Natural Alternatives to taking PPI’s
I have been on PPi’s such as Lansoprazole and Nexium at various times over the years, and they have worked well for the most part.
But after reading about recent studies where there were concerns with long term use of these drugs. I decided I didn’t want to just keep taking them every time I had a flare-up, so I looked at natural alternatives to use.
There are literally thousands of supplements out there for stomach issues and it can be really overwhelming knowing what to take. After doing lots of research over the years and talking to others in the same situation, I have found a few things that seem to actually work.
The first one is:-
Zinc L carnosine
Zinc L Carnosine is a supplement I have had great success with. I was recommended this by quite a few people, and I now know why.
It’s classed as a mucosal protective and is actually approved in Japan as a prescribed drug for treating patients with ulcers. With over 20 years of Studies, it has actually been shown to protect the mucous lining in the stomach against tissue damage and ulcers.
When I first started taking this I really felt like my stomach was getting stronger, and that it was starting to heal. I combined taking this with a very bland diet.
Many people see an improvement within 2 weeks when doses of between 75 mg and 150 mg are taken twice daily for 8 weeks. I took a 75mg dose twice daily for 8 weeks and noticed a difference quite quickly.
It is advised to take on an empty stomach, so I would take the first dose as soon as I woke, then wait about 30 minutes till I ate anything.
Then I took my 2nd dose at bedtime as my stomach would be empty then. But if you are a late eater you may need to take at a different time of day.
It’s advised not to take for longer than 8 weeks at a time as it can cause a copper imbalance in your body.
I love these ones:- Doctor’s Best PepZin GI
Slippery elm powder
Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) has been used for centuries by Native Americans as a herbal remedy. They would use it for wounds, skin inflammation and take it orally for coughs and stomach issues.
This is an extremely popular supplement, it’s tolerated well by most people, having few side effects. It helps coat the stomach lining with its thick gloopy consistency.
I’m not going to lie it’s not the nicest thing to take. If you buy the powder form (which I would recommend) you mix a heaped teaspoon with a little water and then leave for a few minutes to thicken.
Once it’s thickened you drink it down and let it coat your stomach about 20 minutes before a meal. I take it 3 times a day before each meal. I have used a couple of different ones, these are my favourites:-
Or if you prefer to take supplements in a tablet form, these are also good and more convenient for taking out with you or on holidays, etc.
These are something that took me a while to start taking as when I first tried them I got really really bloated and didn’t like the feeling at all.
Perhaps I should have persevered but I just didn’t like the way I felt on them. It was a year or so later when I was recovering from another flare and had bad bloating when I decided to give them another go.
I got some better quality ones this time which you keep in the fridge. They were quite expensive but after I did some research it seems it’s pointless to take cheap ones.
This time no side effects at all, and it’s hard to know what helps sometimes as I was taking various supplements but any bloating I had, seemed to disappear.
I still take them now each morning and have not had any issues for a while, so I plan to keep taking.
Bitters have been used for years. They work by stimulating the receptors in the mouth that are activated by bitter liquids and food. This then increases bile production and gastric juices, which contain digestive enzymes that we need to break food down.
These were suggested to me by a health shop and I wasn’t expecting to notice a difference, as you just add a few drops in water before you eat to help your digestion.
So it’s no wonder that when I was getting bloating and food just felt like it was just sitting in my stomach, these really did help. My appetite seemed to increase and food was definitely digesting faster.
There are various ones available but I have these ones, they last ages as you only need a small amount:- Maria Treben’s Authentic Swedish Bitters
Do you feel like food just sits in your stomach after eating? This was the issue I was having, my digestive system was feeling sluggish and was leading to me having wind, constipation and bloating. I was told that digestive enzymes might help.
The body produces various enzymes from different parts of the digestive system to help break down food. There are proteases (to break down proteins), amylases (starches and sugars) and lipases (for the fats).
Sometimes if the glands that produce these enzymes are damaged or not working as they should then taking a digestive enzyme may help.
I don’t take these on a regular basis but I will have them if I feel that my digestion is slowing up.
I use the papaya enzymes and they really do help, I take 3 with my evening meal and sometimes 2 with my lunch if its a heavier meal than normal.
I use these ones and they seem to get lots of great reviews. American health original Papaya enzyme chewable tablets
For advice on PPI use and how to wean off of them, please see this post – Should I be worried about taking PPIs for Gastritis
If you decide to stop taking your medicines make sure you discuss this with your GP though, as for some conditions you may need to stay on them longer or some drugs need to weaned off slowly