Gastric reflux drugs may be tied to dementia risk

One more reason to not take these drugs long term

Well, I already knew that taking the PPI’s long term were not a good idea (you can read that post here), and now the potential link to dementia?

As reported by NPR and lots of other news outlets:

The latest concern is that PPIs might increase the risk for dementia. Britta Haenisch and colleagues at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn studied 73,679 people ages 75 and older. The researchers found regular PPI users had at least a 44 percent increased risk of dementia compared with those not using the drugs.

The researchers caution that the risk could only be considered an “association,” until more research could be conducted to produce more conclusive evidence. But the findings indicate “the avoidance of PPI medication may contribute to the prevention of dementia.”

How PPIs might increase the risk for dementia is unclear. But other researchers recently reported that, in the brains of mice, PPIs seem to increase levels of a damaging protein that accumulates in the brains of dementia patients, known as beta-amyloid.

In an editorial accompanying the study in the journal JAMA Neurology, Lewis Kuller of the University of Pittsburgh wrote that the findings “provided an important and interesting challenge to evaluate the possible association,” which is a “very important issue given” how commonly the drugs are used by the elderly, who are already at increased risk for dementia.

As reported by NPR: “The teaching for many years was that these drugs were quite safe,” says John Clarke, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “But there is data that’s emerging that suggests PPIs may not be as safe as we think they are.”

So, stick with the basics that I talk about here to manage your reflux.

White Bean and Artichoke Heart Medley

You'll think you're in the South of France

White Bean & Artichoke Medley

Delicious hot or cold: Serve the white bean & artichoke medley served hot as an accompaniment to lamb or chicken; cold it can be a salad. Garlic and parsley are the other ingredients and maybe a sprinkling of Herbes de Provence.

There is hardly any preparation as the vegetables are canned. My brother arrived after a long journey late at night and was starving so I offered him this mixture and he wolfed it down and requested it again for lunch with some cold chicken.

1 x 14 oz can of cannellini beans – drained and rinsed
1 x 14 oz can or artichoke hearts – drained, rinsed and cut into quarters
2 x large cloves of garlic – minced
1 – 2 tbsp. parsley – finely chopped
Pinch of Herbes de Provence (optional)
2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Mix all ingredients together in an ovenproof dish and cook for 10 – 15 minutes (important that they do not get too dried out).

Serves 4.

I’m so happy to have a regular contributor, Jo’s Healthy Kitchen and this week’s recipe. You can read more about Jo’s healthy journey on her site.

Avocado Stuffed Eggs

I’m so happy to have a regular contributor, Jo’s Healthy Kitchen and this week’s recipe with avocado. You can read more about Jo’s healthy journey on her site.

The inspiration for  this recipe started at The Whelk in Westport, CT, where their Green Goddess Deviled Eggs are a very popular item. I only saw them, I didn’t taste them and I didn’t know what made them green. My recipe needs no mayonnaise or buttermilk. The avocado provides all oil needed. Basically, you mash yolks of hard-boiled eggs with a nice ripe avocado, add in finely chopped scallions/spring onions, lemon juice and salt and pepper. If you wanted to go bite size, stuff quail’s eggs. Would be nice for a picnic.

6 x eggs – hard boiled
1 x avocado – cut into chunks
1 x bunch of scallions – finely chopped
1/2 teasp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Halve the hard boiled eggs and place yolks in a bowl.
Add avocado and mash together well.
Add finely chopped scallions and mix together.
Add lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix.
Spoon mixture into egg whites

Tuscan Pork

I’m so happy to have a regular contributor, Jo’s Healthy Kitchen and this week’s recipe, Tuscan Pork. You can read more about Jo’s healthy journey on her site.

Tuscan Pork

Moving on from Umbrian Chicken, here is Tuscan Pork. I ate something like this in a small restaurant in Italy overlooking the wonderfully unspoilt (because it is protected by Unesco) Tuscan countryside.

Take a tenderloin of pork, pour over some extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with fresh rosemary (bruise rosemary a bit first so smell is released). Roast in oven until cooked.

Take a can of cannellini beans and cook through.

Take a sprig of fresh sage and tear each leaf into small pieces removing them from the vein that runs down the middle. Then take a slice of prosciutto and tear into small pieces (these amounts will be enough for 2 people)

Pour 1/2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil into a small skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add sage and prosciutto and cook until crisp.

Serve slices of pork drizzled with its juices (diluted with hot water) accompanied by the cannellini beans sprinkle with the crisp sage and prosciutto.

Imagine yourself in Italy as you enjoy this meal…and depending how your reflux is that day, you may or may not indulge in that glass of wine.

