Got GERD? Gastroesophageal reflux causes a painful burning sensation that, left unchecked can result in
serious health complications like ulcers. Many people turn to PPI medicines such as Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec to gain relief, but recent research suggests that the relief they get comes with some nasty side effects. Ionized Alkaline water on the other hand, has been shown in laboratory research to inactivate pepsin, the enzyme that triggers GERD, without any side effects. Could alkaline water manage the effects of GERD long term in a way that is safer than PPI drugs? My wife has been doing just that for the past 6 years, with no side effects.
Side Effects of Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec
Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec have long been considered to be safe enough to sell over the counter – no prescription needed. But studies are coming out that now link these medications to increased risks of:
- Heart disease
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Kidney disease
The risks are high: PPI users face a 44% higher risk of dementia than non-PPI users. What happens if you decide to quit taking PPI medication? Withdrawal from these drugs intensifies the symptoms of GERD, potentially causing serious damage to the stomach and esophagus. The damage to the esophagus can lead to a condition called Barrett’s esophagus, damage to the esophagus lining that may ultimately result in esophageal cancer.
Alternative medications for GERD carry risk of side effects too
H2 Blockers: One alternative to PPI drugs is a class of medicines known as H2 blockers. These drugs block the production of stomach acid. They are available over the counter, and some are prescription strength. Pepcid and Zantac are the most commonly known H2 blockers, with Axid and Tagamet being less well known. H2 blockers may be safer than PPIs, but they often aren’t as effective: 50% of the people who use H2 blockers still have some symptoms of GERD. The worst known side effects of these drugs are: Trouble breathing, along with swelling of the face, lips, tongue and throat. Other side effects include:
- Nausea and or vomiting
- Problems with urination
Just like PPIs trying to quit these drugs can also result in worsening of your symptoms. Plus, if you have been taking H2 blockers to control GERD for more than two weeks, you should call your doctor.
Antacids: Possibly the safest medications for GERD are antacids. Antacids such as Rolaids and Tums carry the least risk of side effects. But the problem is, they are only for use on an as-needed basis. Antacids are not recommended for long term use. Because of this, you have to wait for GERD to actually occur before taking an antacid, they can’t prevent your symptoms. Side effects for antacids include:
Antacids are not recommended for people with kidney problems or high blood calcium. Long term use of antacids carries the potential risk of kidney stones. Another problem with antacids is that they do not treat the inflammation caused by GERD. If left unchecked, that inflammation can result in Barrett’s esophagus along with its risk of esophageal cancer.
Ionized Alkaline Water: Potential for gradual relief of GERD
Unlike medicines for GERD, alkaline water offers the potential for gradual relief: It can take a week or two for your symptoms to subside. Your best chance for success is to talk to your doctor about gradually tapering off of your medication if you find that alkaline water is effective for you. Even better, some of alkaline water’s “side effects” are actually beneficial:
- Better hydration
- Improved mineral nutrition
- Relief of digestive problems like constipation
- Better bone health
Better hydration Multiple studies suggest that alkaline water hydrates better than plain water. Two studies performed at Montana State University suggest that it hydrates 17% better than plain water. Better hydration can result in other health improvements such as younger looking skin and better joint health.
Improved mineral nutrition According to the World Health Organization, minerals like calcium and magnesium are absorbed easier and faster by the body from water than they are from food or supplements. For this reason, the World Health Organization recommends you get 10 – 20% of your daily needs for calcium and magnesium from the water you drink. An alkaline water ionizer makes that easy, because the machine concentrates these minerals in your drinking water in a highly bioavailable form.
Relief of digestive problems: Clinical research conducted in Japan showed that 88% of people with mild digestive upset found partial or full relief of their symptoms by drinking alkaline water alone. Just like with GERD, the relief they got was gradual, the benefits built up over the course of about two weeks.
Better bone health: Some of the strongest evidence of health benefits from alkaline water are for bone health. Research shows that drinking alkaline water lowers levels of two enzyme markers that doctors use to determine how much bone you are losing. The link between bone health and alkaline water is strong enough for the Mayo Clinic to state that there is evidence to support drinking alkaline water for bone health.
Talk to your doctor about alkaline water
The most important thing to remember about alkaline water is that it carries the potential for gradual relief of the symptoms of GERD. If you are taking any kind of medication for GERD, do not quit cold turkey! Talk to your doctor, if you find that alkaline water seems to be controlling your GERD, your doctor can tell you how to safely reduce the dosage of your medicine that you are taking. Ultimately, you may find – just like my wife – that you can stop taking your GERD medicine entirely, but you should do so only on your doctor’s advice.
You can try alkaline water for 60 days with Life’s 60 day return policy. Call us at 877-959-7977 for details.
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