I take Apple Cider Vinegar each morning for my GERD instead of Proton Pump Inhibitors.
BLOG NOTE: The Chief Blonde is not a doctor. Nor does she play one on TV or this blog. This account relates her personal experience and that of her husband. You should always consult a doctor before altering or discontinuing your medical treatment.
According to Ehow.com, up to 33% of people in the US have heartburn syptoms (GERD), and ten percent have those symptoms daily. When you experience GERD, it can occasionally lead to inflammation in the esophagus which can then sometimes lead to cancer of the esophagus. Without getting to graphic, but just to let you know uncorrected (GERD) can also lead to the need for blood transfusions, ulcers, extended bleeding, and sometimes death. However, as reported by Consumer Reports Health.org, the drugs you take for treating GERD , Proton Pump Inhibitors (also referred to as PPI) such as Prilosec and Nexium, can lead to an increased incident of pneumonia and infection from the bacteria C. difficile. Hip fractures are another concern of long-term use of PPIs . Also a recent study the combination of PPIs and the blood thinner Plavix could increase the risk of a second heart attack.
I have had GERD (as diagnosed by a gastroenterologis) for 10+ years. When it first was diagnosed, I was at the point that I would have let the doctor remove my esophagus (kinda hard to live that way) because I was in so much pain with GERD. He prescribed a PPI (which one is unimportant as I took several) and I had relatively good results for years. The reason I stopped taking PPIs was twofold. One, I was concerned about the side effects and two, my husband had went off of them a year earlier after using Apple Cider vinegar with great results.
I took a lot of courage for me to try the Apple Cider Vinegar. To be honest, I tried it once, just taking 3-4 Tablespoons of the vinegar straight up and it soured my stomach and I was convinced it wasn’t for me. Then I retried the remedy, this time I had done a little more research. My approach the second time was to add 2 teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar to 6 oz of water and 1/2 teaspoon of natural honey. Heat in the microwave for 26 seconds (or until Lukewarm). Stir the mixture once warm, and slam back all at once. I drank this every morning and evening, a half-hour before meals. I did this religiously for about 6 months. The results were immediate (relatively) and I stopped taking my PPI within the first month of treatment (PLEASE CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR–do not rely on my advice). After 6 months of this remedy, I scaled back to just the morning dose and that is what I have been doing for two years–no PPI in sight.
Yes, I still have the occasional GERD flare-up but NOTHING like before. Even on the PPI medicine, I had a hard time with stressful situations, bending over for extended periods (acid would splash up into my esophagus) and eating certain foods. Now, the flare-ups are minor in comparison and usually stress induced.
The Vinegar must be apple cider. I personally use Heinz. You will find various ways to take the Apple Cider Vinegar if you research this remedy. My approach may work for you or another that recommends more Vinegar, less water, etc. Like any natural remedy, you have to be willing to play with this. My gastroenterologist, when questioned about this theory, advised me to stay on PPIs but said taking the Apple Cide Vinegar could not hurt me. I would not take the Apple Cider Vingar undiluted. I always make sure to rinse my mouth thoroughly afterwards to prevent canker sores and then I drink another glass of cold water to rinse out my throat and esophagus. Remember, Apple Cider Vinegar is acidic!
As a Woman over 45, I am thrilled to be off of PPIs. I do not like to take medicine unless I have to. This approach worked for me. I relate it to you as an anecdote. I do not know your own medical history. Only you and your doctor can determine what works for you. As advised by WebMD.com– YOU MUST CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USING apple cider vinegar to make sure it won’t interfere with other medicines or other conditions you have.
WHAT APPROACH DO YOU TAKE FOR YOUR GERD?