Certainly in Australia, acid reflux treatment starts here. This may not be the same everywhere. Our soils are generally deficient in lots of trace elements, including zinc.
Zinc deficiency is also a result of modern farming and food processing methods.
Have a look at your finger nails. Are there any white spots?
Do you have bloating or belching after meals?
These are two indications. Night blindness is, and also I think headlights
glaring when driving at night.
A taste test is available also. Zinc sulphate has a very bad taste, but our
ability to taste and smell may be impaired in zinc deficiency.
Also our body is unlikely to regard something it desperately needs, as
For whatever reason, 1 in 1000 zinc sulphate solution can be used for this purpose.
If it doesn't immediately taste bad, you are likely to be deficient.
Seafood is the best source of zinc in the diet, but if you have deficiency
you need supplements as well.
The oral supplement may be liquid or tablet. Injections of zinc
intravenously are by far the most efficient method.
Oral zinc supplements need to be taken away
from fiber or soy products, which inhibit the absorption
Other nutritional supplements may help with the resistance of the skin to acid, and with the repair after acid damage. Siberian pine nut oil has been used, for one.
In acid reflux treatment I always advise people to get rid of Helicobactor pylori infection, as there is some concern about gastric cancer with long term infection. Eradication is sometimes not advised because if nothing else is done, acid reflux can be worsened.
Reduction of adiposity
Attending to losing weight if needed.
Lap band surgery has a place even, and can reduce reflux directly as well.
Correcting chronic dehydration is proposed1 as a virtual cure-all, for lots of different health problems. I think there is something in this. Heartburn is one of the many conditions Dr. Batmanghelidj claims to have helped, simply by drinking more water and less caffeine.
This is one of the "5 natural heartburn remedies" in Margie King's excellent article2 on GreenMedInfo.com
Nissen laparoscopic fundoplication operation, done by an experienced and skilled surgeon, is a major advance in surgical treatment.
It can provide 10 years of drug free treatment.
If nothing else is working and especially if you have a large sliding or para-oesophageal hiatal hernia, this is the next step.
I personally think that surgery is a better option than long term PPI medication, with its attendant risks of vitamin B12 deficiency, fractured hip, pneumonia3 and probably heart attack. This list is growing all the time.
I'm not so worried if people use PPIs intermittently as needed. The times free of treatment prevent colonization of the stomach by bacteria.
Acid rebound hypersecretion may occur after PPI therapy is ceased. This is partly because it is not treating the cause - like a lot of conventional medicine.
References for acid reflux treatment
1. Water for Health, for Healing, for Life. You're Not Sick, You're Thirsty! F. Batmanghlidj, M.D. Warner Books.