Heartburn, acid reflux are the number one digestive complaint and often the first sign that something is not right with our gut.
Chronic heartburn often leads to multiple doctor visits and we are recommended Proton Pump Inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, Zoton etc.. These are some of the most recommended drugs in the US. In fact “approximately 10 percent of the general population take a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) drug to block stomach acid secretions and relieve symptoms of frequent heartburn, acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease. That percentage can be as much as seven times higher for people with chronic liver disease.”(Buschman,PHD)
We often associate stomach acid as something bad, but it is actually the complete opposite. Stomach acid is good thing. It aids in digestion but also protects us from a vast array of gut infections, candida, parasites, and h.pylori.
When individuals are prescribed PPIs they end up taking these medications for their whole life, but how do PPIs effect our liver?
Your liver is such a special organ, and honestly probably my favorite. It plays so many vital roles beyond detoxification and it is the only organ that can regenerate if we provide the right environment for it to do so.
When our liver is under constant state of stress, inflammation builds up and the scarring eventually leads to cirrhosis. Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), are both conditions that lead to cirrhosis.
There are many contributing factors to fatty liver disease, the state of your gut is one of them. Studies show that the health of your gut can promote liver inflammation through the gut-liver axis.
The use of PPIs specifically suppress stomach acid( remember we need stomach acid to fight off gut infections). In fact one study showed that, Proton pump inhibitor (PPI)-induced hypochondria can change the composition of the gut microbiota, inducing overgrowth of small bowel bacteria, which has been suggested to promote the development of fatty liver disease through the gut-liver axis.”(National Institute of Health)
So what can we do to protect our Liver from PPIs? It is time to stop ignoring the chronic heartburn and get down to the root cause of why you are dealing with acid reflux in the first place.
- Consult with your doctor to discuss options.
- Check your gut health: SIBO, H.Pylori, candida, parasites, bacteria overgrowth, low stomach acid.
- Avoid common trigger foods: gluten, tomatoes, citrus, carbonated beverages, coffee, alcohol.
- Mange your stress.
- Chew food slowly and thoroughly.
- Eat in a relaxed state and avoid eating a few hours before bed.
- Exercise 30 minutes on minimum per day.
- Support your gut and stomach acid production:
- Foods rich in zinc + vitamin b1: both needed to manufacture low stomach acid
- Supplement if needed with zinc + vitamin b1
- Add bitter herbs to water 15 minutes before meals. I use Mountain Rose Herbs Digestive Bitters: https://mountainroseherbs.com/search.php?search_query=digestive+bitters
- Add supportive herbs: slippery elm bark, licorice, chamomile, artichoke, marshmallow. Pure Encapsulations Heartburn essentials is one of my go to: https://us.fullscript.com/welcome/honoryourcore
Gut, Gallbladder and Fatty Liver Consultations
If you would like to discuss tackling your digestive issues, gallbladder or fatty liver symptoms, please contact at firstname.lastname@example.org or https://honoryourcore.com/contact/
Honor Your Core is not a medical organization and this is not medical advice. Please consult with your physician prior to stopping any medications.