Disclaimer: Consult with a doctor before deciding on a treatment plan for any other disease or injury.
We’ve included links below to products that have a reputation for being of high-quality and appropriate for the holistic treatment of disease. These affiliate links help fund this web site and keep it going.
How to Cure GERD
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) have been on the market since the 1970’s when Tagamet became one of the first blockbuster drugs that Big Pharma celebrated as a wild success. The PPIs work by reducing the production of Hydrochloric acid in the stomach. They block the enzyme in the stomach wall that leads to the production of acid. This acid is necessary to digest food properly. And if food is not digested properly, nutrients are not absorbed properly by the rest of the digestive system.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal, you might think. Your doctor probably isn’t concerned about poor nutrient absorption in the digestive system. I mean, after all, he (or she) wasn’t required to take more than one basic class in nutrition as part of his bachelor’s degree (some doctors aren’t even required to take one class in nutrition these days). So why would your doctor care about nutrient deficiencies? But chances are, your doctor has a clock or a pen or some other marketing doo-dah in his office reminding him to prescribe PPIs to his patients. Have you ever noticed these doo-dahs?
Now…try to imagine if your doctor had a wall clock with a list of the top 12 signs and symptoms of low-grade iodine deficiency for every hour of the day. At noon, would be “Cancer” (studies have shown that long-term use of PPIs puts patients at a 2.4 times higher risk of eventually developing stomach cancer). At 6:00 would be “Obesity”. But “Hair Loss” at 3:00 and “Fatigue and Foggy-Headedness” would be listed at 9:00. “Depression” and “Poor Immunity” would be listed at some of the other hours on this hypothetical clock that would be there to help your doctor remember that nutrient deficiencies do matter. In the early 1900’s doctors actually had a special rhyme for iodine deficiency to help them remember all of the myriad health problems that can be caused by a lack of this crucial nutrient.
But today, though there is fluorine and bromine in the water supply competing with iodine in the body. Though there is bromine in citrus soft drinks, on furnishings, on children’s pajamas, in bread products (bromine has replaced iodine in bread products since the 1980’s when the obesity epidemic started), and in swimming pools (as a water treatment), few doctors realize that iodine deficiency is at the root of many diseases and disorders. While the high levels of bromine in people’s bodies exacerbates obesity and foggy-headedness, depression, and various other health issues related to iodine deficiency, the lack of sufficient quantities of iodine leaves Americans in a very bad way, health-wise.
Our breast cancer and prostate cancer rates in the U.S. are testament to that.
But iodine is just one small nutrient among many nutrients that are poorly absorbed by the body due to PPIs. You’re not getting enough iodine in your salt, folks. And you’re taking a PPI, you’re not getting enough of any of the nutrients you need from your food.
It’s not your doctor’s fault. This is the business of conventional medicine.
But back to your digestive system and the fact that it now can’t absorb nutrients from food due to your chronic use of PPIs to treat one of the following:
There are a number of different PPIs and they mostly work in the same way. The generic names for these drugs all end in -prazole. If your doctor offers you one of these drugs, Just Say No and find a better, natural at-home remedy for GERD or ulcers.
Below are the PPIs that are currently prescribed in the U.S.:
- Dexilant (dexlansoprazole)
- Nexium (esomeprazole)
- Prevacid (lansoprazole)
- Prilosec or Zegerid (omeprazole)
- Protonix (Pantoprazole)
- Aciphex (Rabeprazole)
Are PPIs Safe?
This is a good question that every patient must answer for him or herself. I tend to believe that most people, if fully informed about the realities of the possible side effects of PPIs, would say that they aren’t really any safer than taking methamphetamines. The risks involved in taking PPIs are a little different than the risks involved in taking meth. That’s true. But people who take PPIs on a regular basis can’t just quit taking it. And that’s thought provoking and I think it would give people pause.
When I did a Google search for PPIs, MedicineNet was first in line to tell me about these medications and let me tell you—they have a special way of downplaying the risks. I’m working with people right now who among some of those “unlucky” individuals who are experiencing those PPI “risks” firsthand. And let me tell you, that mundane, two-dimensional list on MedicineNet is now a very real, three-dimensional reality for them, complete with pain and high medical bills for the so-called “side effects” that have been pretty debilitating to say the least.
But when you ask your doctor (or MedicineNet) about these risks, they say, “PPIs are `generally well-tolerated´”. So, in the early days of taking these meds, you may think to yourself that you’ll be among the “lucky” people to take your PPI and experience no negative side effects from it. And if you choose to bet your life and your health on something like that, that’s your choice. But for me and my family, we’re making different choices!
Just in case you don’t currently know this information, below are some of the important side effects of taking Proton Pump Inhibitors:
- Abdominal pain
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Skin rash
But here’s where you really need to pay attention. Below are side effects that are life-changing. And if you were going to increase the odds of experiencing any of those listed below, ask yourself just how much you’d like to increase those odds. And then consider whether or not its worth it to take one of these drugs for any reason:
- Broken bones and BONES THAT BREAK VERY EASILY.
I’m not talking about ONE broken bone. I’m talking about osteoporosis and bones that break from simply rolling over in bed, or from changing position in your easy chair.
One would think that COVID-19 would be enough to make people re-think their PPI because taking a drug in this class increases the risk of pneumonia.
- Explosive, Chronic and Incapacitating Diarrhea.
Taking a PPI predisposes you to a Clostridium difficile infection. C. diff, as those who have it refer to it, is no small thing. It can ruin your life. (NOTE: if you get C. diff, consider using MMS or chlorine dioxide to cure it.)
One of the most important vitamin deficiencies that can result from taking a PPI is vitamin B12 deficiency. Without high enough stomach acid levels, vitamin B12 can’t be absorbed properly. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes a form of dementia that’s indistinguishable from Alzheimer’s and other types of dementia like Lewy Body Dementia and/or Parkinson’s Disease. What are the odds that your doctor will realize that your PPI-induced dementia is caused by a vitamin B12 deficiency and give you the necessary shots to reverse it? Right. The odds are pretty low.
If you have taken a PPI, seek out vitamin B12 injections at a boutique IV therapy clinic in an urban area. Doctors no longer give vitamin B12 shots even though everyone over the age of 50 years once received these shots at every doctor’s visit even if the patient was not there for vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms. The shots are extremely cheap and they prevent illnesses like dementia and Parkinson’s. So why would Big Pharma want to quit having doctors give these shots to patients?
Which is more profitable for Big Pharma?
Or dementia patients?
- Iron deficiency.
Below are the symptoms of iron deficiency:
- Extreme weakness
- Extreme fatigue
- Paleness of the skin
- Shortness of breath
- Chest pain
- Fast heartbeat
- Pounding or “whooshing” sound in the ears
- Brittle nails
- Inflammation or tongue soreness
- Smooth tongue
- Unusual cravings for non-nutritive substances like ice, dirt, or starch
- Low oximeter readings
These symptoms could lead a person to believe that they have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, Panic Attacks or Anxiety, Geographic Tongue, Cancer, Pica, and more. In reality, the person experiencing these symptoms has iron-deficiency, but how would ever find out that this was the problem if your doctor doesn’t tell you? If you’ve been on a PPI and you’re experiencing the above symptoms, even if you’ve received a diagnosis for a disease that includes the symptoms above, it is entirely possible that your symptoms will go away if you stop taking the PPI and take a daily iron supplement along with eating a healthy diet that includes some meat.
How to Quit Taking Your Proton Pump Inhibitor
If you’ve been taking stomach medications for a while, you may be afraid to stop taking it. But finding natural alternatives to GERD medications can help you break the habit. It’s generally best to avoid going off PPIs cold turkey and instead, slowly step down on your dosage. Juicing or eating a diet that consists mostly of steamed or raw fruits and vegetables (and a small amount of chicken meat) will make it easier for your body to digest food during this time since fruits and vegetables that are not overcooked contain their own enzymes for digestion.
- Avoid foods and lifestyle habits that aggravate your GERD and/or ulcers.
