Acid Reflux: Try Not to Self-Treat Heartburn in 2021

Acid Reflux: Try Not to Self-Treat Heartburn in 2021

Justin from Houston sent us this question: “I have been using Omeprazole for a long time, one pill a day to stop GERD. I now have come to realize, I probably have a low acid stomach, so I stopped taking it. I am now using HCL by Solara. Trying to figure out how many to take with each meal. I still get acid reflux in the esophagus, watching what I eat. Does it take time, with the HCL, before the reflux stops? I get it after each meal. I am 74 yrs. Will acupuncture help? I got over Covid-19 a month ago, that’s when I noticed an increase with the reflux. Any suggestion would be appreciated. Have not seen a MD yet, trying to get over it myself. Thank you.

Dear Justin,

Acid reflux is a complex disease best treated by an acid reflux specialist. The underlying pathophysiology of acid reflux disease is often misunderstood by doctors and heartburn patients alike. As a result, misconceptions about acid reflux disease management are prevalent. Your inquiry highlights a number of these misconceptions:

  1. Omeprazole stops GERD
  2. I have low stomach acid
  3. I am supplementing with HCL
  4. HCL stops reflux
  5. Does acupuncture help?
  6. I haven’t seen an MD yet, trying to get over it myself

Acid reflux occurs when the acid reflux barrier between stomach and esophagus is weak. Consequently, stomach content leaks up into the esophagus leading to several symptoms like heartburn, cough and food regurgitation. Stomach content is acidic by nature. All stomachs secrete enough acid to digest food. Acid reflux patients have as much acid in their stomach as anyone else. Consequently, Omeprazole, a proton pump inhibitor, reduces stomach acid secretion, but it does not stop GERD. Omeprazole is simply a Band-Aid for your acid reflux symptoms. Omeprazole is not a cure for acid reflux. For this reason, you have been using Omeprazole for a long time, and you continue to have acid reflux. By the same token, heartburn patients don’t need to supplement with acid capsules because they don’t have low stomach acid.

If you suffer from heartburn on a daily or weekly basis, contact our acid reflux specialists at Houston Heartburn and Acid reflux Center to properly manage your problem. Acupuncture does not restore your weak anti-reflux barrier. An experienced acid reflux specialist can restore it. Let 2021, be the year you get rid of reflux and gain back your quality of life.