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    Mediterranean Diet More Effective Than Prilosec, Nexium in Curbing Heartburn

    11. 28. 2017

    If you want to try a more natural approach to treating your heartburn, the cure may be found in your diet. According to a new study published in JAMA Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery, a Mediterranean diet may be more effective in treating laryngopharyngeal reflux than proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs).

    Laryngopharyngeal reflux, also called silent reflux, is a specific type of reflux in which acid travels up the esophagus and reaches the throat. It typically does not have the same symptoms of classic heartburn; instead, it is often accompanied by asthma, allergies, chronic throat clearing and post-nasal drip. Laryngopharyngeal reflux may be treated with PPIs such as Nexium (esomeprazole), Prilosec (omeprazole) and Prevacid (lansoprazole).

    Craig H. Zalvan, M.D., Medical Director of The Institute for Voice and Swallowing Disorders at Phelps Memorial Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, NY, sought to find a better way to treat reflux than medication, and he decided to try the Mediterranean diet.  Although there may be some variations on what the Mediterranean diet includes, it is based on plant and whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, grains and nuts. The diet contains sparing amounts of dairy and meat, and it eliminates greasy, fatty and fried foods.

    Dr. Zalvan’s study enrolled 184 people with laryngopharyngeal reflux. Participants were treated with either a PPI or 90 percent plant-based Mediterranean diet, and results were recorded. About 63 percent of those on the Mediterranean diet experienced significant reduction in reflux symptoms, compared to 54 percent who took a PPI.

    Recent studies have linked long-term PPI use to increased rates of stroke and heart attack, dementia and kidney damage, so Dr. Zalvan was enthusiastic about the possibilities of curing reflux through dietary changes. “Although effective in some patients, I felt medication couldn’t be the only method to treat reflux and recent studies reporting from prolonged PPI use made me more certain,” Dr. Zalvan remarked. “The results we found show we are heading in the right direction to treating reflux without medication” (Source: Med Shadow).

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