Photo courtesy of

My first steps to Stopping the Acid Reflux

How to cure Acid Reflux


You’d think the first thing I’d do after Walking out of that doctor’s office, armed with simply a pamphlet and a prescription for “Aciphex,” would be to fill the prescription. Instead, I went home and got on the web.  And, my journey led to the creation of this site.

What did I learn and put into action that first week:

  1. Changed my diet. Indeed, I cut out the three culprits of coffee, chocolate, alcohol (which for me was an occasional glass of wine).
  2. I began watching what I ate to see what triggered the problem.
  3. I filled the prescription for aciphex. Although I realized that reflux was caused by an underlying symptom, I also recognized that something needed to be done immediately because my throat was so incredibly red (the doctor told me I had the worse-looking espophagus he’d EVER seen.)
  4. I bought some aloe juice.
  5. I found this I studied it to learn how to make more diet more alkaline than acid.

Let me stop right here and tell you – THIS IS NOT WHAT I AM DOING TODAY . Although my diet is different today, I’ve found that if I maintain a more alkaline diet than acidic, I can still enjoy my 1 cup of coffee in the morning, my little sliver of dark chocolate, and even my wine, with little problem.

So, what have you done this week to change your diet?

Leading Acid Reflux Causes You Should Know About

You’d think this would be a pretty easy answer. If you’ve searched the web, like I did, you’ve probably seen a lot of articles with many telling you the same, with a variation here and there. So, after years of dealing with reflux, my quest has taken me down a path of learning more about our bodies and how they work. Some of what I’ve learned is counterintuitive. So, here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience:

  1. Diet. Our American diet is horrible. Ok, I said it. You may say, oh, but I eat organic, or I eat my fruits and veggies, blah blah. Take a look at this chart and then reassess your diet. In the meantime, see this blog post.
  2. Eating late. If you go to bed within three hours after you’ve eaten you can expect a problem.
  3. Overweight. This goes back to number 1. Being overweight causes increased pressure on the abdomen. Back to number 1. Change your diet and you’ll lose weight

Acid Neutralizers: Diff between PPI, H2 and other

When you have heartburn or reflux, the first thing people turn to are the acid neutralizers (Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Alka-Seltzer). As people continue suffering they then move up the chain in terms of medication. Let’s look at the three classes of medication:

Acid Neutralizers

Examples: Tums, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta, Alka-Seltzer

Acid neutralizers represent oneof the most common types of drugs used to treat reflux disease. These over the counter medications are basic compounds (i.e alkaline or high pH), like calcium carbonate, that provide temporary relief from symptoms by neutralizing stomach. They are used during a reflux episode or before eating a meal that is likely to cause heartburn. They neutralize acid in the stomach immediately, andif used in sufficient dosage, increase the pHto a level where pain (heartburn) is reduced if reflux occurs.

Because your stomach is constantly monitoring and adjusting its pH level for optimal digestion, itresponds to the increase inpH caused by acid neutralizers by quickly ramping up acid secretion to bring the pH down to where it should be.As a result, acid neutralizers only relieve symptoms for a short period of time. The fact that these drugs have had a large market for over five decades suggests that they are effective in controlling reflux symptoms with intermittent use.


  • Readily available over the counter
  • Inexpensive
  • Provides quick relief of mild symptoms
  • Can relieve symptoms during a reflux episode
  • Can prevent heartburn if taken before a meal that is known to produce heartburn
  • Safe


  • Short duration of symptom relief
  • Ineffective in long-term management of symptoms
  • Ineffective in relieving moderate to severe symptoms

Side Effects

Few side effects have been associated with acid neutralizers. In fact, those that have calcium intheir formula actually act as a nutritional calcium supplement.

Histamine-2 Receptor Antagonists (H2 Blockers)

Examples: Pepcid, Zantac, Tagamet, cimetidine, ranitidine

H2 blockers are a category of drugs that work by deactivating the cellular receptors within the stomach responsible for signaling the production of acid. When the H-2 receptor is blocked, acid secretion by the cells in the stomach is decreased. If reflux occurs while this blockage isin place, the likelihood of heartburn is decreased. These drugs take longer to reduce gastric acid than acid neutralizers, but produce a more sustained acid reduction. H2 blockers are less effective than proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) in suppressing acid secretion on a long term basis, but they act more quickly to reduce acid than PPIs. They are sometimes used with PPIsto augment the efficacy of those drugs.


