I see a lot of patients that have heart burn or acid reflux. I'm not exactly sure why this is such a problem in our current society but of course, I have a few ideas and hopeful solutions. First of all like so many other issue we need to look at our diets. Some foods are known to exacerbate this condition like spicy foods, garlic and alcohol. One of the tenants of Chinese medicine is that we should not eat large meals and that we should not eat late at night, two suggestions that I give my patients with these issues. As our portion sizes have crept up over the last 20 years so have the prescriptions for protein pump inhibitors such as Prilosec and Nexium. This class of drugs might help the condition but their side effects can be deadly, including kidney failure and higher risk of dementia. And another issue with this class of drugs is that it is very hard to stop taking them once you have been on them for a while. Another possible issue leading to this condition that is often overlooked is stress. So all of these issues can be treated using acupuncture. And there are several Chinese herbal formulas that we carry that can be a more gentle but effective alternatives.
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Monte Jackson, owner Acupuncture Center of Richmond