Can Aciphex bring any true relief to victims of heartburn? In the following article, a former heartburn patient tells the tragic truth about Aciphex, after having compared with many alternative solutions. As an Over The Counter medicament against heartburn, Aciphex is known by millions. Sales per annum of this drug topped $1.3 billion (figures from 2006).
Even if healthy people can get occasional heartburn also, recurrent heartburn (every two or three days) may indicate acid reflux, or by its full name, GERD - gastro esophageal reflux disease. About 1 in 5 of all adults in developed western countries are sufferers of recurring heartburn. The name heartburn comes from the sensation of burning and pain in the throat or the chest, especially following eating.
Acid reflux causing the pain of heartburn occurs because of weakness of a stomach sphincter. It can lead to inflammation of the esophageal lining (esophagitis) and difficulties in swallowing, internal hemorrhages, esophageal constriction and Barrett's esophagus, often a precursor to cancer. GERD is brought on by a muscle between the esophagus and the stomach not working correctly. This muscle is the lower esophageal sphincter and should normally block off the esophagus from the stomach to stop acid and juices backing up into the esophagus.
Aciphex tries to target the acidity as a solution to reduce acid reflux symptoms including heartburn. This is just one of two factors provoking acid reflux. Besides excessive stomach acidity, the other one is weakness of the esophageal sphincter.
This group of PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) function by halting the production of stomach acid. They do this by "disconnecting" the proton pump, which is the stomach's way of fabricating acid. Aciphex is part of the group of (PPI) which aims to treat acid reflux symptoms, and also contains Prevacid, Protonix and Prilosec.
Nevertheless, this is not the real reason for acid reflux. Aciphex is merely attacking the sensation (heartburn) and not the real reason. When the real reason remains untreated, it will continue to produce the symptom and this may even result in dependency on the drug and degraded acid reflux. Immediate relief may be the big advertising point for PPIs such as Aciphex, but the negative aspects exist as well. Because gastric acid is needed for correct digestion and for its properties in killing off hostile microbes, blocking its production can be unwise.
An astonishing conclusion was made from the role of gastric acid in killing off pathogens that enter the mouth and travel down the esophagus. Without stomach acid, these microbes can then return up the esophagus to double back down into the lungs and provoke pneumonia. If this was not already bad enough, recent research shows that PPI medications can generated other unwanted secondary effects. The possible increases in the risk of pneumonia was just one conclusion from Dutch research done in 2004.
The same artificial blocking of stomach acid also interfered with the body's ability to fix calcium and so with the right bone mineral density, a problem linked to osteoporosis. In the UK, studies just done indicate that patients using PPI medicaments for more than 12 months and over the age of 50, were 44% more in danger of breaking a hip than acid reflux patients not using PPIs (examples of these PPIs are Nexium, Prilosec, Aciphex, Protonix and Prevacid).
The comprehensive holistic approach will resolve your GERD effectively and safely and permanently prevent it from happening again. Did you already hear the news? Heartburn and its painful effects can now be prevented forever without having to use Aciphex or any similar medication.