Why Acid Reflux Medication Causes More Health Problems
Whether watching television, reading a newspaper or just visiting the health department at your local grocery store, acid reflux medication is everywhere you look. General antacid products like Rolaids, Alka-Seltzer, Tums, and Pepto Bismol have been available over-the-counter for years. Only recently, pharmaceuticals like Zantac and Prilosec, formerly only available by prescription, can now be purchased by the general public as easily as buying a candy bar. The disturbing thought in all of this is that the majority of people have these products at home, use them daily, and even give them to their children.
The Myth of Acid Reflux Medication
The mode of thought that these antacids, H2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors “must be safe,” because they can be purchased with such ease, is creating a very unhealthy society. The body has the amount of stomach acid it needs and, in fact, stomach acid levels decrease as individuals age, not increase. All of the people with antacids in their medicine cabinets aren’t all suddenly falling prey to a rare phenomenon of stomach acid building at an out of control pace. However, what these people do have in common is that they eat unhealthy non-foods, overeat, have high soda and sugar intake, and negatively impact the lower esophageal sphincter valve (which keeps acid out of the esophagus) with caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine.
Without proper stomach acid levels, the body cannot digest properly and absorb nutrition. Over time, this can damage the immune system and lead to a whole host of more serious medical problems. Many medical professionals believe that the rise of autoimmune diseases that never existed before are directly correlated to the advent of processed foods, which created intestinal turmoil and resulted in symptoms “relieved” by acid reflux medication, which reduced nutrient absorption and brought on the diseases.
Popularity of Acid Reflux Medication
So if these acid reflux and heartburn remedies are so dangerous, why are they so popular? Let’s look at the most common reasons for this over-consumption of acid reflux medication:
Advertisers have done a very good job at convincing the public that they have too much stomach acid, that individuals need their medications to keep high acidity at bay. The reason this pharmaceutical industry is so profitable is because this mode of thought, if unchallenged, makes sense to an individual suffering from heartburn and pain. They visualize acid building up in their stomachs to such a degree that it is actually spilling over into the esophagus. People reach for acid reflux medication like a fireman reaches for a water hose – fight back those flames, douse the acid, and restore it to a healthy level once again. If people actually had their stomach acid levels tested (which is available), it would show levels are normal or too low, not growing at an alarming rate.
The Products Actually “Work”
There is no doubt about it, customers are devoted to their acid reflux medication. These medications wouldn’t be so profitable if they didn’t actually cause relief. They do help relieve heartburn symptoms. Acid rising up the esophagus is painful, so H2 receptor blockers and PPI’s shut off acid production. Antacids suppress the intestinal discomfort as well. However, a lifetime of taking these products instead of finding a cure has become acceptable to most people. Individuals are walking around with visions of this ever-growing stomach acid level, determined to lean on their favorite medicine for a lifetime, never looking at their diet or lifestyles as being the cause of their health problems.
Money, Money, Money
Truth be told, acid reflux medication is an amazing business. They convince the public they have a problem, make a product that actually provides symptom relief (but offers no help for a cure), release expensive prescriptions to be available over-the-counter, and market an amazing advertising campaign that convinces people indigestion and acid are a normal part of life, which actually is true if people continue to overeat, eat processed and junk foods, etc. The makers of Prilosec would have been out of business if they tried selling their product in a different century.
The most important concept to be learned here is that, if you continually need to reach for Tums or Zantac, something is wrong. Take a moment to think about how odd it would be for all consumers of these products to have a defect that results in over-producing stomach acid. Until recently, nature seemed to be doing a pretty good job with the human body, taking care of itself without antacids. In fact, as people age, their bodies decrease in substances such as stomach acid, hormones, and the like. With a product like Rolaids being as common as toothpaste in most homes, logic needs to intervene at some point. Acid reflux medication may, admittedly, be providing you relief from your symptoms, but without finding out the true cause for your heartburn, you are committing yourself to purchase this pharmaceutical for a lifetime.