Functional Medicine Takes on Heartburn
Functional Medicine Takes on Heartburn

Heartburn, acid indigestion, reflux, GERD – whatever you call it, there’s a good chance you’re familiar with the particular type of stomach upset caused by an excess of stomach acid. If you are among the millions of Americans who suffer from heartburn, you have choices. To ease your symptoms you can take an acid-blocker, like Prilosec or Nexium, or you can try a probiotic bacteriotherapy product like RestorFlora or HU58.


Stomach acid is essential your health. It plays a vital role when it comes to:


  • Digesting protein in food
  • Activating the digestive enzymes in the small intestine
  • Controlling the growth of unwanted bacteria in the small intestine
  • Helping your body absorb important nutrients like calcium, magnesium and vitamin B12.


Taking acid blockers – especially if you take them for longer than the recommended period – can interfere with that important work. They not only can prevent you from properly digesting your food, the use of acid blockers can lead to vitamin and mineral deficiencies.


According to Mark Hyman, M.D., the Head of Strategy and Innovation at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine, when acid blockers were first introduced, doctors prescribed them for people with ulcers and limited the length of time a patient could take them. Decades later, he says they’re given out “like candy to anyone who ate too many hotdogs at the ballgame.”


Why you should be cautious about using acid blockers


Dr. Hyman says that chronic use of acid-blocking drugs can lead to an increase in the incidence of osteoporosis and an increase in hip fractures because acid-blocking drugs prevent the absorption of calcium and other minerals necessary for bone health.


Overuse of acid blockers can also lead to B12 deficiency. The potential consequences of that include:


  • Depression
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Nerve damage
  • Dementia, especially in the elderly


The approach of functional medicine involves making changes to your diet and lifestyle. Dr. Hyman says that the use of probiotics may also help.


We offer powerful probiotic bacteriotherapy products – including RestorFlora and HU58 – that can help you maintain a healthy digestive tract and avoid the troubling side effects associated with the use of acid-blocking drugs.