So you’ve decided to quit taking your Proton Pump Inhibitor. Before you get started, make a plan for yourself. Certain foods may aggravate your GERD or ulcer problem. You will need to avoid those foods. Also, some of your lifestyle habits may contribute to the problem too. Structure your routine to avoid those habits.
- Get control over alcohol, drugs, and addictions using herbal therapies.
If you drink a lot of alcohol, consider taking Kudzu supplements to easily reduce your alcohol intake. Supplementing with Mucuna pruriens may help you kick the habit altogether. These two herbs can help you quit just about any addiction, including an addiction to social media, smoking, and street drugs like methamphetamines.
- Reduce your PPI dosage by 50% weekly. You can either take the dose less 50% less frequently, or you can take 50% less of the dose each week, your choice.
- If you experience high levels of acid, drink a glass of water with up to 1 teaspoon of baking soda dissolved in it. Avoid this strategy for 30 minutes before and 30 minutes after eating. Your body needs the acid in your stomach to fully digest food and if you take baking soda right before or after eating, you will not digest your food properly.
- Drink a tea made of quince seeds to ward off GERD symptoms as you quit taking your PPI.
- Stop taking your PPI.
At-Home Remedies for GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)
Many people wish to stop taking PPIs because they’re ready to reclaim their health and the only way to do that is to stop taking prescription medications. In order to quit taking PPIs, you need alternative treatments for GERD and/or ulcers that actually work. Chances are, you’ll need to use several of the treatments listed below if you have heartburn regularly, but if this is your story, you need to keep a journal of what you’re eating to figure out which foods are causing you distress. It may be something simple that you can eliminate from your diet and live GERD-free thereafter.
That being said, the digestive system is like another planet. It is, after all, nothing but a long, open tube that runs from mouth-to-anus. Inside this tube, there are a host of different type of organisms living out epic stories of settlement and decay. New, barbaric civilizations of bacteria, yeast, viruses, or parasites rise and conquer other more peaceful communities trying to live in harmony in this tube. You are like the God of this tube. You must watch over it and make sure that there is harmony and peace in there. No one else can do this work for you. It is, after all, your tube.
So, in an effort to not just write another article like every other stupid article on the web about digestion, I’m going to include information below that’s actually useful. No matter where I go in the world, I take the Basic Digestion Toolkit along with me. These are things that can literally save mine or my family members’ lives in a pinch, they’re relatively affordable, and literally anyone can learn how to use them.
Basic Digestion Toolkit: How do you cure GERD permanently?
Here are some basic ideas and principles to always consider when working with a digestive problem. If you want to cure GERD, you’ll need to learn to use the tools listed below and experiment with some of the at-home remedies for acid reflux whenever you have a bout with the problem :
- Bitter things tonify the digestive system. In other words, when you eat something bitter, there are special receptors in your digestive system that cause the that tube to tighten up and stand at attention. The intestines can slack. The stomach can sag. And when this happens, things pool and digestion goes to well…sh_t.
Keep some BITTERS on hand and use the bitters when you digestive system is acting up. It will generally help your digestive system to stop slacking and do the digestion like it’s supposed to. One of my favorite bitter-foods that I recommend that everyone should take is raw, bitter, organic apricot kernels. The ideal dose is 4 to 5 kernels twice a day for people of average health. Apricot kernels contain vitamin B17, a substance that prevents and reverses cancer along with a host of other chronic degenerative diseases. The bitterness of the kernels is the vitamin B17 and it wakes up the digestive system and tonifies it to enhance overall health in a very big way.
- Enemas are like baptism (or ablutions or any kind of religious purification rite) for the intestines. An enema gives you a way to cleanse the sins of any rogue organisms living in there. It clears out plaques that may be quite extensive in your gut, removing them to expose the bare intestinal wall that must come into contact with food in order to absorb nutrients from it.
But that’s not all. Enemas can also relieve inflammation in the gut. If your intestines are inflamed, they can put pressure on the stomach, causing GERD. Enemas have a healing effect on digestion as a whole and they are a mainstay in your arsenal for treating any digestive problem you might have. Do one once a week even when you’re feeling good to prevent plaques from building up along the intestinal wall.
- Gas can cause more than just gassiness. When you have air in your system, you’ll probably feel pain somewhere in your body. Gas is notorious for causing headaches and backaches. And it can make your whole body just hurt if you have too much of it. Gas comes from fermentation of food that’s lingering too long in your intestines. Bitters can help move things along, but so can enemas. Take chamomile essential oil or chamomile tea for aches, pains, headaches, and gas. It helps and it tends to work quickly.
- Shilajit and Humic Extract or Fulvic Acids are something you should be taking every day if you have GERD or ulcers in the digestive system. These substances come from plant materials that have been exposed to extreme pressure in the rocks high up in the Himalayan mountains. Scientific studies have shown that Shilajit and/or Humic Extract and/or Fulvic Acids can cure ulcers and even stop bleeding ulcers from bleeding. So, if you have acid reflux or ulcers, Shilajit is something you need to be taking on a daily basis.
Shilajit can be expensive, but you don’t have to take more than a pea-sized dose (about 0.2 grams) of it 3 times per day for 25 to 45 days for the treatment of GERD and ulcers. Take the Shilajit dissolved in hot water between 30 – 90 minutes before meals. In addition to healing the digestive system, Shilajit also protects the body from viral infections.
- Ginger is for nausea and vomiting. It really does work, so you should always have some on hand. It causes the stomach to empty more rapidly. I write a bit more about it below under Essential Oils, though you can buy ginger as a whole food, in pill form, or even as a candy.
- Use MMS or CDS for food poisoning and infections of the digestive system. If you have vomiting, diarrhea, or any kind of infection, take MMS or CDS to get rid of the infection.
What type of heartburn do you have?
Heartburn happens when acid in the stomach bubbles up into the esophagus. But sometimes, acid in the esophagus is caused not by having too much acid, but because there is too little acid in the stomach to trigger the esophageal sphincter to close.
How you treat your acid reflux when you stop taking the PPI will depend on which type of heartburn you have (too much or too little acid). To find out, you can test yourself in the following way:
- When you have heartburn take ¼ of a teaspoon of baking soda in water. If you have TOO MUCH ACID, this will lessen your symptoms.
- If the baking soda does not help, take 1 Tbsp of lemon juice mixed with 1 Tbsp of apple cider vinegar. This will increase the acidity of your stomach, TO CAUSE YOUR ESOPHAGEAL SPHINCTER TO CLOSE, thereby lessening your symptoms.
If the second treatment is the one that worked for you, you may need to use this treatment or even take a HCl and Pepsin supplement with meals to prevent GERD in a more natural way.
If you experience a sensation of burning whenever you eat spicy or acidic foods, it’s probably because your stomach is producing too little acid. Your stomach lining might shut down its production of stomach acid if you’ve had a chronic, ongoing issue with:
- Having stomach acid levels that are too high,
- Having too little bile to buffer the stomach acid,
- If this is the problem, you will usually experience heartburn at night or 30 to 60 minutes after eating.
- Having too few pancreatic enzymes to buffer the stomach acid, or
- If this is the problem, once again, you will experience heartburn at night or 30 to 60 minutes after eating. Taking pancreatic enzymes to prevent cancer, however is wise even if you don’t experience heartburn at night.
- Having chronic irritation of the stomach lining.
GERD Diet Basics: How to Cure GERD with Diet
If you intend to stop taking PPIs, you’ll need to follow a healthy diet to prevent acid reflux from recurring. Eat a diet of mostly fruits and vegetables and approximately 5% meat and animal products. Avoid dairy products and replace these with goat’s milk products instead, or sugar-free nut milks (almond milk, coconut milk, etc.). Avoid eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime.
