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Medication For Heartburn Can Worsen Acid Reflux Related Symptoms

May 1, 2008
Classical treatments are often used for alleviation by millions of people enduring the pain and discomfort of symptoms of gastro esophageal disease, the most frequent of which is by all accounts heartburn. A massive seller at the moment, one of these medications for heartburn, Nexium, even became the number three worldwide for drug sales, clocking up over $5.7 billion in 2005.

1. The mounting number of GERD (Acid Reflux) patients in the western world will only continue. In 2006 alone, there were approximately 25 million acid reflux patients with recurrent heartburn in America.

2. Drugs for GERD are marketed with huge financial resources, advertising and publicity, and by physicians prescribing them to patients.

3. Consumers can now purchase such drugs over the counter, a big change from the prescription that was required before. A decade ago, the Food and Drug Administration agreed to over the counter sales of Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, Zantac 75 and extended a number of other medicaments from the prescription-only list.

Before passing any final judgment on the subject, let's quickly go over the nature of acid reflux disease and heartburn, its most frequent external symptom. With the rising popularity of classical heartburn treatment, the big question when using such remedies is whether such drugs have the desired effects when it comes to eradicating the root causes of this medical problem and if the alleviation is better than the potential secondary effects.

Another factor that encouraging conditions for GERD is when the esophagus fails to evacuate gastric juices. In physiological terms, GERD is the after effect of the esophagus having excessively high exposure to stomach juices. This problem comes about because of a weakened LES or lower esophageal sphincter. The LES muscle is a circular valve separating the esophagus from the stomach. In cases of acid reflux disease, the LES does not close correctly, and stomach contents moves back up into the esophagus, giving symptoms of heartburn.

These hidden elements must be treated. If not, there is no permanent answer for this medical problem. It turns out that as well as local reasons for acid reflux, other reasons include genetic characteristics (independent of our control) and other hidden factors and co-factors that creating the context that triggers acid reflux.

Any GERD medication will be one of four kinds:

1. Antacids (the prime example is Alka-Seltzer). By the neutralization of acid in the esophagus, antacids bring relief for a few hours. Upon taking the antacid, the neutralization of the stomach acid starts at once, to prevent further esophageal corrosion.

2. Alginates relieve symptoms by "wrapping up" stomach contents to decrease problems of reflux.

3. H2-receptor antagonists such as HB, Zantac 75 and Pepcid AC, actually stop the gastric system and the stomach from producing acid, preventing the stomach cells from leaking acid. If relief is to be effected, patients must use H2-receptor antagonists ahead of time and any heartburn.

4. Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI) such as Nexium, which stop the gastric cells "proton pump" from functioning in order to stop acid being created.

So we see that adopting medication as the unique solution to treat heartburn is really unsatisfactory, because it only works on the symptoms, but misses the root cause of GERD. Neglect of causes such as these can worsen your condition over time, leading potentially to even more medical complications. Such treatments for heartburn may also have serious side effects. Headaches, diarrhea and for some patients, osteoporosis, have all been identified as potential additional ailments. Also, their long-term impact is poor and the chance of long term dependency physically therefore more pronounced.

Using a holistic agenda, with particular herbal and vitamin elements, and by sticking to a complete set of dietary principles, getting rid of toxins and using Candida control protocols, a natural and lasting cure is available for your medical problem. Now you know that your discomforting and painful heartburn symptoms of GERD can be eradicated in a lasting and holistic way without recourse to medication for heartburn.
About the Author
Jeff Martin is a certified nutritionist and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, Heartburn No More . To Learn More About Heartburn Medication Visit: Heartburn Medication
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