How to Get Rid of Heartburn Without Medications

How to Get Rid of Heartburn Without Medications

How to Get Rid of Heartburn Without Medications Can Be Tricky

Heartburn, GERD (GastroEsophageal Reflux Disease), acid reflux and any type of indigestion is MISERABLE. I know from experience because I was miserable when I developed GERD as an 8-year-old kid. I took Prilosec and Zantac and the occasional Tums for YEARS. I felt terrible if I didn’t have medication on a daily basis. This combination stopped working reliably in my 20s and I had to move on to stronger medications.

What I didn’t know then was WHY I had GERD. My gut was severely damaged from the NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) I was taking for arthritis. I also had undiagnosed food allergies and a history of chronically taking antibiotics which decimated my gut flora.

As a pharmacist, I learned that drugs like Prilosec (known as PPI’s) were initially only intended to be used for about 6 weeks in order to increase the pH of the gut so the inflamed stomach tissues and esophagus could heal, then stopped. However, patients were not healing over the short term and the acid reflux was returning as soon as the medications were stopped. Thus begun long-term use of PPI’s.

I had the opinion for many years that if it kept the heartburn away, who cares? I wasn’t having side effects and I felt so much better. But as I got older and my health started to fail more and more, I started changing my diet and taking supplements. I found over time that I no longer needed the medications and felt better without them.

Because of very minimal side effects, PPI’s and other antacids seem safe to take; however, there are long-term effects.

Here are a Few of the Important Functions of Stomach Acid

  • Digestion of food (especially protein)
  • Signaling other digestive enzymes
  • Initiation of peristalsis: the movement of gastric contents through the GI tract
  • Killing of pathogens like harmful bacteria and parasites
  • Assimilation of minerals and vitamins like B12

If these functions do not occur, this leaves you vulnerable to poor digestion and other long-term digestive problems, gut infections (like parasites…EEK!), an overall weakened immune system, mineral and vitamin deficiencies and bone loss.

If you’re having symptoms of heartburn or digestive pain and you are taking medications to manage it, you are masking the actual problem. In many heartburn cases, the actual cause is too little stomach acid in the first place! Food does not digest from the stomach readily and sits there too long and begins to putrefy an off-gas. Then the body overproduces acid in a delayed response and burning, pain and bloating occur. Especially, in this case, medications that lower stomach acidity helps the symptom but actually worsen digestion and ensure the problem doesn’t go away.

What Are the Causes of Heartburn?

There are many possible causes of heartburn; such as medications you are taking (most common culprits are aspirin and other medications for pain and inflammation and even some anti-depressants), foods you are eating (pop, sugar, and bread frequent offenders) and a congested gallbladder. There are tons of interventions that are very successful to actually heal your gut and esophagus, but they must be tailored to YOU based on your cause.

How to Start Healing

A good place to start in healing your digestion is to take a high-quality probiotic for at least 3 months and start eliminating processed foods like bread and sugar, deep fried and pre-prepared/packaged foods. You can also try a swig of apple cider vinegar(ACV) before eating your meals. If your esophagus is particularly raw from long-term heartburn, ACV may be too harsh. You can get it in a pill form or betaine hydrochloride tablets. Healing foods that are often helpful are Rachel’s Tea, peppermint, aloe vera, bone broth, and beets.

apple-cider-vinegar-brands

You may need to wean down on your medication as you are doing these interventions rather than stop abruptly because your body is used to having help regulating its internal acid pump. Dropping the dosage for a while, then later using it every other day can help staunch the rebound effect.

If you need help figuring out the cause of your acid reflux, come into The NHCAA. We can help.

Your Holistic Pharmacist,
Dr. Amanda Childress

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Risks Involved with NSAIDs & Natural Solutions for Pain and Inflammation

Risks Involved with NSAIDs & Natural Solutions for Pain and Inflammation

It’s Good to Know There are Alternatives to NSAIDs

In 2015, the FDA strengthened the warning on the risk of NSAIDs (Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs) from warning that these medications may cause an increased risk of stroke and heart attack to stating that they are known to increase this risk. The FDA went on to state that the risk may increase with prolonged use of these medications over time. A mere two years later, a new study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) confirmed that NSAIDs not only significantly increase the risk of heart attack, but this increased risk can occur as early as within the first week of use.

