Saturday, March 26, 2011

Now THIS will give you heartburn!

Being in the health and fitness industry, I read alot of professional publications, magazines, newsletters and internet articles/emails to keep informed of up-to-date studies and research.  It has only been in the last few years that I have become more focused and aware of the connection between diet/nutrition and wellness/fitness.  I am realizing more and more that my generation has typically been too complacent and accepting of what is marketed as the "American" way as far as eating habits, health problems and treatment vs prevention.

I am very pleased whenever I see articles in the newspaper that promote fitness and wellness, although there have been several that have been misleading and inaccurate. Not sure how they choose their sources.
Anyway, an article last week caught my eye about the adverse effects of taking acid-reflux medications (FDA just released a warning), because my husband has been on Nexium the past year.  This article pointed out the risk of depleting the body's magnesium with extended use of these drugs (over a year) which alarmingly, can not be restored with supplementation.

I know magnesium works with calcium and assumed depletion would affect bone density but a quick internet search showed in addition to bone fractures there are even more consequences:  risk of panic attacks, agrophobia, heart problems plus many other health problems.  This got hubby's attention.

It is very common for people to suffer from these gerd & ulcer ailments, which is typically assumed to be stress-related.  Doctors are quick to prescribe the drugs to cure the symptoms but don't tell us the side effects or that even though the drugs will cure the pain, the problem is still there - damaging the lining of the esophagus because of bile/stomach acid imbalances.

And guess what?!  The best way to naturally "cure" acid reflux is with DIET!  It has been shown that most people got relief by changing their diet - mainly by curbing the carbs.  When my husband first started having his pain, he was eating at his beloved Steak n Shake several times a week while on the road and had a stash of honey buns to satisfy his after dinner need for sweet.  With increasing stress at work, he has made a big
effort - bless him! - to eat better and has kicked his fast food/sugar addiction the last 6 months.

Not aware of the dangers of taking Nexium, he has continued to take it because he has felt so good but is now weaning off of it.  We have found some natural remedies like peppermint tea, chewing gum after meals (increases saliva for bile production) and ginger.  The Peoples Pharmacy has a great website for alternative medicine and information.

This is just another example of how our society can address and even prevent health problems by paying more attention to diet.  And it is also a nice surprise to see that the FDA is going against the drug companies to warn us of dangers with their products.
I am thinking that I may have dodged a bullet.....retirement with a husband who is afraid to leave the house!