5 Ways to Beat Holiday Heartburn
Are you dreading the upcoming holiday eating extravaganza? Are you worried that the onslaught of holiday "comfort foods" will leave you well, less than comfortable?
If so, you are amongst the millions of Americans with chest discomfort associated with eating. Contrary to what you may believe from watching television, this is not normal. Common, but not normal. Heartburn or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can be easily prevented with Paleo nutrition and nutritional supplements. But the vast majority of people do not know this and believe pharmaceuticals to be the only option.
Skip the script!
You see, the medical doctor gets you out of the office quickly by writing a prescription for the latest drug for heartburn. Usually the script is related to the most recent company that bought the doctor lunch or dinner. Trust me, I saw this on a daily basis. But more scary news is coming out about the class of drugs called Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI’s).
They double your risk of dying from a heart attack, according to a recent study. This was reported in PLOS One, a peer reviewed online journal (1). Heart attacks were increased by 16%. This class of drugs is sold over the counter as omeprazole, generic version of Prilosec. Other brands are Prevacid and Protonix. The PPI class of drugs have earned billions in profits preventing symptoms of heartburn.
Do heartburn drugs work? Sure… By preventing the secretion of stomach acid, symptoms go away. Problem solved, right?
Whoever built us, call them God, the Creator, or evolution etc. gave us stomach acid for a reason. It is to digest our food and kill off bad bacteria. In fact, gastric acid starts off the digestive cascade. The acidic stomach dumps into the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine. There it meets alkaline secretions from the liver and pancreas.
It is a perfect system we have in place.
Long term use of PPI’s is associated with risk of bone fractures (2), intestinal bacterial infections (3), and low magnesium levels (3). C. diff infections are common with PPI use and often require heavy doses of antibiotics to eradicate the infection.
More horrifying news is that the drugs used to treat GERD and thus prevent esophageal cancer actually appear to INCREASE cancer risk! (4)
The answer is not drugs, but to heal your gut.
*EDITOR'S NOTE: In fact, bone broth and soups made with bone broth can help to rebuild the mucosal lining of the stomach.(5) Here's how to make your own to maximum health benefits (for as little as 25 cents a serving).
Jonathan Wright MD wrote a book a few years back called Why Stomach Acid is Good for You. It is one of the 1st books I read while transitioning to a holistic doctor. It is common sense that acid is necessary yet doctors are brainwashed like the rest of the American public to think reflux is actually a disease.
The good news is that reflux is easily treatable. Here are some easy steps:
- Eat Paleo (here's a step-by-step guide)
- Take 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar prior to meals and anytime heartburn arises
- Do not drink fluids around meal time. It dilutes digestive enzymes
- Take digestive enzymes at the beginning of meals
- Take betaine HCL at the beginning of meals
We recommend treating with a holistic doctor to put you on the right protocol to tune-up your gut. You will be back to health in no time. Total body health starts in the gastrointestinal tract where about 70% of your immune system resides.
Dr. Jack Wolfson
Senior Editor, Clear Health Now
Dr. Jack Wolfson DO, FACC is a board-certified cardiologist who believes bad nutrition and toxins create heart health problems. He prevents and treats cardiovascular disease with good nutrition, not medicines and treats the whole person, not just the symptoms.
He is the author of The Paleo Cardiologist: The Natural Way to Heart Health. You can find out more about Dr. Wolfson at The DRs Wolfson.
5) Wald, A and Adibi, SA, Stimulation of gastric acid secretion by glycine and related oligopeptides in humans, American Journal of Physiology, 1982, 5, 242, G86-G88.