A warning if you are on medication for acid reflux...

Public Citizen is petitioning the US FDA to require manufacturers of Stomach Acid-Reducing drugs to carry a ‘black box’ warning on the drugs label. Their rationale for this is that these popular drugs used by an estimated 1 in 20 people are dangerous and habit forming.

They argue that the evidence is clear that once a person starts on one of these drugs that it is very difficult to get off them because the condition for which they are being used, will come back even worse once they discontinue, leading to increased permanent use which in turn leads to serious potential side effects which most physicians are unaware of.

The main drugs in question are Nexium, Dexilant, Prilosec, Prilosec OTC, Zegerid, Zegerid OTC, Prevacid, Prevacid 24-Hr, Protonix, Aciphex, Vimovo and numerous generic counterparts, most prominently omeprazole and pantoprazole.

If you are on one of these drugs I would seriously suggest that you read more about it on the public citizen website and then consider other options that are less potentially dangerous.

One course of action that you should definitely be taking whether you have this specific problem or not is becoming acutely aware of the important role that your digestive system plays in attaining or maintaining good health.

Without a good functioning digestive system any other health efforts will be compromised.

We have already had reports back from customers who have commented that since they started taking Digesten-K (now Kiwi-Klenz) that their acid reflux problems have diminished. I can’t say if it will definitely help you if you have this problem but it is worth giving it a try as I will certainly help your overall digestive system and in turn your overall health.

18 Responses

Excellent article. Stomach acid is protective factor, when it is low, it is bad. For heartburn relief use:
 MSM, it is a better option than antacid medicines.
 Chewing gum, it increase production of saliva, which contains a long list of compounds that protect esophagus /proteins, mucin, prostaglandin E2 and epidermal growth factor/. Choose a gum with xylitol to help keep mouth healthy at the time. Chew a piece a couple times a day before meal.
 Nux vomica, it is extremely diluted nut extract / inexpensive, completely safe and surprisingly effective/. It works directly on your digestive system, plus helps balance chemicals in your brain, so you can sleep. Helps with other digestive problems – constipation, stomach cramps, ulcers and more. It can even cure a hangover in just 15 minutes.
  Take piece of raw potato and chew for awhile, then swallow.

Anna C. August 26 2011

Hi Robert,
That is fantastic news.  I would be really grateful if you could keep us up to date with your progress and that the results are sustained.  Thank you for letting us know.

Warren Matthews September 13 2011

Hi Warren ,

Have had a reflux problem for a couple of years now and so have investigated a lot of "cures" and have found a few simple things do work – but remember" Everbody has a different Body" so some will work and others wont.

Chewing gum is not bad- a glass of skim milk is OK too but I have found Licorice is very good. Even the "sweetie version" helps- but too many calories on a regular basis , so I have found De-Glycyrrhizinated Licorice Extract or DGL in lozenge form to be of great relief.

Reason for reflux – getting older, lack of hormones and everything slacking off- previous medication and an over excitable personality !!

Tried the doctors prescriptions and they do stop the acid and they are happy for you to take them for ever !! but suffered nasty side effects so not on that path now.

Helen Powis August 26 2011

I have been taking any one of the above medications for years. I have great concerns over their use, but is so much better on the medication. I have had acid reflux since high school and I am now 43. Also, my understanding is that there may be a link with these meds to hip fracture.

Jeff September 10 2011

Hi Nick,
My suggestion would be to replace the aspirin with our Omega-3 fish oil which will give the same benefits and more.  Then talk to your Doctor about discontinuing the other drugs.  No one really knows the long term damage that they will cause let alone the interaction of the drugs themselves.

Warren Matthews September 13 2011

I was on Prilosec OTC for 3 years to control my acid reflux. Every time I stopped taking it for a day or two, I’d end up with bad acid reflux, so started taking the pills again. I had tried low-acid diets, apple-cider vinegar, etc. and none of it worked like the Prilosec. 

After 2 years on the medication, I developed a bad case of Pneumonia. I wasn’t until a few months later that I read information that led me to believe the Prilosec OTC could have led to or aggravated the Pneumonia.

I have recently been able to stop the medication. I started a diet to loose weight (through my doctor’s office, called "Ideal Protein".) The basis is soy-based protein supplements, low-carb vegetables, and low-fat other sources of protein.  Within 3 weeks of being on this diet I was able to stop the Prilosec without any recurrence of the Acid Reflux. I’ve also lost 80 pounds with only about 30 left to reach my goal. So, I don’t know if it is the weight-loss or the diet that corrected the acid reflux, but whichever, it has worked!

Hillary August 27 2011

Hi Jason,
I agree about the benefits of apple cider vinegar.  For decades I have from time to time got into the habit of taking a tablespoonful each morning with my large glass of warm water.  I don’t always do it if I am travelling or in a rush but I am sure it is beneficial.

Warren Matthews September 12 2011

Try drinking a cup of hot water first thing in the morning before eating or drinking anything else. Water must be boiling hot, and you sip like you are drinking hot tea, do not eat or drink anything for half an hour.

This has worked for quite a number of people including myself.

Kori-Ann August 27 2011

Hi Angelo,
I’m afraid I cannot give a specific alternative but I am sure there is a natural one.  In cases like yours the best thing that you can do is be acutely aware of the problem and if you have a desire to get off the drug you will need to experiment with alternatives.  I am sure that there will be something out there which would work for you.

