Digestive DisordersLife Extension Suggestions
What Conventional Medicine Offers
Some of the most popular drugs prescribed to treat digestive complaints are Prilosec or Prevacid. These drugs are known as gastric acid-pump inhibitors because of the unique way in which they block the final metabolic step in the production of stomach acid. These drugs are quite expensive but are more effective in suppressing disorders associated with excess stomach acid production than the older class of histamine-2 receptor antagonist drugs sold under the trade names Tagamet, Zantac, Pepcid, and Axid. Drugs such as Tagamet inhibit stomach acid secretion whereas Prilosec and Prevacid suppress virtually all stomach acid secretion.
Most stomach ulcers are now considered to be caused by the Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) bacteria. Special antibiotic regimens are now the therapy of choice in treating ulcers. Drugs that reduce stomach acid are therefore more frequently prescribed to treat esophageal reflux, where stomach acid regurgitates into the esophagus to cause heartburn. If left untreated, chronic esophageal exposure to stomach acid can cause esophagitis and esophageal cancer.
Some people with mild esophageal reflux may be able to use natural therapies to promote youthful peristaltic action and push food more rapidly out of the stomach, thereby alleviating reflux back into the esophagus.
If You Suffer from Ulcers
The medical community has discovered that H. pylori bacteria cause most stomach ulcers. Blood tests can reveal the presence of the H. pylori antibody. Special antibiotic combinations can be used to eliminate H. pylori bacteria from the stomach within a matter of weeks. Those who fail to eradicate H. pylori are at a far greater risk for contracting stomach cancer.