Fast forward two years to now; a new study published in the BMJ (British Medical Journal) confirmed that NSAIDs not only significantly increase the risk of heart attack, but this increased risk can occur as early as within the first week of use.

What makes this report so alarming is that NSAIDs rank amongst the most commonly and liberally used medicines by the general population. This includes prescription as well as over the counter use.

Examples of commonly used NSAIDs are Motrin(Ibuprofen), Aleve (Naproxen), Midol, Celebrex, and Voltaren (Diclofenac).list-of-NSAIDs

In addition to these new warnings, it is also known that NSAIDs increase the risk of severe gastrointestinal issues such as ulcers, acid reflux, and bleeding in the digestive tract as well as many other varieties of side effects.

The risks involved with these medications are scary, but don’t worry!

There are natural solutions for pain and inflammation that are safe and effective. Think of inflammation as a mini fire in your body. This could be in one spot or diffused all over. Insofar as how you feel, this can translate to pain, stiffness, numbness, tingling and many other manifestations. Inflammation has a normal physiological function. Think of inflammation like a smoke signal to your immune system, alerting it that there is a problem where assistance and healing are needed. This mechanism can become faulty, and if the problem area is not efficiently healed, inflammation can persist to a point that the fire rages out of control. This creates more tissue damage and more pain, and as a result, the immune system and healing mechanisms of the body can become overwhelmed, and in a sense short circuit.

NSAIDs do a pretty decent job of targeting inflammation and reducing it, but their side effect profile makes them not a desirable intervention. Thank goodness for natural supplements that are great for helping your body regulate inflammation. Some good examples are  Boswellia, frankincense, turmeric and turmeric derivatives, omega fatty acids, and arnica.

Of course, there is only so far supplementation can go if you are fueling your body with foods that promote the inflammatory response. The most common inflammatory foods in the American diet are sugar and refined carbohydrates such as bread.

Pain, discomfort, and swelling wreak havoc on your quality of life. Using NSAIDs to control these symptoms is like using a band-aid that makes you feel better short term, but jeopardizes your long-term health.

You don’t have to compromise your longevity to be able to function.

You can live longer and better. The solution is simple, safe and natural. The answer lies in fueling your body with foods that nourish it, not inflame it and supplements that stomp out the inflammatory cascade and promote the rebuilding of healthy tissues.

Each inflammatory situation is different. Consult with an NHCAA practitioner to find a diet and supplement program that is customized to your unique situation so you can have your best quality of life for the longest time possible.

Link to fill out New Patient Form to become a patient OR become a Long Distance Patient where you can talk directly to me on the phone and get my recommendations to get your health back.

Dr. Amanda Childress
Wholistic Pharmacist

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Is Your Brain Fried?

Is Your Brain Fried?

Executives, salespeople, administrators, and the modern office worker you may feel like your brain is fried!

When Your Brain Gets Overworked (is fried), You May Feel These Symptoms:

  • Heavy head
  • You don’t want to look at the computer screen despite the work you still have to do
  • Eyes feel fatigued even with the right corrective lenses
  • The brain fatigue is worse on Friday than it is on Monday. Some recovery occurs over the weekend
  • It’s harder to concentrate on figuring out problems
  • You rub your temples or forehead for relief
  • Slower thinking
  • Words, numbers, and letters get scrambled in your brain and when you speak
  • Difficulty to put attention on subjects other than what you’re well trained to do at work
  • You’re grumpy, and you don’t know why
  • Cloudy thinking
  • It takes longer to gather your thoughts or find words
  • One-track-thinking dominates over thinking multiplies
  • You care less
  • Not taking on bigger tasks due to inability to stretch mental function
  • Naps don’t bring refreshment
  • Memory is not as powerful

Most regular doctors would call this “depression” BUT IT’S NOT! There are no drugs for this; only supplements and healthy food choices will fix this.

brain friedThe Three Biggest Causes:

  1. Looking at a computer screen
  2. Thinking/problem-solving
  3. Stressful situations

Doing all of these at the same time takes quite a toll on the brain. Doing them for a week or a whole career builds up.

