before you reach for over-the-counter relief
Dr. Jorge Rodriuez: The very thought of Osteoporosis, many of us imagine an old woman with brittle bones. But over 40 million Americans (80% of which are women) have some variety of osteoporosis; a disease where the bones of the body don’t have enough calcium and are much more likely to break. And it happens younger than you think.
But what many people don’t realize is that for the calcium supplements to work, acid in the stomach is required. Without using a lot of medical jargon, what that simply means is that over using anti-acid pills (like Nexium or Prilosec) actually increases your risk of fractures due to brittle bones.A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, shows that high doses of these types of antacids over a long period of time, can lead to increased risk of hip fractures. The researchers reported that people who used these medicines for more than one year increased their risk of hip fractures by 44%!
So, what can you do if you have chronic heartburn AND low calcium in your bones? For starters, if you are one of the 50 million Americans with GERD you should not be taking anti-acids for more than two months. Just because they work and are over the counter doesn’t make them completely safe. Secondly, continue taking your calcium supplements. Most importantly try curing your acid reflux naturally.
Here are five suggestions:
1. Lose weight – having a belly full of fat, will press on your stomach and make it more likely to push the acid into your esophagus, causing heartburn.
2. Eat smaller meals more often – large meals distend your stomach and make it more likely for acid to reflux
3. Eat meals that are high in fiber – fiber causes your stomach to empty faster
4. Decrease the amount of Caffeine and Nicotine – these two are stimulants and cause your stomach to make more acid
5. Do not lie down after eating – let gravity help you empty your stomach. After a meal, go for a walk or clean the dishes. Stay upright for at least an hour.
The most important thing to remember is that if you have osteoporosis or low calcium in your bones, make sure that treating one condition is not making the other condition worse.