The stomach acid plays an important role in breaking down the food and absorbing the nutrients. It also kills the bacteria and the microbes in the body. However, if the acidic stomach content goes back up into the esophagus, then the person suffers from heartburn or acid reflux. It is also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). The GERD patients need to use proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or acid reflux drugs, which include Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium. However, using PPIs for a long time can cause serious nutritional deficiencies and infections in the patients. So, it is necessary to get off the acid reflux drugs as early as possible.
Side Effects of using Acid Reflux Drugs for a Long Time
When the GERD patients use PPIs for a long time, the magnesium level in their blood decreases a lot. Due to which, they suffer from various health issues like muscle spasms, seizures, and arrhythmias. This also increases the risk of bone fractures in the spine, hip, and the wrist.
According to the medical experts, the GERD patients are at a higher risk of intestinal infections and diarrhea as well. So, if this condition persists for long, it becomes necessary to consult your health care provider on the immediate basis. One way to get rid of PPIs is to use herbal medicine or supplements after proper consultation.
How Can Herbs Ease Inflammation due to GERD?
The herbs and supplements affect the functioning of the human body in a different way compared to that of pharmaceuticals. The herbs like chamomile tea, marshmallow root, and licorice root are used to ease the inflammation in the stomach and the esophagus. They coat the tissues on the gastrointestinal (GI) tract of the body.
Similarly, the aloe vera gel proves to be effective in treating the issues of the upper GI tract. The doctors also recommend melatonin to the patients with GERD symptoms. Another natural product to get off PPIs is Iberogast, which consists of 9 herbs. It has been found to be quite effective in relieving the gastric regurgitation and other such symptoms.
How to use Herbal Medication to get off PPIs?
According to the medical experts, the patients can wean off acid reflux drugs slowly. First, they need to cut down the dose of the drugs. They can take the drug on alternate days along with the herbal remedy. However, it is mandatory to stick to only one herbal treatment while getting off PPIs.
For the herbal treatment, the GERD patients can combine 2-3 herbs after consulting their medical advisor. Like, initially, they can use a combination of anti-inflammatory herbs, i.e., chamomile along with melatonin. Once they are able to get off PPI, they can use aloe vera gel or marshmallow root to coat the tissues on the GI tract.
Another way to get rid of acid reflux symptoms is to eat healthy while avoiding trigger foods. Moreover, meditation and exercises can also assist in weaning off acid reflux drugs.
Does the Acid Reflux Symptoms Return?
Yes, it may happen that you quit the medication for a few weeks and later on you are suffering from reflux symptoms once again. According to a study, this situation occurs if the patients are suffering from hiatal hernias or other such diseases. So, in such a case, they need to restart acid-blocking medication after consulting with their physician.