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Acid Reflux Medications - Do They Work?

Apr 13, 2008
Medication for Acid Reflux: Are They Effective? Get the Facts on GERD Medicaments from a Former Acid Reflux Sufferer Who's Tested Them All.

You might be wondering if medicaments for acid reflux are really effective, when the priority should be the eradication of the real cause of your medical condition and if the respite that is temporary really compensates for the side effects. After all, drugs and medication for acid reflux are readily available. Adverts show them, they are sold over the counter, and most doctors happily prescribe them on the basis that the searing pain of heartburn will immediately cease.

When food is swallowed, the LES or lower esophageal sphincter opens to let it into the stomach and then shuts again to make sure acid does not flow back into the esophagus. Acid reflux, also known as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), happens when the valve in the esophagus (the LES) loses its force and fails to block in the other direction, letting stomach content reflux into the esophagus. GERD patients feel a peculiar burning feeling beneath the breastbone, often arriving at night. This reverse flow of acid coming from this acid reflux results in a burning sensation that is called heartburn.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a menacing condition necessitating immediate diagnosis and treatment. If unattended, GERD can badly corrode the lining of the esophagus causing continual inflammation and possibly even esophageal cancer. Persistent GERD with its concomitant symptoms of heartburn can be distracting and painful enough to ruin your daily activities and seriously impinge on the esophagus.

Acid reflux medicaments are not imperatively the remedy of choice, even if they appear to be the most readily accessible treatment for heartburn. There are four principal classes of medicaments for use with GERD:

1. Antacids act by a neutralizing effect on the acid in the esophagus, producing this effect for as much as a few hours. They can be purchased in different formats including liquid suspensions, chewing gum, tablets to be chewed and so on.

2. Alginates envelop the contents of the stomach to reduce reflux.

3. H2-receptor antagonists imitate the production of stomach acid in order to put a block on your gastric system. They take 30 to 60 minutes to start working and can then produce this effect for up to 12 hours.

4. PPI (Proton pump inhibitors) inhibit the release of acid in the stomach by acting on the stomach cells.

All of these medicaments have a common component, even if they differ in the way in which they work, the duration and the nature of their effect:

1. Their effect is not permanent. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a complex phenomenon, being created by a combination of factors of the environment, lifestyle and diet. However, most medicaments for acid reflux focus on treating the immediate short-term causes, so they do not bring permanent relief and skirt around the real causes of GERD.

2. Long-term use of these drugs can also provoke a number of different secondary effects. PPI therapy is usually more harmful than good concerning secondary effects. Amongst the most frequent ones are bad headaches and diarrhea, and PPI has also been pointed to in cases of osteoporosis. The continual intake of antacids over time can heighten the damage from acid reflux: gastric acid is required for reasons of sound immunity and digestion and abuse of antacids harms both aspects.

Medication therapy for acid reflux is based on the classical approach that compared to the holistic approach does not look after the body while eradicating the symptoms of the disease. For this reason, most medications for GERD will not do more than give temporary relief amidst a host of side effects. On the other hand, alternative treatments such as homeopathic solutions, herbal remedies, changes in lifestyle and diet, and detoxification, will solve the internal cause of acid reflux to safely and effectively stop it from happening again.
About the Author
Jeff Martin is a medical researcher, certified nutritionist, health consultant and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, Heartburn No More- Open The Door To an Acid Reflux Free Life. To Learn More About Jeff Martinīs Unique 5-Step Holistic Acid Reflux Cure System Visit: Acid Reflux Medication
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