Alkaline water or antacid? Here it comes again, GERD: The burning, flaming pit in your chest caused by stomach acid refluxing into your esophagus. Gastro Esophageal Reflux (GERD) is a harmful condition that affects millions of people. For many people, it’s a chronic disease which they control with medications such as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI), histamine receptors, and alkaline buffers such as Tums.
Of these medications, PPI’s are considered to be the most effective. Some PPI’s such as Nexium are even available over-the-counter because they have long been considered to be a safe way to control GERD. But are they?
A recent study casts doubt on the safety of PPI’s. It has long been known that PPI’s increase the risk of a heart attack for people at risk for having a heart attack. But recently, it was discovered that PPIs increase your risk of heart attacks even if you aren’t normally at risk for a heart attack! So should you reach for a PPI when GERD attacks? Maybe. The risk of heart attack from PPI use is a long term risk, so if it’s immediate, short term relief you’re looking for a PPI may be just the ticket. But if you have chronic GERD, and need long term relief, alkaline water may just provide a safer and effective alternative to PPIs.
PPI Antacids linked to heart attacks
A 2013 study shows that there is a 16 – 21% increased risk for heart attacks if you take PPIs long term. This risk is present even if you have no history of heart trouble. The EPA has responded to these findings by requiring PPI manufacturers to disclose that there is an increased risk of heart attack when taking PPIs.
Low Stomach Acid a surprising cause of Gastro Esophageal Reflux
One of the main causes of acid reflux may surprise you: Low stomach acid (hypochlorhydria) is the cause of the majority of people who suffer from GERD, despite the fact that GERD is the result of excess stomach acid refluxing up the esophagus! Low stomach acid levels cause the esophageal sphincter – the muscle that closes the entrance into the stomach while digestion is occurring – to malfunction. If you have GERD, you should test yourself for low stomach acid. There are simple, natural ways to enhance your stomach acid production that can help.
How to test yourself for low stomach acid
To test for low stomach acid, all you need is a little baking soda and water. Put a teaspoon of baking soda into about 4 ounces of water, then immediately drink it on an empty stomach. The baking soda should combine with your stomach acid to create gas, and make you burp – a lot! – within 5 to 10 minutes. If you don’t burp a lot, you should to talk to your doctor about further testing for low stomach acid.
If you have low stomach acid, you can use apple cider vinegar to stimulate the production of stomach acid before meals. Put 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar into 4 ounces of water and drink about 30 minutes before a meal. You can also get digestive enzyme supplements that can help at many health food stores.
Alkaline water for long term management of GERD
Alkaline water has been used for gradual relief of the symptoms of GERD since the 1960’s in Japan, there are no side effects. Alkaline water takes longer than antacid medications, you should see gradual relief of your symptoms in about 2 weeks. The smart way to use alkaline water for GERD is to drink it, and gradually taper off your medication as your symptoms go away. If alkaline water is going to work for you, then you should see relief in about 2 weeks, up to four weeks at the most.
Important: Talk to your doctor before making any changes if you are on prescription medication for GERD
If you are using a home water ionizer, drink the level 4 (highest) level of alkaline water your machine makes. Plan to drink at least 2 liters of alkaline water per day. If you are treating yourself for low stomach acid using the apple cider vinegar method above, stop drinking alkaline water at least a half hour before you take the apple cider vinegar.
Alkaline water is safer for long term health than PPIs and many bone medications. To find out if alkaline water can help you call us at: 855-790-8121 for a free, no obligation consultation with one of our healthy water experts
Ghebremarium, Yohannes, and Et Al. “Unexpected Effect of Proton Pump Inhibitors.” Unexpected Effect of Proton Pump Inhibitors. American Heart Association, 3 July 2013. Web. 13 July 2015. <http://circ.ahajournals.org/content/128/8/845.full?sid=2c599124-d1db-4bc7-9cef-3d5453496632>.
Koufamn, J.A, and N. Johnston. “Potential Benefits of PH 8.8 Alkaline Drinking Water as an Adjunct in the Treatment of Reflux Disease.” National Center for Biotechnology Information. U.S. National Library of Medicine, 1 July 2012. Web. 24 Apr. 2015. <http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22844861>.