For comparison, body fatigue looks like these symptoms (just to name a few):

  • Hitting the snooze button in the morning.
  • Needing to take a nap then waking feeling refreshed.
  • Fatigue an hour after eating.
  • The brain works well and fast, but the body needs to be pushed or pulled along.

Body fatigue is also not “depression”. Too many people are on antidepressants and other psychiatric drugs for these two conditions when they just need specific nutrition.

When you have brain fatigue here are a few things you can do to help it.
All four of these are equally important:

  1. Reboot your nervous system by looking at things outside while you go for a walk. As you walk, keep looking at objects and call them out to yourself verbally or in your head. “Tree, sidewalk, car, cloud, leaf, window.” Keep doing this for about 10 to 20 minutes then suddenly your body will take in a deep breath and reset like when you reboot your computer. When this happens, your nervous system, including your eyes and brain, is reset. Try it, it works. You’re not walking for exercise or cardio when doing this.
  2. Eat saturated fat and cholesterol. These fats have never caused heart disease so don’t be afraid of them. You’re eating these because that is what your brain is made of. Your brain is not made of bread, vegetables, fruit, coffee, antioxidants, protein, soy, water, granola, etc. It is made of saturated fat and cholesterol. Get the fat from fatty beef, pork, sausages, bacon, cheese, eggs, fatty fish, and butter. Low-fat dairy, lean meats, chicken sausage, and sushi are not fatty enough if your brain is tired. When you eat the fatty foods, you will eat less food overall through the day, and you’ll get leaner and stronger, too. If you’re eating a vegetarian diet because you read an article saying it’s healthy, then find an article saying it’s unhealthy and follow that advice. See how your body responds to find out which is true for you.
  3. Stop looking at screens or reduce your screen time considerably. When you go home at night, don’t watch TV if you just spent 8 hours looking at a computer screen. That is the time to look at things outside or at a distance.
  4. Take supplements that repair a tired brain like RNA, ginkgo, bacopa, iodine, certain minerals, fish oils, and dare I say….brain. Yes, you read that right. Some supplements actually contain brain in them from lamb or pig. These are fantastic for neurologic repair. You won’t turn into a zombie. Pig brain was a standard food a few decades ago in the product “head cheese” but that’s been slowly taken out of our food supply.

If you are independently wealthy, you can just buy all these supplements and take them. That’s called guessing. Hopefully, it’s what your body needs and it doesn’t reject them.

However, if you don’t know what you need to take, and you are smart with your money, then come in and see us for help. We have helped thousands of people with tired brains and got them back to better functioning levels. I’ve even reversed Alzheimer’s before – twice. Your brain fry may be dreadful but I’ve seen worse, and it isn’t so difficult for me to handle.

Dr. Darren Schmidt

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Addressing High Blood Pressure Naturally

Addressing High Blood Pressure Naturally

As a pharmacist, I dispensed thousands of prescriptions to treat high blood pressure. Many patients were taking 2-4 blood pressure lowering medications yet still were failing to obtain and maintain optimum blood pressure.

I have also observed a broad range of side effects of these therapies including fatigue, dizziness, fainting, depression, loss of sense of taste and smell and many more.

Blood pressure medications can be lifesaving. I’m glad they exist, especially when someone goes into crisis. However, over the long term, they can create other issues in the body and put additional stress on your vital organs. These medications don’t actually address the cause of high blood pressure. Often, the problem in your body that is driving your blood pressure up has greater implications for your health than the high blood pressure itself.

High blood pressure is a symptom of a greater problem! Most high blood pressure issues are induced by stress on the following organs:

  • Heart and arteries
  • Kidneys
  • Adrenals
  • Liver

If you have high blood pressure, it’s likely you need nutritional support for one or more of the organs listed above. It’s different for every person. With muscle testing, we find the organs that are stressed and then find the nutritional support appropriate for your body.

