Question was asked via website: I have read a lot about the dangers of acid reflux medications. Are there any natural fixes that will help?
My opinion: You are right to be leery of proton pump inhibitors and H2 blockers. Their chronic use has been linked to bone fractures and increased risk of infections. These pharmaceuticals can also decrease calcium absorption and wipe out stomach acid, which is needed for breaking down any and all food proteins. If your GI doctor agrees with you trying to wean off of your meds, try sleeping with 2 pillows – this will help to prevent acid from accumulating in your esophagus and throat. Also, try not to eat after 7 pm and go to sleep no later than 10pm to avoid unnecessary acid production in the late evening.

There are some foods that increase acid production which you should try to avoid: caffeine, alcohol, tomatoes, chocolate, and spicy foods. There are also several simple natural remedies that will improve your reflux. My favorites is Rhizinate Chewable supplement by Integrative Therapeutics. The main ingredient – deglycyrrhizinated licorice stimulates and accelerates the natural protective factors in the digestive tract which help relieve occasional heartburn. In Rhizinate, the glycyrrhizin compound–associated with high blood pressure–has been removed. It’s chewable because saliva enhances the effect of Rhizinate’s natural compounds, and it tastes great. Alternatively, you can try slipper elm bark and mastic gum – based supplement called Pylori-Plex by Douglas Labs. Mastic gum, a resin obtained from the tree, Pistacia lentiscus, is used traditionally in the Mediterranean as both a food ingredient and a traditional healing plant for the gastrointestinal system. Several animal and human studies indicate that it may have the ability to reduce the H. Pylori bacteria, commonly related to many cases of heartburn and acid reflux. This in turn can play an important role in supporting the body’s exposure to H. pylori and maintaining the body’s natural defenses against ulcer formation. Either supplement can be ordered here: