If You Are Taking A Prescribed Medication For Stomach Acid (PPI) This Is Worth Reading

Contact:  (917) 716-6802    By Appointment Only

Stomach distress and heartburn are not fun and may significantly impact your quality of life.

When these symptoms are treated as ‘problems’ rather than as ‘flags’ signaling greater problems, then the APPROACH to treatment becomes an additional cause for concern.

Dr. Susan Kolb  treats reflux by addressing the fungal overgrowth. She explains that she uses, “Nystatin oral solution to kill yeast affecting the cardiac valve along with Heartburn Free, a supplement that causes the valve to work better (orange peel extract) with good success.”  She avoids some of the popular prescriptions, noting that, “[r]educing acid with H2 blockers over time increases food allergies as well.”

Her approach recognizes that, “[w]hen amino acids do not get absorbed, one gets degenerative disc disease, rotator cuff issues, and other problems.” Her patient population is a unique group, “. . .  that is toxic from silicone and 100% of them have yeast overgrowth as well as malabsorption problems.” She uses Calorad or a broad amino acid supplement in many [of her] patients [and she addresses] the dysbiosis in the gut [that causes] leaky gut. All patients with immune deficiencies including those on chemoRx are at risk for these problems.”

Her entire approach to inflammation is wonderfully refreshing.  Feel free to look her up online.

Reminders as we continue with this discussion:

  • The mind often communicates with us through the body (i.e. anxiety, stomach issues, muscle tension etc).
  • The body communicates with us through pain and fever.
  • When we treat the ‘flags’ or ‘symptoms’ as if they are the actual problem, we risk silencing the valuable communication system, throwing off our mind/body/ spirit balance.

For more about how these bottom lines came to be, click here for Part 1, click here for Part 2, click here for Part 3.

The focus of this blog – Part 4:  

  • How the complex digestive system calls attention to itself
  • Evidence-based approaches to address underlying imbalances expressed

Gas, bloating, acid-reflux, “IBS” & “GERD”  FLAGS & SYMPTOMS often misunderstood & treated as if  they are the cause

Functional medicine addresses root causes.  As we age, our stomach experiences symptoms from naturally decreased acid (hypochlorhydria). Supplements may help.  Click here for an explanation and details about why and how.

When your symptoms include gas, bloating, and other discomfort of the stomach, and you are told “You have IBS”  (irritable bowel syndrome), the ROOT CAUSE is still yet to be addressed. Conventional medicine, however, stops at the diagnosis and prescribes an antacid, as if to ‘treat’ the symptoms.

Symptoms can’t be ‘treated’ . . . they can only be ‘masked’

Part of the approach functional medical doctor Dr. Mark Hyman MD takes includes analyzing food choices along with body responses, as well as the balance of bacteria that are present in the ‘gut’ of the individual patient. He addresses the ’cause’ and uses ‘symptoms’ to flag and guide.

Before offering a treatment, and certainly before prescribing a pharmaceutical medication, these factors are carefully assessed by functional medicine, and then addressed.  Click here to read more about how Dr. Hyman treats IBS.

Dr. Andrew Weil MD also offers interventions that include a wide range of evidence-based approaches to help patients heal stomach issues. If you are interested in herbal interventions, in addition to the other evidence-based recommendations he has to offer, click here.

The integrative medicine approach to GERD is to avoid PPIs (i.e  Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, click here for a more complete list) and to actually wean patients who are on them, OFF.  Click here for the current thinking and detailed rationale. As with ‘functional medicine’, the integrative medical approach addresses lifestyle, including diet and exercise, as well as what the patient’s body presents with (i.e. degree of stomach acid, organisms in the gut).

Pros and cons of over-the-counter and prescription antacids: The bottom line is that, while soothing of the symptoms does occur, long term use of these products is now known to contribute to bone fractures. Click here for research out of Forsyth Institute.