  • Readily available over the counter
  • Provide longer term relief from symptoms than acid neutralizers
  • Act more quickly than PPIs in reducing acid secretion
  • Less expensive than PPIs
  • Fewer complications than PPIs


  • Less effective than PPIs in the long term
  • Ineffective in relieving severe symptoms because the total amount of acid reduction achieved is much lower than PPIs

Side Effects

Few side effects have been associated with H-2 receptor antagonists, with the exception ofcimetidine. Users of this variant of the medication have been known to experience hypotension, headache, fatigue, dizziness, confusion, constipation, diarrhea, and/or rash.

Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs)

Examples: Prilosec, Prevacid :, Zegarid, Nexium :, omeprazole :, es-omeprazole, lansoprazole PPIs provide the most powerful method for decreasing acid production in the stomach. PPIs work by inhibiting the proton pump in the stomach’s acid-producing cells. When used correctly, PPIs can provide relief from acid reflux for 14-18hours each day. PPIs typically require 3-4 days tobegin working and are not very useful when taken to control symptoms as they occur. These drugs are generally prescribed for a period of two weeks or longer. Tobe effective, PPIs needtobe used continuously to keep acidity levels low so that the damage and symptoms are lessened when acid reflux inevitably occurs.


  • Most powerful option for relief of acid reflux symptoms because they achieve the best control of acid secretion available
  • Provide longer-term relief from symptoms than other medications
  • Heal erosive esophagitis and prevent ulceration and stricture formation in the esophagus


  • Long-term use of PPIs may carry an increased risk of bone fractures
  • May increase severity of symptoms if treatment is discontinued because of a rebound acid secretion when the drug is withdrawn
  • Ineffective for quickly treating symptoms as they occur
  • Doesnot address the cause of reflux disease. LES damage is permanent andnot reversed by PPIs.
  • Doesnot prevent Barrett’s esophagus or cancer

Side Effects

Direct side effects include headache, diarrhea and abdominal pain. Long-term side effects include increased risk of hip fracture, increased risk of Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection, andinteractions with other medications.

Top 3 Culprits of Acid Reflux

Do these things now to get relief

You’d think this would be a pretty easy answer. If you’ve searched the web, like I did, you’ve probably seen a lot of articles with many telling you the same, with a variation here and there. So, after years of dealing with reflux, my quest has taken me down a path of learning more about our bodies and how they work. Some of what I’ve learned is counterintuitive. So, here’s what I’ve learned from my own experience:

  1. Our American diet is horrible. Ok, I said it. You may say, oh, but I eat organic, or I eat my fruits and veggies, blah blah. Take a look at this chart and then reassess your diet.
  2. Eating late. If you go to bed within three hours after you’ve eaten you can expect a problem.
  3. This goes back to number 1. Being overweight causes increased pressure on the abdomen. Back to number 1. Change your diet and you’ll lose weight.


What causes Acid Reflux

65 million Americans want to know

With more than 65 million Americans suffering from acid reflux, you’d think we’d know the cause and how to stop it.

The good news: We do know how to stop it

The bad news: You usually have to change what you are eating

Now, the good news about the bad news is that the foods you can eat are amazing. And, with a little help, you can discover a world of incredible, healthy, unprocessed foods that delight the palette.

When I first discovered the culprit behind my constant throat clearing, the sour taste in my mouth I awoke to every morning, my ear nose and throat doctor told me to stay away from:

  • Coffee
  • Chocolate
  • Alcohol

The first two items were devasting – okay – so I’m using a little hyperbole. And, on the third no-no, I naively asked, “by alcohol, you mean hard liquor, not wine, right?” You can guess his answer.

He gave me little pamphlet on preventing reflux, after looking at my espophagus, and reporting it was the most irritated one he’d seen ….ever – and he even ordered a barium exam to make sure nothing was growing in there.

Some things in the pamphlet didn’t ring true for me – like tomatoes. Those didn’t seem to bother me. And lemons? I knew that lemons were not acidic, but rather alkaline. Other citrus fruits, some, yes.

Some Common Causes:

Eating habits

Let me begin by saying that if you eat the “typical” American diet, AND you are overweight or eat too much in one seating, don’t be surprised that your body is revolting! Why do you think that more than 33% of Americans according to one study, suffer from acid reflux symptoms? View this chart to get an idea of what foods cause the problem. You can read more about changing your diet to be more alkaline than acidic here.

Pregnancy: For most women Acid reflux goes away after pregnancy. The hormones associated with pregnancy AND the pressure on the stomach contribute to the problem.


First of all, you’ll see on this chart that alcohol is acidic. Alcohol may relax the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), allowing stomach contents to reflux back up into the esophagus.

Not enough “acid” in the stomach

Not enough digestive enzymes in the stomach: Contrary to popular belief, acid reflux could be caused by not enough digestive enzymes in the stomach to slow down the digestive process, causing grastic acids to accumulate and back up into the esophagus.


