Generally speaking, PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) used to suppress stomach acid secretion and to treat acid reflux are very safe for short term use. However, long term use may complicate health conditions by various mechanisms, such as decreasing bone density, causing Magnesium and Vit B12 deficiencies, and increasing risk of bowel infections. There have been a number of review articles published in medical journals on this topic in recent years. Clinically, I have seen many patients who had been on PPIs for 8 to 10 years, or even longer. This begs the question, WHY?
My opinions are:
- It is convenient to just prescribe and just to take a pill. After all, it is very effective.
- Physicians do not emphasize enough healthy lifestyle.
- Physicians do not study or do not believe in alternative therapy.
My suggestions are:
- Pay attention to what you eat, how much you eat with each meal, and when do you eat. The proverb “Eat your breakfast like a king, eat your lunch like a prince, and eat your supper like a pauper” is very true, especially for those who have symptoms late in the evening or at night.
- Avoid spicy, greasy food, wine or anything that precipitate heart burn/stomach pain.
- Use antacids such as Tums quickly with any discomfort.
- Raise the head of bed.
- Lose weight.
- Try acupuncture and Chinese herbs if the symptoms are difficult to manage.
Traditional Chinese Herbal Therapy For Acid Reflux
Traditional Chinese Herbal Therapy is a personalized medicine tailored to each individual, taking into consideration the strength/energy of the stomach, hot/cold nature of the person, and the motility issue (bloating or not) when the herbal mixture is prepared.
–Dr. Peter Sheng
Cincinnati Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Therapy, Integrative Medicine & Holistic Health Care