Maybe a starting point would be a large glass of warm water each morning with a tablespoon of cider vinegar and perhaps try our Digesten-K.  Good luck.

Warren Matthews September 12 2011

Digesten-K has proved quite effective in my case with helping with mild to medium acid reflux. I have been taking two tablet per day.

Taffy August 26 2011

My doctor has had me on this medication for 6 years now. (Prevacid).  The reason is the acid had caused scarring in my throat and back of my  tongue and was literally blocking my airway and caused sleep apnea.  After using the drug for a short time the apnea stopped.

What else can I take?

Angelo August 26 2011

Hi Kori-Ann,
Interesting comment about the hot water.  I would do that at least twice a day and have done that for years.  I don’t drink coffee, only weak tea or water.

I would add another comment though which is excellent for the digestive system and good general health and that is immediately upon rising each morning drink one or two large glasses of good pure water.  However, it is important that is at room temperature or slightly warm so you can drink it all in almost one mouthful.  This really gets the digestive system off to a good start for the day and ensure that you stay regular.  I have done this every morning for as long as I can remember.

Warren Matthews September 13 2011

My Dr. subscribed (for better blood flow) a daily aspirin of 100 mg, this created a strong reflux, as a result he reduced the aspirin to a lower grade "81 mg" and at the same time subscribed omeprazole 20 mg also to be taken daily, both have side effects and omeprazole causes some dizziness.
Are there any other solutions in order to prevent this ? .

NIck August 26 2011

Hi Warren -

I’m 38 and developed serious problems with acid reflux while sleeping. I began to awake multiple nights per week in a panic because I had aspirated gastric contents while sleeping! Of course, the following day I was tired, hoarse and scared to death to go to sleep the next night. I knew I should go to my physician, but was aware he would only prescribe H2 blockers/proton pump inhibitors/etc.

I have followed your products in the past and discovered your Digestion K. I gave it a shot and it has worked wonders – NO episodes since starting. I want to give all the facts – it was VERY rough for the first five days. I had the most terrible abdominal cramps one could imagine! I woke up in the morning wanting to vomit from abdominal pain, but I stayed with it. I now take it for maintenance and see great results – pain free.


Robert August 27 2011

After 15 plus years of suffering from severe Acid Reflux, with constant burning of the throat and esophagus, and taking most of the prescribed medicines as named in the article, I found out from a doctor who was willing to take the time to find out the root of the problem. Through various tests he found that I have food allergies. My digestive tract was in a constant state of inflammation. He gave me a list of foods that I needed to avoid and after approximately 1-2 weeks the acid reflux disappeared. On his recommendation I also stopped taking the Nexium at the same time. He gave me HCL tablets to take with my meals. He explained, very simply mind you, that these tablets would create acid so my stomach wouldn’t go into over production. Happy to say I was able to stop taking those after about a week and I have not taken any medicine since April of this year. Granted it has been tough staying away from the foods, however the relief I have felt makes it all worth it. When I do eat any of the "forbidden" foods I do have a minor relapse of the reflux so this tells me it was the food allergies causing my issues.

Karen August 31 2011

I suffered for years with reflux. If I walked too fast or bent over, I would get a cramping pain in my stomach or esophegus. My doctor put me on Maalox. It didn’t help. A friend at work told me that he was on Magnolax. With this, you take the pill with a glass of water. I am not sure if it was the pill that helped, or the glass of water. Then my wife told me about her hairdressers husband. His phinster valve was in such a bad shape that he had to have a skin graft on it. He was told, mo hat liquids.No hot coffee, tea or soup. I took the hint from this. At work we got a ten minute coffee break in the morning and afternoon. I have to drink it quickly. I started to just fill my cup about 2/3 full. Then take it to the water cooler and fill it up. That was the end of my reflux.

Another family secret is the best relief for ulcers or other stomach problems. A friend of my parents was in the hospital, in the mid 1940’s. He was told it was terminal. But he had a craving for sauerkraut. but the doctors told him No acidic foods. So he asked to be discharged from the hospital. If he was going to die, he would rather die at home. When he got home he told his wife to make some sauerkraut. that was about all he ate for 2 weeks, and his ulcers cleared up. Our brother-in-law was on the Dr’s pills and getting no relief. My parents told him this story. He started to eat sauerkraut and threw his pills away. I had the same problem from taking Voltaren, for my pains. I started to get gas, then cramps, then it felt like my stomach was on fire. So I bought a jar of sauerkraut and ate it about 5 times a day It only took about a week and I was back to normal.
These are cheaper remedies and work better than the doctors medications.

Eldon Dahl August 26 2011

Hi Rob,
Thats interesting. Thanks for sharing it.  I have a few friends in Thailand who do what you did on a regular basis…once every year or so.  It may be something that could be worthwhile Angelo giving a try with.

Warren Matthews September 12 2011

I am in my 60s and suffered Reflux for last 10-15 years and taking Nexium for it, although i had read all the bad reports on taking this drug long term i could find nothing else that would help, including visits to Naturpaths, change of diet etc. However 2 years ago i went to Thailland for a 10 day detox mainly to relax and unwind after a very heavy work schedule. This detox included colonic irrigation and no food or drinks (except for water and special juices) end result was i haven’t suffered from Reflux since.

Rob August 26 2011

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