For you smokers, I’m not going to spend much time on this. Because if you don’t want to quit smoking, then you probably won’t want to do the rest of what is required to get your body healthy. Here’s an article at WebMD for you:

And then there are the triggers – food, Ibuprofen, Naproxen….

What’s a girl, or guy to do?

Trust me, it’s the road to recovery can be rather quick. I’ve done my research and want to share with you what worked for me.

So, what’s your reflux trigger?





Heartburn Hotel

Checkout today!

Today’s article is one I recently read in MORE magazine, titled “How I Checked Out of Heartburn Hotel.” Hope you enjoy it! When you’re finished, browse through the site to see if you find your symptoms–as well as some remedies. She’s an advocate of what I’ve learned:

“I’m still a card-carrying member of the reflux club: I sleep on a slant, take probiotics religiously, drink aloe juice and never eat anything right before bed.”

Ultimate Aloe Juice

Acid Reflux Cure?

So, the the only thing that will ultimately cure your acid reflux is changing your lifestyle – primarily your diet. BUT, in the meantime, you can soothe the symptoms. Aloe Juice was my soother. I tried several, but kept coming back to this one.

What Makes Ultimate Aloe® Juice Unique?

The process of digestion is very complex. Digestion is the metabolic process that converts foodstuffs within the body for use. The process begins in the mouth, where it is chewed and mixed with saliva to prepare it for swallowing. After swallowing, the food is pushed through the esophagus, which transports it to the stomach, where it is further diluted and mixed with enzymes, breaking down the food to be absorbed in the intestines. Most of the absorption process begins to take place in the small intestine. Macronutrients, minerals, vitamins, trace elements and water are absorbed here before reaching the colon. The nutrients pass through the small intestine’s wall, which contains small, finger-like structures called villi. 

Digestion is a complex process, which is controlled by several factors. The gastrointestinal tract is also a prominent part of the immune system. The low pH (ranging from 1 to 4) of the stomach is fatal for many microorganisms that enter it. Similarly, mucus neutralizes many of these microorganisms. Other factors in the GI tract help with immune function as well, including enzymes in the saliva and bile. 

Because the typical diet consist of many foods unintended for digestion, maintaining a healthy digestive tract is important to the overall health of the body. Ultimate Aloe®contains over 200 nutrients, enzymes, vitamins and minerals, including 13 of the 17 essential minerals needed for good nutrition. Studies have shown that aloe consumed orally promotes normal digestion and supports a healthy immune system.*   

Ultimate Aloe® Juice has the IASC (International Aloe Science Council) seal that certifies the aloe content and purity. The aloe vera in Ultimate Aloe is harvested and processed according to sanitary manufacturing practices that use specific time and temperature guidelines. This preserves the natural properties of the aloe vera plant so you receive the maximum benefits of the product. Ultimate Aloe is virtually free of undesirable components such as aloin and other anthraquinones (aloin: 1 ppm or less) confirmed by an independent university laboratory.

So, give this one a try, or you can you try one of the old standbys.But warning…the old standbys TASTE like aloe juice which made it hard for me to get it down!

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid Reflux Common Symptoms

Acid reflux is a condition in which gastric acid is regurgitated- stomach acids rise up into the esophagus because the valve that separates the stomach contents from the esophagus is faulty.The word “reflux” comes from the Medieval Latin word refluxus which comes from the Latin word refluere, meaning “to flow back, to recede”.  Acid reflux and heartburn are often used interchangeably. Acid reflux is the movement, the action of stomach acids going up the wrong way, while heartburn refers to the burning sensation.

 A 2011 Norwegian study found that in most industrial nations, the incidence of acid reflux has risen by more than 50% since the beginning of the millenniumStatistics on the frequency of heartburn and GERD differ greatly. In accordance with some approximations, 7% of Americans have heartburn everday and 14% suffer it at least once every week. Alternative estimates suggest that GERD affects about 20% of the adult American population, mostly those in their forties or older. But, GERD can affect people of all ages, including infants and children.

Most Americans thinks it’s just another disease which can be cured by taking a pill. They treat the symptom rather than treating the source.

When I first asked my doctor what was wrong with my throat, he asked me if I woke up with a sour taste in my mouth. Check. Did I clear my throat often. Double Check.  However, for me, when things got really bad, I could barely talk. Scary, huh? As I later discovered, the acid rising from my stomach was landing on my vocal chords.  This condition is known as Silent Reflux.  When I read more about it, I got really serious about getting things under control.

What are the common symptoms to help you decide if this is your problem?