The above essay highlights ways in which your digestive system communicates with you through symptoms. It also suggests how functional and integrative approaches address the true causes, recognizing the importance of listening to rather than silencing the sophisticated ‘alert system’ your body has in place.

The bottom line is that there are many causes and ways of dealing with stomach issues.  When medication is the ONLY approach used and/or first line approach, the risks may outweigh the benefits.

Speak to your health provider about the information in this article and then, together with your provider, make decisions that are in the best interest of your mind/body/spirit balance.   It is your life.  Your journey.  Your body.  Here’s to your health.  ~Dr. Iankowitz

Additional resources:

About the Author: Dr. Iankowitz is an ANCC board certified advanced practice nurse, in private practice as founder and Director of Holistic and Integrative Healing LLC.  Dr. Iankowitz is the editor and author of several articles and books, and founder of Universe’Secretary.

Other posts by this author:

The Mind/ Body/ Spirit Connection and Internal Communication To Facilitate Balance

Contact:  (917) 716-6802    By Appointment Only

The mind, body and spirit convey powerful messages through an intricate and very delicate communication system. The network includes, comfort, discomfort, anxiety, pain, fever and a host of other experiences that enrich life.

Some people carry anxiety in their necks or backs; that is, when we have a back pain, it might represent a structural issue (a trip to the chiropractor for diagnosis and treatment might help), OR indicate emotional tension, poor posture at the computer or dinner table, or might even be signaling a problem stemming from an internal organ (a trip to the doctor might be in order).  How can YOU tell what your own body is trying to express?

Click here to read about how the body communicates, how we can learn to listen, and what we can do to answer the call.

There Is A Cure – But You Must First Recognize The Condition

“Gas lighting” is just a symptom. It signals there may be a disorder which, once identified, may be treated.

If you read this far you might be wondering about a name or diagnosis that can dissolve the ‘problem’ – and that curiosity is healthy.  It suggests that you are interested in taking control – even if it is frightening to even entertain a thought that maybe you or a dearly adored loved one is afflicted.  There are tips to help, and resources to guide. Read on.

It began when your son married a woman who refused to permit him to call you.  (If so, click here) or maybe your brother now insists he can’t talk to you or even mention your name to his new wife because she is jealous, private or painfully shy. In fact, that is the reason offered for why they broke their plans on New Year’s Eve or couldn’t make it – at the last minute, to the family gathering.

It began as little hints that became clear only in retrospect. (Click here for additional information). As you review the pattern, you realize that the first step was: isolation and alienation of family members who asked too many questions.

Point: Until family members learn how to effectively help the afflicted member, they  typically tread very quietly and carefully around that person, don’t seek clarification, insist that nobody ‘rock the boat’ and basically behave as if they are prisoners in their own home.

In your case, you realize that, when invited to your home, they showed up late – more and more often until someone from that family was elected to ultimately call to cancel visits altogether. When asked about what happened, the elected representative offered what you now recognize to have been lies. (Click here for tools that may help).

For the next few years, that part of the family made only ‘social obligation’ appearances, then fabricated reasons why they couldn’t get together with the rest of the family at all.  They may have even gone out of their way to fill time slots during upcoming holidays or anticipated birthday or graduation events. They might have even offered to work special holidays or overtime, just so their excuse would be valid. Click here if you were no longer considered ‘nuclear family’ because you refused to walk on eggshells.

Your situation may have progressed to their refusal to accept phone calls, or they may ignore emails. You may believe they hope you just stop trying. You love them unconditionally, and may begin to think you did something wrong. Unfortunately, without the proper perspective and tools, if you reach out to try to find out what you did, the effort might not be fruitful. You might even be faulted for reaching out too much.

Perhaps this was the pattern, or perhaps you are experiencing pieces of it now.  Do you believe you might be in the middle of this nightmare?  If so,  help is available. You have already taken the first step:  recognition and questioning . . . read on. (Click here for advice on how to help a person suffering with this disorder).

