Dr. David Brownstein,  editor of Dr. David Brownstein’s Natural Way to Health newsletter, is a board-certified family physician and one of the nation’s foremost practitioners of holistic medicine. Dr. Brownstein has lectured internationally to physicians and others about his success with natural hormones and nutritional therapies in his practice. His books include Drugs That Don’t Work and Natural Therapies That Do!; Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can’t Live Without It; Salt Your Way To Health; The Miracle of Natural Hormones; Overcoming Arthritis, Overcoming Thyroid Disorders; The Guide to a Gluten-Free Diet; and The Guide to Healthy Eating. He is the medical director of the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield, Mich., where he lives with his wife, Allison, and their teenage daughters, Hailey and Jessica.

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Getting Off of Proton-Pump Inhibitors

Thursday, 03 Dec 2009 09:34 AM

Question: I’ve been on proton-pump inhibiters (PPI) for nine years due to gastroesophageal reflux disease. I take no other oral medications, only a multivitamin once in a while. Occasionally I try to get off the PPIs but with no luck. Two years ago I tried for two months to eat only blenderized raw vegetables and fruits (no acidic ones), small portions of chicken, and brown rice and beans. I lost 20 pounds and had tons of energy but eventually went back on my meds because the sore throat and burning were agony. I’ve been scoped, which showed a very small hiatal hernia, but the gastroenterologist said it wasn’t the cause of my condition. Any suggestions for getting off these PPIs for good?

Dr. Brownstein's Answer:

You are not alone. There are many people on proton-pump inhibiters, such as AcipHex and Prilosec, who have a difficult time trying to come off these medications. For those with excess abdominal weight, the easiest solution is to lose the excess weight. In your case, I would gather you do not have much excess weight.

Let me offer a few suggestions: First, find a good chiropractor who can adjust the hiatal hernia. I have seen many patients suffer with gastroesophageal reflux for years. More often than not, an adjustment of the hiatal hernia by a skilled osteopath or chiropractor can dramatically stop the esophageal discomfort and effectively cure the illness. Also, you could consider having a Heidelberg test to look at the pH of your stomach. I do this testing in my office and I have seen esophageal and stomach problems improve markedly by ensuring that the pH of the stomach is appropriate. Many times, people with reflux problems cannot acidify their stomach properly. Supplementing with hydrochloric acid pills can help this condition. Your holistic healthcare practitioner can help guide you.

Finally, one last piece of advice: Make sure you drink enough water and ingest adequate amounts of unrefined salt. Both help with reflux problems.

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