Many of you are ignorantly blissful & in denial about your acid reflux / heartburn problem.
You are hoping it will just go away—–it will not – it cannot — unless you do specific things to actually fix the problem — not just cover it up.
If you are taking one of the proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) or gulping bottles of tums & you do get some relief — perhaps having no pain at all ——- that is worse than feeling the pain. You are setting yourself up for potential disaster.
You see —- if you swallow a pill & the pain goes away it is easy to just keep doing that & blow the whole thing off – especially when your doctor (who has no clue on how to actually fix the problem) encourages you to keep doing so—–for the rest of your life!
We’ve all seen that idiot Larry the Cable guy in the commercials screaming incoherently about Prilosec OTC & taking it even BEFORE you get heartburn. Now that is total evil bull shit. He is just a high paid shill for the drug companies. He is not your friend! It is extremely difficult for me to sit back & watch this propaganda.
It is not the chemical toxicity of these products that is the danger. It is the fact that they give you a false image that:
a. there is no cure
b. they sleazily imply that this will somehow – eventually heal the problem. They kind of want it both ways & their salesman (your doctor) supports this.
I actually have patients that told me ‘I don’t have a heartburn problem-I take nexium.’ Wow
Here is why it’s dangerous & why it is happening to you right now:
1. Not only does acid reflux / heartburn never go away it by nature is degenerative—–it can only get worse.
2. Most of you are playing the food juggling game-“Oh I am fine as long as I don’t eat—tomato sauce—orange juice-pretzels—-chinese food-anchovies-spam’—-I always say ‘Ya—you’re doing great.’
3. Everyday that you don’t feel pain is bad because every time you swallow your stomach acids are scorching your esophagus – eating holes in it! This is not because of too much acid as we have been told–it is because of too little protective coating from the mucosal lining. BTW–this can be replaced!
4. You only feel pain when the holes in your esophagus have gone deep enough to hit a nerve. This is exactly the same as a cavity in a tooth!
5. So — let’s assume you are a tough guy —- you told Larry the Cable Guy to stick it —- and you decided to grin & bear it. Ok — that’s cool but —— one day w/o having done anything to actually heal it — the pain stops. That is not good at all.
Read on to find out why.
Here is how it works:
- You feel a twinge of burning & you assume it was from that nasty tuna casserole that your mother in law makes for the Armistice Day Celebration every year.
- That burning happens more often no matter what you eat so you buy some Rolaids and suck on them all day.
- This is now getting to be a pain in the ass as you are burning up all day—you even wonder if you are having a heart attack. Meanwhile the destruction of your esophagus wall keeps going on.
- You finally break down & go to the doctor & he writes a script to give to the local drug dealer— oh excuse me — pharmacist – another person who doesn’t know what the – he/she is doing.
- That stuff works wonderfully—–for a while but you still can’t eat pizza!
What is really happening?
As you are passing through the stages of going from minor heartburn to Barrett’s Syndrome & where you are in the process — here are some of the tell tale signs. You may not have all of them & you may be unlucky & have no symptoms—that is called Silent Reflux—the worst case scenario because when it hits the fan you are going to be blindsided.
a. You are hurting no matter what you do.
b. You have to keep clearing your throat.
c. You often have to spit out mucus.
d. You voice gets weak & scratchy.
e. As I said before many of you will then have silence — no pain — ‘Am I healed?‘
NO—-you have graduated to GERD —–then made the final step to the tragic land of Barrett’s Syndrome.
This is when in trying to protect you your body built layers of scar tissue on the walls of your esophagus to prevent the acid from blowing a hole right through it. Which BTW—-happens all the time & you start gushing blood out of your mouth. It’s called Esophageal Ulceration.
BTW – One last bit of uplifting news —– patients with Barrett’s Syndrome not only have to eat a strictly liquid diet but their esophagus is laden with precancerous cells.
I am a bundle of joy today aren’t I? I just think you should consider this before you start down the road of heartburn denial — there may be lethal consequences. I see it everyday when they come to me too late. I can fix it at this point but it is a very long haul.
So — what would Jesus do? —— I have no idea — but he should definitely start by getting off of those dam PPI’s that Judas turned him onto.