What is Aciphex?
Aciphex is a highly popular OTC medication
that is used to treat heartburn. The annual sales
of this drug had reached approximately $1.3
billion worldwide in 2006. You may still wonder
whether Aciphex treatment can bring solid relief
to heartburn sufferers. In this article, a former
heartburn sufferer who tried numerous medications
reveals the truth about why
Aciphex should/should not be taken for
About 20% of all adults in the US and in the Western Europe suffer from persistent heartburn. This term stands for the painful burning sensation in the chest or throat that usually occurs after having a meal. While occasional heartburn happens even among healthy individuals and causes minimal distress, chronic heartburn (several times a week or more) may be a symptom of gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), also known as acid reflux.
Gastro esophageal reflux disease occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach) becomes weak and does not close properly, allowing gastric acids from the stomach to reflux into the esophagus. When acid regurgitation occurs on a regular basis, it can lead to esophagitis (inflamed lining of the esophagus), troubled swallowing, bleeding, narrowing of the esophagus and even a precancerous condition known as Barrett's esophagus.
Acid reflux is triggered by two underlying conditions: a weakened lower esophageal sphincter and extra acidity in the stomach. Aciphex is aimed at calming acid reflux symptoms, including heartburn, by tackling the extra acidity factor.
Aciphex belongs to a group of acid reflux medications called PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors). These are highly potent drugs that include Prilosec, Protonix and Prevacid. PPIs work by blocking the secretion of stomach acid by shutting down a system in the stomach known as the proton pump (that is involved in acid production).
Downsides of Treatment with Aciphex
While the intake of Aciphex and other PPIs can bring immediate relief from heartburn, this treatment has three serious downsides. First, suppressing the acid production is highly undesirable since gastric acid is essential to proper digestion and for fighting fungi and parasites. Secondly, Aciphex is not aimed at tackling the root causes of acid reflux disease. Instead the drug is aimed at the physical manifestation of this condition (i.e. heartburn). Failing to address the underlying cause of the condition will often lead to lifelong dependence on the drug along with the aggravation of acid reflux.
Finally, recent researches have exposed that the use of PPI medications may result in a lot of side effects. A Dutch research the report of which was published in 2004 has found that PPIs (including Aciphex) might increase the chance of developing pneumonia. The reason was that stomach acid not only contributes to the digestion process but also destroys pathogens coming from the mouth to the esophagus. Some of those pathogens can move up the esophagus and then down to the lungs, causing pneumonia.
A new study from Great Britain showed that patients of over the age of 50 who had taken PPI medication - including Aciphex, Prevacid, Nexium , Protonix and Prilosec - for more than a year, had a 44% higher chance of breaking a hip as compared to other acid reflux patients. The acid blocking mechanism was found to hinder the absorption of calcium - a substance that helps maintain bone mineral density and helps prevent osteoporosis.
Did you know that your painful, debilitating heartburn could be permanently eliminated without the need of Aciphex and other OTCs or prescription medication? Acid reflux is best treated by holistic treatment. It takes into account the entire body and not just the symptoms. Small lifestyle changes along with dietary modifications, stress relief measures, and weight management will get rid of the root cause of the acid reflux. Holistic treatment is also perfectly safe as it does not cause any side-effects and works in alignment with the natural functioning of your body. By following the holistic approach you can treat your GERD safely, naturally and permanently prevent its recurrence.