During the 1990’s when I was going through a very stressful time in my life, I developed stress ulcers. My doctor prescribed Prilosec for the problem. At the time, I had very little acid reflux, but a great deal of burning pain in my stomach. The Prilosec seemed to work for a number of years. Then, when it went over-the-counter, my insurance company would no longer pay for it, so my doctor switched me to Nexium.
Nexium also seemed to work, to the extent that one time when I ran out of it and the insurance company’s chosen mail-order pharmacy dragged its feet on sending me more, the reflux, which had never been a problem before, reared its ugly head and made my life miserable.
My doctor had prescribed one pill daily for 90 days, to be refilled three times. When I sent for the first refill, it never arrived. After a couple of weeks, I called to check on it. The mail-order pharmacy said Nexium was not approved to be used routinely on an on-going basis, so they had to get “special approval” from my doctor before they would send any more (per the insurance company’s instructions). I told them I thought the fact that my doctor had written “3 refills” on the prescription should be approval enough, but they wouldn’t accept that. They would have to fax him a form to fill out and fax back. I have no idea why they waited two weeks to do that if they knew it was required. By the time I finally received more Nexium, I was eating antacids by the handful, walking the floor at night, and wishing for a way to get off Nexium completely. I don’t like having to be that dependent on any medication.
But I continued to just coast along, taking the Nexium and wishing I didn’t need to, till I entered the hospital to have a hip joint replaced. The pre-admission tests showed I was anemic. I had never been anemic in my life. I was required to take iron supplements before I could have the surgery.
A friend who is big on natural remedies told me that such drugs as Nexium can make one anemic, because their purpose is to neutralize the stomach acid. When taken for more than a couple of weeks, these drugs neutralize too much of the stomach acid so the food doesn’t digest properly, and as a result, one doesn’t get the full benefit of the food they eat.
These drugs actually are not intended to be taken on an ongoing basis, but it seems that once you start taking them, it is extremely hard to do without them.
As I recovered from my surgery, I worked on getting myself off the Nexium. It was not an easy thing to do. I started surfing the net, looking for an alternative treatment for acid reflux. I was well aware of the dangers of allowing the reflux to cause “corrosive damage” to my esophagus, perhaps even causing cancer if allowed to continue. But I was not comfortable with the idea of taking indefinitely a drug that was intended to be used for two weeks or maybe a month, then discontinued for a while before taking more.
Eventually I located a web page on which a man who didn’t even claim to be a medical professional said he had done a lot of research on acid reflux, and he had finally found a natural cure for it. The only catch was that it would cost me $29.99 to learn what it was. But he did promise to refund my money if it didn’t work. I thought that was pretty steep for such a minuet amount of information, but I took a chance on it and ordered it.
It was just too simple to work. But it did. He advised eating a red delicious apple daily, and eating a spoonful of honey from time to time. It took determination and perseverance, but after a few weeks, during which I took only one Nexium pill, the reflux was basically gone. I no longer eat the apples and honey on a regular basis, but if I feel reflux coming on, I eat an apple and the problem is gone.
He stressed that only the red delicious apples would work, so I took him at his word. It seemed strange to me to be able to eat the apples without having stomach pain afterwards, as raw fruit often disagrees with my digestion. But it never bothered me at all.
If you are having acid reflux, you might want to give this a try. You can just slice up an apple in the morning and eat a slice from time to time all day, or eat it all at once if you prefer. I peeled mine, but supposedly it wouldn’t matter if you prefer to eat them with the skin on. You can eat a teaspoonful of honey when you think about it. I also put honey in my green tea and chamomile tea and it seems to have a soothing effect.
If you are already taking prescription medication for your reflux and have qualms about leaving it off completely, you might try taking it every other day, then perhaps every third day, while continuing to eat the apples and honey. Perhaps you may need to talk to your doctor before discontinuing the medication, as quitting some medications suddenly can be dangerous. I did not consult mine, and had no problems. But everybody is different.
As long as you are having acid reflux, as you probably already know, it’s a good idea not to go to bed too soon after eating. If necessary to do so, you should at least use an extra pillow or possibly sleep in a recliner until the problem is resolved, in order to keep your head elevated. And of course, it’s wise to avoid eating foods that you know tend to cause reflux, at least until you have it under control.
I hope this helps you with your acid reflux problem. At least it’s harmless unless you have a problem with apples or honey. And, the information is free.