Foods to Avoid for Acid Reflux
- High fat foods
- Fried foots
- Spicy foods
- Black Tea
- Citrus fruits
- Carbonated beverages
- Dairy products
Foods to Prevent Acid Reflux
- Leafy greens
- White rice
- Cinnamon (in small amounts)
- Chia seeds
Herbal Remedy to Prevent Acid Reflux and Cure GERD
- Amalaki – supports bile flow and pancreatic enzyme release
- Turmeric – supports bile flow and pancreatic enzyme release
- Aloe Vera – purified aloe juice has been scientifically proven (2015) to reduce acid reflux symptoms while soothing the stomach lining
- Marshmallow Root – soothes the stomach lining and protects it against high acid levels
- Slippery Elm – soothes the stomach lining and protects it against high acid levels
- Licorice root – soothes the stomach lining and protects it against high acid levels
- Avipattikar Churna – Ayurvedic treatment for heartburn
- Shilajit – heals ulcers, stops ulcers from bleeding, and generally soothes and heals the digestive system; see The Basic Digestion Toolkit above for more information.
- Mucuna pruriens – Mucuna increases dopamine levels which reduces cortisol levels. Cortisol is known as the stress hormone and reducing it helps keep stress levels in check.
Sleep and Acid Reflux
If necessary, raise the head of your bed higher than your stomach by about 6 inches. Consider, raising the whole bed up on cement blocks or put a wedge under your mattress rather than using pillows.
Obesity and Acid Reflux
Carrying around extra weight contributes to GERD by creating extra pressure in the abdomen. When you have excess fat surrounding the organs, the extra pressure can cause stomach acids to push up into the esophagus. Losing even 5 to 10 pounds can make a big difference. So take your Lugol’s iodine (or better yet, Iodoral) supplements to keep your thyroid gland functioning tip top.
Other Alternative GERD Treatments
Essential Oils for GERD
Essential oils have become popular in recent years because they’re very potent and they can be used to treat a diversity of different diseases and disorders. Below are some of the best essential oils for GERD. You can put them directly on your tongue.
Ginger Essential Oils for GERD
Ginger helps the stomach empty its contents faster. It can be used in different kinds of digestive situations involving nausea or hyperacidity. It won’t reduce acid levels, but it will encourage your stomach to dump its contents into the small intestines which should relieve your acid reflux symptoms. (Be sure to take shilajit or humic/fulvic acids to avoid developing ulcerations in the duodenum or esophagus if you have hyper-acidity in the stomach).
Chamomile Essential Oils for GERD
Chamomile can help reduce gas in the digestive system. And because stomach and intestinal gas can cause body aches and headaches, chamomile is a miracle cure for a lot of people. Chamomile is also a “bitter” so it gets your whole digestive system to wake up and stop slacking!
Teas for GERD
Teas for acid reflux function similarly, though a bit more gently than essential oils for GERD.
- Chamomile Tea
- Ginger Tea
Other Important Links:
Harvard Health Publishing (2011). Proton Pump Inhibitors. Retrieved October 8, 2020 from https://www.health.harvard.edu/diseases-and-conditions/proton-pump-inhibitors
MedicineNet (2020). O. Ogbru Retrieved October 8, 2020 from https://www.medicinenet.com/proton-pump_inhibitors/article.htm
Orrange, S. (2017). Discontinuing Proton Pump Inhibitors: How do I get off my stomach medications? Retrieved October 8, 2020 from https://www.goodrx.com/blog/discontinuing-proton-pump-inhibitors-how-do-i-get-off-my-stomach-medications/
Healthline Media (2005-2020). Can Essential Oils Relieve Symptoms of Heartburn? Retrieved October 8, 2020 from https://www.healthline.com/health/digestive-health/essential-oils-for-heartburn#research
Sustainable Wellness (2017). How to Address GERD. Retrieved October 8, 2020 from https://www.sustainable-wellness.com/blog/2016/4/16/how-to-address-gerd
Mumio7.com (1997-2020). Mumio. Retrieved October 8, 2020 from https://mumio7.com/mumio-usage-application/digestive-disorders/stomach-and-duodenal-ulcers.html
Ettinger, M. (2009). The Most Effective Natural H. pylori Treatment Protocol. Retrieved October 21, 2020 from https://www.advancedhealing.com/heartburn-gastritis-achlorhydria-h-pylori/