Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs) are a significant medical advancement. If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux, then your doctor might have recommended a proton pump inhibitor to you. There’s also a chance that your physician failed to mention all the health risks that come with using PPI. If you developed an illness from using the medication, you should speak to one of our mass tort lawyers. But before that, let’s look at the best alternatives to using proton pump inhibitors.
What You Don’t Know About Using PPIs
There are so many commercials telling people that they can eat anything without fear of acid reflux because of PPIs. What the adverts don’t say are some of the things we have listed below:
- PPI medications do not prevent the regurgitation of stomach contents up to the esophagus. They only mask the symptoms of GERD.
- The medications do not prevent the potential progression of acid reflux disease.
- The potential of the acid rebound effect prevents users from discontinuing daily PPI usage. The rebound effect mostly affects those trying to reduce PPI too quickly.
- PPI medication only reduces or eliminates the symptoms of acid reflux. It does not fix the underlying cause or conditions that triggered the illness.
- Long-term daily usage poses different health risks like pneumonia, heart attacks, kidney failure, and dementia. It also increases the risk of stomach cancer, also known as gastric cancer.
The Best 5 Alternatives to Proton Pump Inhibitors
With all the risks PPI medications bring, it is wise to find healthier alternatives without negative health impacts. Below, we’ve put together the best healthy alternatives to proton pump inhibitors.
Eat a GERD-Friendly Meal
In following a GERD-friendly meal plan, you need to discover what foods and beverages trigger your ailment. With this knowledge, you’ll be able to avoid them and manage your pain. Note that this requires dedication and commitment as beverages like chocolate and coffee are some of what you should avoid.
The next thing is to substitute the foods you can’t have with what you can. For example, you can switch mint with parsley or basil and fried foods with grilling or baking. Another thing to avoid is fatty foods and those high in carbs. Lastly, eat more protein and smaller meals for quick digestion.
Take Melatonin Supplements
Naturally, the body makes melatonin in the pineal gland. But you can get it as a supplement from pharmacies. Most people use the drug as a sleeping aid, but according to Reflux MD, many people use it to reduce their acid reflux symptoms.
As with several other medications, melatonin may not work for everyone. This is because it might not interact well with other drugs. Thus, discuss with your physician before getting on melatonin. It is also advisable to start with a low dose while observing how your body reacts to it.
Make Lifestyle Changes
Making changes to your lifestyle has always been an effective alternative to anything that affects you adversely. For example, if you have GERD, it would be wise if you stopped smoking. The latter relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), thereby allowing more acid to escape the stomach and increasing reflux.
Another substance that triggers GERD symptoms is alcohol. If you consume alcohol, reduce or cut it from your life completely. Furthermore, avoid late-night snacking. You should also consider taking five or six small snacks or meals every day. It would promote faster digestion and reduce the acid amount required to digest meals.
Lastly, wear loose-fitting clothes in the stomach area, and sleep with your head elevated six to seven inches. It would allow gravity to keep your stomach contents where they should be.
Take Time to Relax
Relaxation is another healthy alternative to taking PPIs. When you feel stressed, it can increase the acid in your stomach. This slows down digestion and causes GERD symptoms to flare up. Hence, you need to avoid stress triggers and create adequate relaxing time. Meditation is one key way of relaxing, and you can also consider acupuncture.
Keep Your Body Mass Index (BMI) at 24 or Less
If you are overweight, you have to shed some of it as the extra body mass puts pressure on the abdomen and LES. The stretching weakens the LES, allowing stomach content to enter the esophagus. Thus, keep your BMI at 24 or less. A well-structured weight loss program can also lead to a complete reduction of GERD symptoms and reduce PPI medications’ need.
How Can Mass Tort Lawyers Help You?
Mass tort attorneys at Rueb Stoller Daniel can help you if you develop stomach cancer from using PPIs. We will review your case to find a link between your illness and the drug and create a plan to get you compensation. Contact us today to get started.