If Symptoms Disappear, What’s So Bad About Suppressing Stomach Acid?

stomach pain
              stomach pain

Acid-neutralizing agents and acid-suppressing drugs minimize heartburn symptoms, reduce the risks of GERD, can help heal ulcers, and are generally considered by conventional medicine to be safe. Does it really matter that they suppress stomach acid so much? What’s the harm? We believe it does matter, for several important reasons:
The drugs disrupt the natural gastrointestinal environment. Although widely believed to be safe and well tolerated, acid-blocking drugs by their very nature, induce profound changes in the internal environment of the stomach and intestines. Decades of research have demonstrated that chronically low levels of stomach acid (not necessarily caused by drugs) can be harmful in the long run, leading to maldigestion, malabsorption, and malnutrition, which can predispose to a wide range of serious ailments.
The relief anti-acid drugs offer is transient. Heartburn stays away only as long as acid levels stay suppressed, and acid levels stay suppressed only as long as we keep taking the drugs. If we stop taking them, we risk heartburn’s return, sometimes with a vengeance. It’s not uncommon for people to take acid blockers, and even acid neutralizes daily for years and years at a time in order to avoid a relapse.
The drugs don’t cure heartburn, they only temporarily relieve the symptoms. Like many of the “wonder drugs” that have become available in this age of pharmaceutical-dominated medicine, neither acid-blocking drugs nor traditional neutralizing antacid products do anything to cure heartburn or GERD. They only temporarily suppress the major symptom—heartburn. Symptom suppression is the standard treatment strategy for most diseases in conventional Western medicine today. With the possible exception of antibiotics, very few drugs being marketed today can actually cure anything.
These drugs may be effective at removing the irritating agent, but as far as the cause is concerned, they completely miss the point. We can think of acid-blocking treatment like drying up the river after a flood but never repairing the faulty dam that’s actually causing the flooding. Note how gingerly the American College of Gastroenterology (ACG) treats the issue of “cure” (see below). Although they use the “c-word” rather loosely, it’s clear that, from their conventional perspective, the only “real” cure is not drugs but surgery.

    we can become dependent , or at least reliant, on anti-acid drugs. They work only as long as we keep taking them. Stopping treatment commonly triggers an acid “rebound,” which can be quenched only by—you guessed it—taking more acid suppressing drugs. Although the rebound is typically short-lived, lasting a couple of days at most, how many people are willing to “tough it out” and endure the heart-burn when they can quickly squelch it by getting back on their acid blocker? While this 
isn’t exactly a true addiction, once this cycle gets going, we’re almost as good as “hooked” on acid suppression.

Can anything actually cure my troubling heartburn

What the American college of gastroenterology says:
“In patients with mild heartburn, simple lifestyle changes may improve symptoms. However, patients with more severe symptoms or esophageal damage usually need either long-term medications or surgery to cure their heartburn. Similar to the treatment of high blood pressure, medications for GERD control the disease, but are effective only when taken regularly. For those who cannot achieve adequate symptom relief and healing through medical therapy, anti-reflux surgery offers the only potential for cure by strengthening the lower esophageal sphincter.
This strategy leaves much to be desired for people with heartburn, but it works great for the pharmaceutical companies. If the drugs actually cured heartburn/GERD, the companies wouldn’t make nearly as much money as they do by selling drugs that provide only temporary symptomatic relief.

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