Expert Rev Clin Pharmacol. 2013 Jul;6(4):443-51.
5. “Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease,” JAMA Intern Med. 2016;176(2):238-246
6. “Abstract 18462: Proton Pump Inhibitor Use Increases the Associated Risk of First-Time Ischemic Stroke. A Nationwide Cohort Study,” [presented at the American Heart Association’s Scientific Sessions 2016]. Abstract 18462. November 12-16, 2016. New Orleans, Louisiana.
She is an advocate of self-education and is passionate about the power of group knowledge sharing, like the kind found right here on HealthierTalk.com. Alice loves to share her views on holistic and natural healing as well as her, sometimes contentious, thoughts on the profit-driven inner workings of traditional medicine.
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