Updated: Jan 17
Acid medications such as acid reducers, acid blockers, or proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) are commonly prescribed for stomach problems such as acid reflux, heartburn, GERD, and gastritis. While these medications can help you feel better temporarily, long-term use can actually worsen the problem and come with many side effects. If you've been on acid medication long-term and still aren't better, it's because these medications don't treat the underlying issue. Conventional medicine only treats symptoms which is why you never truly feel better. Thus, the key to healing is to address the root of the problem so you can create lasting wellness.
In my holistic nutrition practice, I'm not interested in band-aid treatments that simply manage symptoms. I look for the root cause of my client's issues so they can restore their health and feel better long-term. This includes helping them get off their acid medication if they choose so that they can truly feel better.
As someone who has suffered from numerous stomach disorders including, reflux, GERD, gastritis, ulcers, and SIBO, I can relate to many of my clients. I understand how detrimental these problems can be to the enjoyment of life, which is exactly why I'm dedicated to helping those battling stomach issues truly heal. If you've been on acid medications long-term and still aren't better, it's because y
The first step to getting off any medication is to consult with your doctor or specialist. You'll want to have factual information that supports your reasoning for getting off the medication and how you plan to do so. While your doctor plays an important part in your health, no one knows your body better than YOU. This is why when I work with clients, I don't just instruct them on what to do, I empower them to take back control of their own health by educating them as well. If you have strong reasons as to why you should get off the medication, there is no reason your doctor shouldn't approve. It's important to work with a doctor, practitioner, or specialist to wean off medications and not go at it alone. They can provide specific directions to wean you off safely and effectively.
This takes me into my second tip, which is to NEVER stop your medication cold turkey. This can cause a "rebound effect" where your symptoms become much worse. Think of this as if it were a withdrawal from any type of addiction. Your body gets used to functioning on this drug which puts it into a state of panic when you stop cold turkey. Again, this is why it's extremely important and helpful for you to work with a practitioner.
My next tip is to use stomach-healing nutrients and apple cider vinegar daily during the weaning-off process. Unfortunately, it's quite difficult to heal the stomach without some type of supplemental support. Supplementing with stomach-healing nutrients such as marshmallow root, DGL, and aloe vera to name a few, is important during the healing process. These nutrients support healing of the gut and esophagus' mucosal lining which is commonly irritated and inflamed when suffering from stomach problems.
In addition to healing nutrients, it's important to supplement with raw, organic apple cider vinegar to support healthy stomach acid levels. Conventional medicine teaches us to believe that stomach problems such as acid reflux are caused by too much acid in the stomach, which, believe it or not, is uncommon. The problem is often not that there's too much acid, but that the acid ends up in the wrong place (i.e. the esophagus), where it does not belong. The reflux of acid into the esophagus is most often caused by not having enough acid in the stomach. This leads to poor digestion of food, thus causing the undigested particles to splash back up or "reflux" into the esophagus along with stomach acid. By supplementing with apple cider vinegar, an acidic liquid, you can bring stomach acid levels back to a normal pH to properly break down your food and prevent further reflux.
I recommend 1-2 tbsp of apple cider vinegar diluted in 4oz of filtered room temperature water before every meal. If you experience burning in the stomach, this signifies that you may have an ulcer and should stop immediately to address this first. To calm the stomach, drink a mixture of 1 tsp baking soda in 4oz of room temperature water.
While natural supplements can help the healing process, they won't outweigh an unhealthy diet. Adjusting your diet is crucial to healing because if you're constantly eating foods that trigger symptoms or cause inflammation, you end up deterring this process. I recommend eliminating any inflammatory foods such as refined carbs (bread, flours, etc), processed foods (anything containing additives, preservatives, etc), gluten, dairy, sugar, alcohol, caffeine, excess raw vegetables, and spicy foods. These foods (besides raw vegetables) are typically not supportive of good health regardless of if you have stomach problems. Excess raw vegetables are included in this list because they can be difficult to digest and cause further irritation. Once your gut heals, you can reintroduce foods to see what works for your body.
My last tip is to stay calm and try not to stress out during the process. Expect to experience discomfort and symptoms that look like the symptoms you're trying to treat as you wean off. These tips should help to lessen your symptoms, and you should start to feel better as your body adjusts and your stomach begins to heal. Keep in mind that things typically get worse before they get better, so just stay strong through the process and always ask for help when you need it. Don't try and suffer alone in silence!
Based on my experience, healing your stomach is a journey. How long it will take you to heal really can vary from person to person. It can take time, but depends on:
How much damage there is to your gut
How long you've been experiencing symptoms
The cause of your symptoms
How committed you are to the healing process (the more committed, the less time it will take)
Who you choose to work with on your journey (i.e. finding a practitioner, or multiple, who specializes in gut health and has the right experience to help you)
If you're ready to ditch the prescription meds and address the root of your stomach problems, I'm offering a FREE consultation to help you learn how! Click here to schedule your free consultation today to take back control of your health and truly feel better for LIFE!
*Disclaimer: This is not intended as medical advice. As mentioned, always consult with your doctor.
Jenn Horowitz, FNTP, CPT is a Functional Nutritional Therapy Practitioner and Certified Personal Trainer who works to address the root cause of illness. Jenn is the founder of JTH Wellness, a holistic health nutrition counseling practice specialized in helping people with stomach problems take control of their health through nutrition and lifestyle changes. Jenn works to support and educate others so that they can enjoy life again, pain and worry free. Learn more about Jenn’s nutrition counseling services and schedule a free 15-minute discovery session by visiting her website, http://www.JTHwellness.com.