Natural Remedies & Treatments For Acid Reflux | Natural Remedy For GERD
 

GERD Medicine Shortcomings REVEALED



GERD medicines become extremely popular nowadays, as gastro esophageal reflux disease prevalence grows rapidly. If left untreated, GERD may be quite debilitating and if left untreated can lead to very serious complications.



GERD Medicine


There are several ways to manage GERD. For occasional heartburn, lifestyle changes and an occasional antacid may be all that is necessary.  For more frequent heartburn, an OTC H2 receptor antagonist may be taken. Patients with debilitating symptoms usually require sustained acid-suppressive therapy. The doctor may then choose between the "step up" approach beginning with lifestyle and dietary modifications and increasing medical intervention till symptoms are controlled or the "step down" approach beginning with potent acid blockers agents to achieve rapid relief of symptoms and then gradually decreasing till symptoms subside.


There are five main types of GERD medicines -Antacids, histamine antagonists, proton pump inhibitors, foam barriers, pro-motility drugs.


1) Antacids. They remain the mainstay of treatment. They neutralize acid in the stomach so that there is no acid left to reflux. Their action is brief so they are best taken an hour after meal. They may be calcium, magnesium, or aluminum based. Prolonged use may lead to side effects such as constipation, diarrhea, dizziness, nausea, and vomiting. They are contraindicated in renal and liver diseases.


2) Histamine antagonists. Histamine stimulates acid production by the stomach. Released within the wall of the stomach, the histamine attaches to the stomach's acid-producing cells and stimulates them to produce acid. Histamine antagonists block the histamine from attaching to the acid-producing cells. They relieve symptoms but they are not good at healing the inflammation caused by the acid. Four different histamine antagonists are available - cimetidine (Tagamet), ranitidine (Zantac), nizatidine (Axid), and famotidine (Pepcid). Side effects generally include dizziness, headache, gastrointestinal disturbances, acute pancreatitis, and hypersensitive reactions.


3) Proton pump inhibitors. They block the secretion of acid by the stomach cells more completely and for a longer period of time as compared to the histamine antagonists. They also protect the esophagus from the acid and helps in healing the inflamed esophagus. Five different PPI are approved for use: omeprazole (Prilosec), lansoprazole (Prevacid), rabeprazole (Aciphex), pantoprazole (Protonix), and esomeprazole (Nexium). They cannot be used for more than 8 weeks and have serious side effects like diarrhea and hypersensitivity reactions, osteoporosis, pneumonia, and increased incidence of enteric infections.


4) Pro-motility drugs. Primary effect of pro-motility agent, metoclopramide, is to speed up emptying of the stomach, which also would be expected to reduce reflux. Side effects include insomnia, confusion, dizziness, anxiety, depression etc.


5) Foam barriers. The combination of the alginic acid and bicarbonate creates a foam barrier which floats on the stomach acid. This barrier may help reduce the number of reflux episodes and offers longer lasting action against heartburn. There is only one foam barrier, which is a combination of aluminum hydroxide gel, magnesium trisilicate, and alginate (Gaviscon). Side effects include upset stomach, constipation, metallic taste, loss of appetite and dry mouth.


All these drugs though useful in short term help only in relieving the symptoms and that too at a great risk of developing side effects. For complete cure, it is best to adopt a holistic approach to rid the body of factors leading to GERD. This is natural, safe, cost-effective, and permanent.


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