Having urged a severe reduction in the use of the purple pill and it’s cousins, I’m obligated to give an alternative. The best way to prevent or reverse acid reflux is to eat a well constructed diet low in processed carbohydrates. At Trinity/VitalSigns we routinely see patients relieved of reflux symptoms when they follow the diet we prescribe. This relief comes very rapidly often before weight loss occurs. We do not know the reason for this but suspect that metabolic and hormonal changes such as a drop in insulin are responsible. It has also been speculated that reducing these processed foods leads to reduced bad bacteria and increased healthy bacteria in the small bowel. This is especially true when fermented and probiotic rich foods such as yogurt or kefir are consumed. The reduction of abdominal fat that inevitably occurs on this diet will often lead to further improvements. If the lower esophageal sphincter is damaged, a hiatal hernia has developed or the patient is already on a PPI, additional measures are sometimes needed. Over the past 3 years, seeking to get patients off these drugs, I have incorporated an old folk remedy into my practice and found it to be very successful.
My recipe: 2 tsp. of Bragg’s Apple Cider Vinegar in 8oz filtered water before meals. This can usually be reduced to once a day after it has been working for a week or so. Rinse your teeth after use. (Acid can be hard on enamel)
It helps to add, although is not required: 2oz plain kefir twice a day.
Both Bragg’s ACV and kefir can be bought at Kroger’s, Publix and other grocery stores.
But you ask, where is the science? Am I violating my own previously stated standards? I will answer these potential concerns on Monday. Comments welcome.