I just returned from a most wonderful 3-day mini vacation in the mountains near Christopher Creek, AZ, otherwise known as Zane Grey country. The weather was gorgeous with highs in the mid-80’s and lows in the low 50’s. Very nice when you consider Phoenix was around 110 all weekend. I caught some nice trout, hiked some great trails, and had some precious family time with Alex and Cynthia. Yesterday morning, Alex and I  nearly drove into a small herd of about a dozen Elk, with the largest bull Elk I have ever seen. We are definitely going back up to see the fall colors in about a month.

Meanwhile, my mother had called and told me she had been diagnosed with GERD last Thursday, and her doctor had put her on medication to treat it. If you have read my blog, you know that I’m not a fan of adding daily prescription medication to one’s routine for eternity. Short-term use is okay, but if there are natural remedies to treat the issue, sign me up for that first. Since I’ve counseled my Mother on eating a proper diet, I’ll skip to the back-end of treating GERD. GERD, by the way, stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease, and is more commonly known as  heartburn, indigestion, acid-reflux, or Barret’s esophagus, and is currently experiencing an exponential increase in occurrence. If steps are not taken to correct it, esophageal and stomach cancer, stomach ulcers, and other nasty diseases can follow. Typically, treatment by allopathic physicians consists of prescribing PPI’s, or proton pump inhibitors, such as nexium, zantac, prilosec, and others. These drugs take away GERD symptoms by decreasing stomach acid (HCL), but they also take away the best defense you body has against major bacterial infections, some of which can be deadly. MRSA, C-difficile, e-coli, salmonella, etc., can run rampant in the gut unless HCL kills them. Doesn’t sound like a good trade-off for me. Since GERD symptoms can vary in individuals, so do the remedies; what works for one doesn’t necessarily work for another-trial and error may be necessary. Some of my patients have had good success with apple cider vinegar; 2-3 tablespoons undiluted for an acute attack, and 2 tablespoons 2x/day for maintenance. Aloe juice has also been helpful for some, and ginger tea has worked well for others. I’ve also heard that chewing gum for 20 minutes after a meal can help, and that drinking 2 glasses of water after a meal offers benefits too. One patient swears by drinking a glass of whole milk after a meal. If you suffer from GERD-like symptoms, I suggest you try the natural remedies; they have no side-effects.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.