The most common supplements I use in patients to address high blood pressure are whole food B vitamin complexes (most commonly Cataplex G by Standard Process), wholefood vitamin C (Cyruta), magnesium and supplements that encourage decongesting of the kidneys and liver.

Other healthy/natural interventions are:bacon salad

  • Get off of sugar- this is key to getting high blood pressure under control
  • Drink plenty of water throughout the day
  • Replace table salt with Celtic sea salt
  • Avoid processed food – Shop the outer perimeter of the grocery store buying primarily unprocessed meats and produce.
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid caffeine
  • Sleep at least 7 hours a night
  • Exercise regularly. Walking works great! It’s low impact, doesn’t overly stress the body but can do wonders for your health.

The program of natural supplements for high blood pressure varies from person to person. Even given this variability, one thing is for sure; if you have high blood pressure your body needs help! You have nutritional deficiencies present that need attention.

You don’t have to play a guessing game with your health. Come in for a consultation and find out what food choices are healthy for your body and the correct supplements to feed your deficiencies.

Yours in health,

Amanda Childress, PharmD
Holistic Pharmacist

Read Dr. Amanda’s Bio

You Can Be Healthy

You Can Be Healthy

As a former pharmacist turned holistic practitioner; it gives me a very interesting viewpoint on healthcare.

I became a pharmacist because I wanted a good and stable career that was meaningful and helps to better others. I wanted to help people get well.

I worked in pharmacies from the time I was 18 until I left the field at the age of 28. That was 10 years of seeing the medication side of healthcare. What I came to realize through my experience is that medications do very little towards healing bodies, but the primary result (and best case scenario much of the time) is to maintain a level of disease.

It became so real to me that I wasn’t achieving my purpose in helping people heal. And then I came to work at the NHCAA and that changed everything! The most important lesson that I have learned and want to share is…THE BODY IS MIRACULOUSLY ABLE TO HEAL ITSELF.

There are so many diseases and conditions that I was taught couldn’t heal, but only have the progression slowed. Now I know the real truth because I’ve seen it and experienced it in my own body as well as with countless patients. You can feel good!

new beginning quoteWhen the body gets the right nutrients, at the right time, for the right amount of time…the possibilities of recovery are astounding.

I have met so many new patients who think that they are too late or they have no hope due to past surgeries or poor genetics. If you find yourself thinking this, don’t succumb to this viewpoint! Come in and get a consultation. You have nothing to lose, but your health to gain.

 Dr. Amanda,
PharmD
Nutrition Response Practitioner

Cause of Loss of Taste

Cause of Loss of Taste

Here at The NHCAA we are always talking about eating good food.

Eating can be a very pleasurable experience, especially when you are eating healthily.

Some patients complain that they struggle with their diet because they have a loss of sense of taste. Many people who have a dulled sense of taste go for foods that have very strong flavors such as super sweet or very salty. Although there are many recommendations we can make about foods that may be more pleasing to your palates and some supplements that may help, there is a reason these patients have lost their sense of taste that needs to be uncovered.

Some common reasons for a loss of sense of taste are chronic sinus issues, oral yeast infections, problems with the teeth or a history of smoking. Also, previous treatments with chemotherapy can damage taste.

Anything that causes a loss of sense of smell also damages taste as taste and smell are closely linked. There were some nasal zinc products that were taken off the market because they were causing damage to the sense of taste.

A very common cause of loss of taste that you may not be aware of is prescription drug use.

While practicing as a pharmacist, I found that most patients had no idea they were taking a medication that could affect their sense of smell. Part of the reason these patients aren’t being educated about this side effect is that many clinicians, such as their prescribing doctor, are unaware of this effect as well. The most common offenders are medications for high blood pressure, statins (for high cholesterol), Metformin (for blood sugar), Topamax, antidepressants and certain anti-fungal as well as antiviral medications.paleo dish

The good news is that if you have a loss of taste from taking any of these prescription medications, it is likely that after being off of the medication for an extended period of time (it could take several weeks or months), it is likely your sense of taste will return. As always, I caution you that before stopping any medication, you should consult with your medical doctor as many medications cannot be stopped abruptly and must be gradually weaned down.

Yours in health,
Dr. Amanda