Last week I made another appearance on Mass Appeal, a local morning talk show here in western MA.
It’s a quirky little show and I always get a kick (and an adrenalin rush) out of it.
I answered four basic questions about acid reflux: What is heartburn? What is GERD? Why is acid reflux NOT caused by too much acid? And why do medications for acid reflux cause long term health problems?
Here’s the interview:
Despite some nerves (which you can’t see but I promise you are there) I think I did pretty well and I’m happy with the way this interview went. Trust me, I’ve had a few stinkers and those will hopefully stay buried in the vaults of this show.
But as I am my own worst critic, there’s of course always a few things I wish I had said better.
For example, when discussing heartburn medication I forgot to mention that despite their marketing message, pharmaceutical companies are well aware of the dangers of taking acid blockers long term.
Just look at the back of the box.
That’s a pic of over-the-counter Prilosec, a potent and commonly used acid blocker.
You’re NOT supposed to take acid blockers for more than 14 days!
Why? Well like I said in the interview it’s because studies have shown that long-term use of acid blockers lead to further health problems.
The conclusion of one such study, “Overutilization of proton-pump inhibitors: what the clinician needs to know,” published in Therapeutic Advances in Gastroenterology in July 2012 stated:
“PPIs have been linked via retrospective studies to increased risk of enteric infections including Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhea, community-acquired pneumonia, bone fracture, nutritional deficiencies, and interference with metabolism of antiplatelet agents. Reducing inappropriate prescribing of PPIs in the inpatient and outpatient settings can minimize potential for adverse events, and foster controllable cost expenditure.”
You can read it here:
So why do doctors prescribe acid blockers over the long term?
Because they’ve been brainwashed by the pharmaceutical companies as much as you and me. Maybe even more.
Big Pharma spends millions (because they rake in billions every year) on very aggressive marketing to convince doctors that acid reflux is caused by too much acid and that these meds are safe to take over the long term.
But let’s give some doctors the benefit of the doubt. They’re overworked and don’t have much time to do their own research. Most are not aware of the long term risks of taking acid-blockers.
Print out the above study and show it to your doctor. Let’s help educate them.
And as far as dietary changes go, that’s where I can help you!
It never ceases to amaze me how just a few simple dietary changes can permanently stop heartburn. I hit on a few of them in the interview but wasn’t able to go into as much detail as I wanted. In my new ebook, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution I discuss how dietary changes can stop the underlying cause of heartburn.
Acid blockers don’t stop the underlying cause. If they did you wouldn’t have to take them after 14 days. But guess what happens after 14 days?
That’s right, your heartburn comes raging back. And back to CVS you go for another box of Prilosec (and another drain on your wallet).
If you’d like to learn more about stopping acid reflux (and other digestive issues!) without drugs you can learn more about my new ebook at www.fearlesseating.net/heartburn-solution
Craig Fear is the creator of Fearless Eating and the author of three books, The 30-Day Heartburn Solution, Fearless Broths and Soups and The Thai Soup Secret. After years helping clients with digestive issues, Craig decided to pursue writing full-time. He intends to write many more books on broths and soups from around the world! Click here to learn more about Craig.