For the past five years my husband has had a drug addiction. His drug of choice? The little pink pill, commonly known as Prilosec OTC. It started with heartburn and a visit to the doctor’s office, which led to a 14 day free trial pack of Prilosec, just enough to get him hooked. And then they had him.
For years I tried my best to get him to kick the habit. Those pills are quite expensive! And I feared what probable side effects were taking hold on him. But he had to have one. Every day. If he skipped a day he was in terrible digestive pain. I’d do everything I could to get him “clean” again. I tried to get him to change his diet, I tried home remedies, I even took the debit card away and forbid him to buy any more of that stuff. But just like a good enabler, when he began withdrawals and was truly in a lot of pain, I’d give in out of pity and let him get more.
But see, this is how they designed it. This is how they keep your money filling their pockets. You get heartburn, you take the medicine, which causes your body to produce more acid, which causes more heartburn. Then you take more medicine to control the problem, but it only makes you dependent. It’s a vicious cycle.
When my husband lost his job a few months ago, we really had to tighten our belts. And food was top priority over meds. When that last box of pink pills ran out, it was out for good. No matter how much he wanted it, my husband knew that we just could not afford to feed his addiction any longer. We determined to learn how to treat acid reflux naturally.
The first two weeks were tough. TOUGH. Poor guy! He was miserable. The acid reflux was so bad, and he was really hurting. I searched every home remedy I could find, and made him try them all. Although Apple Cider Vinegar is highly recommended, it did not work for Jerry. He tried baking soda, with little relief. But what helped him get through his days the most was eating an apple. Every time his chest would start to burn, he’d eat a little more apple. That was the only thing that eased the discomfort. As the third week rolled around, the heartburn wasn’t constant any longer, but only came occasionally. What was triggering it?
We took a good look at his diet, and tried to take note of things that he ate before his acid reflux would kick in. It didn’t take us long to figure out the trend. Soda, Spaghetti (sauce), Hot Dogs (ketchup), Chocolate milk (syrup)… Yes, all of these things in themselves are not good for you, but the key ingredient in all of them is High Fructose Corn Syrup. We had a major Ah-Ha! moment. As soon as Jerry stopped eating foods with HFCS in them, his acid reflux went away.
I am proud to say that my husband has been free from Prilosec OTC for 4 months now! I was afraid he’d never break the habit. What a relief it is to know that he doesn’t have to depend on pharmaceuticals to get by every day. And now I don’t have to worry about the side effects of taking these pills daily. Part of being self-sufficient is breaking the dependence on the pharmaceutical industry, and learning to treat yourself with natural remedies (as much as possible).
I’m proud of him for toughing it out! It wasn’t easy, but SO worth it.
*UPDATE: Well, it’s Nov. 1st, 2012, and I’m happy to report that my husband has been heartburn free for over two years now! He hasn’t had to take a single pill since I first wrote this post. If he can do it, so can you.