Sunday, February 27, 2005

Frequency Defined

"If you're getting heartburn at least 2 days a week, that could be frequent heartburn."1
Why would an otherwise healthy person be experiencing heartburn multiple times a week? Maybe something is going on internally, something that increasing dependence on a pharmaceutical, one that "shuts down lots of acid pumps", isn't likely to heal ... reduce symptoms maybe, but not eradicate the problem. Nature has those acid pumps there for a reason, and my guess is it's not to play cat and mouse with the pain receptors in your esophagus.

There are lots of things an otherwise healthy person can do to reduce heartburn.2 I dismay when I think that throwing $0.90/pill to a predatory and gluttonous drug company is that person's first choice.

What's really disparaging is this ad appears in an issue of Gourmet magazine.
1 Ad for AstraZeneca's Prilosec OTC heartburn medication. Underline and italics provided by advertiser.
2 Feb 28 Update - Coincidentally, Dr. Weil posted some natural remedies for treating heartburn on his site today. They may be gone by the time you read this, but here's his heartburn link. To his tips I would add:
  • Reduce intake of caffeine. Caffeine acts as a smooth muscle relaxer, allowing the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) to open and stomach contents to splash through.
  • Reduce exposure to smoke, your own or someone else's. Smoking can also relax the LES. Smokers tend to produce less acid-neutralizing saliva too.

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