Natural Ways to Ditch Your Meds for Stomach and Lung Troubles

It’s fairly simple: by removing the cause of a health condition, you can often address it holistically and eliminate the need for prescription medicines as a treatment option. In this article, we’ll explore holistic approaches for more common health conditions and help you safely move away from prescription drugs being used for these conditions. The focus will be on stomach acid disorders, asthma, and COPD. We’ll address depression, anxiety, psychoses, pain problems, and infections in future articles.

Stomach Acid Disorders / GERD (Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Disease)

Your stomach usually produces acid that is important for digestion and absorption of calcium and vitamin B12. If you have been diagnosed with Helicobacter pylori infection, consider that half of the world has this bacterium in their upper GI tract, and nearly 85 percent of those infected with H. pylori never even have symptoms or complications from it.

There are, however, more important causes of this condition which you can eliminate in preparation to go off your acid suppressor medicine, including:

  • Excess refined sugar, refined oils, carbonated drinks, and food chemicals.
  • Unresolved or persistent stress/worry/low emotions.
  • Smoking.
  • Alcoholic drinks.
  • Medications for asthma, high blood pressure, heart failure, muscle spasm, pain relief (NSAIDs, narcotics), anxiety, urinary incontinence, migraine, diarrhea, antihistamines, and antidepressants.
  • Pregnancy and obesity.
  • Hiatal hernia.
  • Barrett’s esophagus (from long-standing acid damage).

By eliminating these factors, you should be ready to come off your acid suppressor medicine. Be careful with Barrett’s, as this condition can put you at an increased esophageal/stomach cancer risk if it remains.

However, don’t discontinue your acid suppressor suddenly, or you may experience pain from rebound acid production. To offset this, supplement your stomach by taking Betaine HCL (a natural stomach acid supplement) along with a digestive enzyme blend with each meal. This provides the stomach acid you need for digestion and signals your stomach not to rebound with excess acid.

Additionally, keep stress to a minimum, eat whole foods (mostly cooked), and eliminate spicy/sweet foods until your stomach acid is normalized. You should be able to eliminate Betaine HCL and digestive enzymes in a few months.

If you suffer from gastroparesis (diabetes), consider using herbs, such as ginger, which can stimulate gastric emptying at a safe dose of 1,200 mg (three capsules). Swedish bitters (an herbal blend) can also be taken at one tablespoon before meals.

Asthma / Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease

Asthma is an allergy condition of the lungs. Knowing what is triggering your asthma can help eliminate the cause. However, you cannot just discontinue these medications until you have eliminated your triggers.

Common triggers for asthma include animal dander, house dust mites, molds or cockroach droppings, viral infections, air pollution, tobacco smoke, and even dry cold weather. Additional underlying causes might include medications, food additives/colorings, acid reflux, and strong emotions. Unresolved chronic stress can produce inflammatory chemicals which contribute to hypersensitivity.

The main source of immune hypersensitivity lies in the poor health of the small intestine lining and large intestine microflora. In the small intestine, you absorb 90 percent of your nutrients. Damage to intestinal lining cells, as well as the overgrowth of yeast and unhealthy bacteria in your large intestine, can result in a “leaky gut” condition that allows leakage of unnatural molecules into your bloodstream, triggering systemic inflammation, including asthma.

High fiber diets are known to enhance healthy short-chain fatty acids acetate, propionate, and butyrate, which help keep the intestinal mucosa strong and intact.

Another important factor in allergens entering your bloodstream is your body’s largest organ: your skin. Your self-care products (deodorant, shampoo, perfume, skin care) can contribute to immune hypersensitivity.

A food and emotional cleansing process, such as a liquid cleanse for three to seven days, can help you wean down from asthma or COPD medications. Chronic airway conditions (COPD) will reverse gradually, but reactive airway inflammation (asthma) can reverse more quickly.

In future articles, we’ll address depression, anxiety, panic, and milder psychoses, and how to safely wean off medicines for these conditions. In the meantime, work toward maintaining your health without unnecessary prescription drugs.