Lots of people experience heartburn on a regular basis, where acid refluxes up into the esophagus and burns the tissue resulting in pain. Doctors commonly recommend medications such as Nexium, Prilosec, or Prevacid to suppress stomach acid (HCl) and treat heartburn pain. However, more and more research is showing that the long-term use of these medications can do more harm than good. That is why it is critical to look for the root cause(s) of heartburn rather than simply reducing stomach acid, and to understand the reasons why stomach acid is good for you.
Two very important roles of stomach acid include: Continue reading “Why Stomach Acid is Good For You”
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are a popular class of heartburn medications that includes Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid. These medications, which are available over the counter (without a prescription), lower the amount of stomach acid produced by the stomach. Concern has been increasing that Americans might be overusing PPIs to treat minor cases of heartburn or acid reflux. And, a new study published in the journal JAMA Neurology, shows heartburn drugs and dementia are linked, in that these drugs may raise a senior’s risk of developing dementia.
Researchers collected data from a large German health insurance firm on almost 74,000 seniors aged 75 or older. The data ran from 2004 to 2011, and included diagnoses and drug prescriptions. About 2,950 patients regularly used PPIs, which for this study was defined as at least one PPI prescription in each quarter of an 18-month interval. Regular users of PPIs had a 44% increased risk of dementia compared with those not receiving PPI medications. Continue reading “New Study Links Heartburn Drugs and Dementia”
In this weekly series, we will look at digestive health and natural approaches to related problems like candida, irritable bowel syndrome, acid reflux, and food allergies.
The first issue we will tackle is acid reflux. Acid reflux or heartburn occurs when stomach acid rises up into the esophagus. This results from the lower esophageal sphincter not closing properly. Normally the sphincter closes as soon food passes through it and it should not allow back flow of food or stomach acid. However, when the sphincter either doesn’t close all the way or it opens too often, stomach acid moves into the esophagus causing uncomfortable symptoms.
Symptoms can include:
- Chest pain/burning sensation
- Dental erosion
- Difficulty swallowing
- Sore throat
- Regurgitation of food
Continue reading “Digestive Health Series: Acid Reflux”
When we think about meditating, we often think of it as a spiritual practice. While people have been practicing various forms of meditation for thousands of years, studies are finding that there are many health benefits of meditation as well, and that it can be an important tool in your wellness toolbox.
Here are just few benefits meditation provides:
Reduces blood pressure and levels of stress. Meditation is linked with reduced levels of the stress hormone cortisol.
Improves cognitive function. Researchers in a Psychological Science study reported, “Our results suggest that cultivating mindfulness is an effective and efficient technique for improving cognitive function, with wide reaching consequences”. (1)
Reduces pain. Meditation has been proven to reduce pain because it plays a role in what our minds pay attention to, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Human Neuroscience. (1) Continue reading “Health Benefits of Meditation – An Important Tool in Your Wellness Toolbox”
I just want to remind everyone that enzymes are your friends! Digestive enzymes help break down foods and make them easier to digest, helping to decrease bloating and gas.
Take a minute to read this, this and this. They are all blogs that I have posted in the past and provide tips on how to avoid that Thanksgiving food slump that lands you on the couch for the rest of the day.