In trying to justify the use of a folk remedy to treat GERD, I have touted plausible but unproven theories, testimonies and happy patients and have admitted that those 3 elements are not enough. Several years ago, one of my patients embraced a fraudulent “detox” program paying several thousand dollars. For his money, his medical condition worsened and in addition his kidneys were damaged. This story illustrates two other pitfalls that must be considered. What is the cost and what is the risk? Apple cider vinegar is relatively inexpensive costing ~ $10 for several months supply. I’m aware of no significant risk. Remember, it’s a food that is routinely used on salads and as a flavor enhancer for many other foods. It’s prudent to rinse your teeth after use to avoid damage to enamel. That’s about it. Is it possible that it covers up disease rather than curing it like giving pain medicine for a splinter? For this concern we have to remember that the current standard of care for GERD is to use meds based on symptoms and assume symptom resolution represents a positive outcome.
I perform upper endoscopy (a test using a scope to view and biopsy the stomach and esophagus) for Trinity patients and have seen nothing that would discourage me from this approach. Now we have a treatment that is safe, cheap, preserves natural gut function and makes patients happy compared with a medicine which has known adverse effects, can be expensive and wipes out at least one natural gut function. Which would you chose? That’s my defense. Please share your comments whether positive or negative. Here’s a suggestion; if diet and other lifestyle changes don’t relieve GERD, try ACV for a few weeks. If that fails consider PPI’s but with calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12 supplements. After 8 weeks and continued diet reform try ACV again. Make every effort to avoid long term use of meds but on occasion you will have to.