Most people rely on conventional options, such as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) or antacids, for treating their GERD or acid reflux symptoms. Sadly, people are not aware of the side effects associated with long-term use of these medicines. Among other things, they adversely impact the absorption of nutrients that are essential for good health. We look at three ways in which supplements can help in dealing with the adverse effects of acid reflux medications.
Acid reflux rebounds when you get off long-term PPI use. Constant use of PPIs causes the stomach-acid-producing parietal cells to expand. When you stop PPI therapy, these parietal cells go into overdrive and produce more gastric acid than necessary. Supplements like mastic gum can help in easing the symptoms of acid rebound.
Good bacteria help in the digestion and absorption of foods. Antacids can harm healthy gut bacteria, which can lead to an increase in the volume of bad bacteria in the stomach. Probiotic supplements, such as yogurt and kefir, assist the growth of healthy bacteria and help in restoring the natural balance of gut flora.
OTC remedies for acid reflux, such as PPIs, deplete nutrients such as zinc from the body. These nutrients are essential for bacterial balance and a healthy gastric system. An example is magnesium, which is essential for good health but gets depleted by long-term use of PPIs. Taking magnesium supplements can help in dealing with this situation.
As you can see, conventional acid reflux medications come with a host of long-term side effects. Therefore, it is advisable to reach for home remedies and supplements as a first line of treatment against acid reflux. As opposed to PPIs, which provide short-term benefits, these remedies work towards improving gut health and address the root cause of acid reflux, without any serious side effects. Do bear in mind that making the right lifestyle changes – quitting smoking, avoiding processed foods, reducing stress – is the only real way to support healthy digestion and avoid acid reflux for life.