Posts Tagged ‘esophagus cancer’

CURING HEARTBURN

Acid Reflux, heartburn, GERD…many names for stomach acid creeping up past a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES) into the esophagus and burning it since the esophagus is not protected from stomach acid like the stomach.  Stopping heartburn is very important because chronic heartburn can lead to esophageal cancer.

For about six months I had a major case of heartburn which bothered me most of the time.  Since proton pump inhibitors  (Nexium, Protonix, etc.)and other acid- reducers have many bad side effects, like the stomach having too weak an acid environment to digest important nutrients like calcium and thus pose a significant increase in the risk of hip fractures due to the consequent osteoporosis, I only used them for the recommended two weeks at a time.  Proton pump inhibitors helped me greatly but after the recommended two weeks, my heartburn returned.  Then I only used Tums and other calcium carbonate chews to quickly reduce my stomach acid when I had stomach pain.

I am not a physician, but over the years I tried all of the well-know remedies such as: 1)avoiding fried, spicy and acidic foods, 2) placing 6″- high blocks of wood under the  head-of-my-bed supports, 3) not eating for a few hours before going to bed, 4) not wearing tight fitting belts or pants, 5) not lying down flat after eating, 6) not drinking coffee or eating chocolate, but if I really craved it, just having a cup or two a day of coffee/day or an ounce or so of chocolate/day.

I tried all of these remedies at once, and still do, and although it helped during the daytime, it didn’t make any difference while I was sleeping (when it’s  easier for stomach acid to flow up the esophagus).   So what else was out there other than medications that could allow me to get 5-7 hours of sleep?  After searching around, I eventually read that cabbage juice was effective, so I tried eating about 1/4 can of sauerkraut every night about an hour or so before I went to bed.  To my pleasant surprise, I was able to sleep straight through to 7 am instead of my usual 2-4 am, because my heartburn did not flare up with pain at its usual time.  Over the days, weeks and months I continued my bedtime sauerkraut snack-cure to the extent that my heartburn completely disappeared.  Today my heartburn is gone but I still eat sauerkraut at bedtime whenever I have a flare-up.  Sauerkraut works.  Try it!  There’s nothing to lose (except your heartburn).

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