Warning: Proton Pump Inhibitors Tend to Cause Dependence
It’s also worth noting that you’ll also develop both tolerance and dependence on PPI drugs, so you should not stop taking proton pump inhibitors cold turkey. You need to wean yourself off them gradually or else you might experience a severe rebound of your symptoms. In some cases, the problem may end up being worse than before you started taking the medication.
Ideally, you’ll want to get a lower dose than you’re on now, and then gradually decrease your dose. Once you get down to the lowest dose of the proton pump inhibitor, you can start substituting with an over-the-counter H2 blocker like Tagamet, Cimetidine, Zantac, or Raniditine. Then gradually wean off the H2 blocker over the next several weeks.
While you wean yourself off these drugs (if you’re already on one), you’ll want to start implementing a lifestyle modification program that can eliminate this condition once and for all. Antibiotics can typically eradicate H. pylori, but there are many other effective strategies that can also work. Ideally, you’d want to try these first, as antibiotics will also kill off the beneficial bacteria in your gut, which can cause other health complications.
Besides, H. pylori is growing increasingly resistant to antibiotics, making the availability of non-drug alternatives even more important.
You Don’t Need a Drug to Banish Acid Reflux
To recap, the answer to gastric problems like ulcers and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function. Not only is it useful for optimal gut function but it is crucial for your long-term health, as your gut flora can increase your absorption of nutrients, and play a significant role in mental and physical health. It is very clear from reviewing the literature that you can’t be healthy until your gut flora is optimized. That is one of the ways eating sugars harm you—they push your gut flora balance in the wrong direction.
Switching from processed foods to whole foods is therefore step number one. To further optimize your gut health, you’ll want to make sure you’re consuming enough good bacteria from traditionally fermented foods, such as fermented vegetables, or in a probiotic supplement. This will help balance your bowel flora, which can help eliminate Helicobacter bacteria naturally.
If you have heartburn, acid reflux, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), peptic ulcer disease, or any acid-related condition, the strategies listed above may also offer relief.
For even more information, I encourage you to read natural health pioneer Dr. Jonathan Wright’s excellent book Your Stomach: What is Really Making You Miserable and What to Do About It. Last but not least, you could even try the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). In the video below, EFT practitioner Julie Schiffman demonstrates how to tap for acid reflux.