I recently discovered that a close member of my family was taking Nexium which is a prescription strength drug used to counteract the effects of reflux and indigestion. I was pretty surprised and also worried about the long term side effects of using this particular drug so I did a little research. Nexium is a drug designed to treat Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (Gerd) it acts as a proton pump inhibitor which prevents the formation of gastric acid.
There are three types of medications most commonly taken for Acid Reflux –
Antacids – like Mylanta – these neutralize stomach acid
Acid suppressors – like Zantac – suppress the production in the stomach
Acid blockers – like Nexium
The problem with these medications are that they diminish if not completely remove all of the essential digestive enzymes required for healthy digestion and assimilation. Most people that experience acid reflux symptoms and take these medications will eventually become even more dependent on these drugs with some devastating long term side effects.
Good quality digestion is the cornerstone of health and even if you are already experiencing some significant digestive discomfort, there are lifestyle modifications that can make a significant difference in a relatively short period of time.
- Chew your food.The first organ of digestion is the mouth. Saliva contains amylase which is designed to start to help break down the food in preparation for the stomach.
- Avoid “trigger foods”. Such as alcohol, chilli, citrus fruit, tomatoes, coffee, carbonated drinks.
- Eat slowly & calmly. Stress plays a big part in acid reflux. If possible, aim to eat somewhere pleasant or calm and take your time with your meal.
- Take Natural Digestive Enzymes. Such as Apple Cider Vinegar, a tablespoon of this fermented vinegar before each meal can make a significant difference to digestion without any side effects.
Luckily for me, my loved one heeded my warnings and promptly stopped taking Nexium by replacing it with a healthy dose of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar with each meal. I’m pleased to report that he no longer requires his daily dose of Nexium and is reporting normal digestion with a healthy alternative.