This unfortunate scenario is a result of: Borderline Personality Disorder. Almost every family I know has at least one person with an extreme personality issue either in this or a related  category and, while we all experience occasional traits here and there, those afflicted with this particular disorder successfully surround themselves with enablers who sadly – even if well meaning, often become consumed by the toxicity.  The men in the lives of women suffering with BPD are traumatized and abused (as was indicated by a previous link).

Again, while we all relate to aspects of the villain/ victim/ savior scenario a few scattered times throughout our lifetime, people who suffer with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) function within this scenario as a daily routine.  It defines them and they default to defining others by it. They see the world through this distorted lens 100% of the time.

To those afflicted with BPD, every person must be placed in the role of either villain or savior while the one with BPD remains ‘victim’ – with an occasional redefinition to the ‘savior’ role, when absolutely necessary; for example, in the case wherein an enabler becomes a ‘victim’ during times of illness, accident or job-related difficulties, the person with BPD can become the ‘savior’.  While in this role, however, as ‘savior’ of the newly assigned ‘victim’ the person with BPD finds a way to reclaim the role of victim to those with whom communication is  secretly maintained. The person with BPD often states how difficult it is to care for or about the one recovering from injury or illness.  After all, the enabler was supposed to be the savior.  Now what?

Clues that help you figure out if you or other family members or friends are enabling the behavior:  enablers are the people who ‘excuse’ the one who has this disorder with labels such as ‘private’ and ‘shy’ – defending the ill person’s continued efforts to isolate, alienate, ignore & offend others.

Toxicity trumps all. If an enabler becomes injured or ill, that person has an interesting set of new circumstances to deal with. Click here to read more about that dynamic.  It is not uncommon for the enabler to become emotionally exhausted. If this happens, the enabler might refer to outside sources as ‘the villain’ so that the enabler and the one suffering with BPD can ‘unite’ against the common enemy as joint victims/ saviors.

The good news is that BPD can be successfully addressed, treated and maybe even cured by a skilled mental health professional, but only if the ‘patient’  is willing,  and has LOTS of family support and cooperation to set healthy boundaries. The supportive people learn how to not give in to unreasonable demands or tantrums by providing a gentle, consistent, reassuring and firm environment.  Family members can indeed help facilitate healing if they are willing and able to learn to accurately and non-judgmentally reflect the patient back to him/her self.

The sad news is, unless there are family members who are seriously dedicated to helping to heal this disorder, it can become a quicksand of toxicity capable of driving other family members to the brink of nervous breakdown.

Q: How do you know when you need to seek help so you can heal?

A: When it takes over aspects of your life, interfering with family gatherings etc., you need to pay close attention.

As  indicated above, we ALL have bits & pieces of many personality traits. The issue becomes apparent when isolation, alienation, teaming up, pitting against, splitting apart, turning others against, etc., are accompanied by that toxic villain/ victim/ savior (“us against them” or “me against you”) scenario, and when it is so deeply experienced that it breaks relationships apart.

Read more about how to help yourself and loved ones so that you can reclaim joy, comfort, peace and love:

Resource for help with BPD

How can I stop enabling this behavior?

Old Tapes That Need Review

Is Your Adult Child Borderline?

Here’s to your health, happiness, healing and balance of your mind, body and spirit.

Three Simple Steps To Write Your Own Life Script

Step #1  Identify what gives you joy & what blocks your joy

Step #2  Self-reflect honesty to discover your true potential

Step #3  Decide where you want to put your energy

Keep in mind that there are distractions along your journey to writing your own life script but YOU are in charge of the story.  It is the story of YOUR life.

Recognize that finding your center permits the Universe to channel wisdom that you already have inside of you.  Survival mechanisms are in place to save your life which, if misused, threaten your inner balance.  One example is described below:

Fight/flight vs. Meditation. While the fight/flight response helps protect us from physical danger, the meditative response protects us from spiritual attack.  Think about it.

The fight/flight response distracts from internal healing and resolution. It is as inappropriate a response to a bad mood as would be sitting in a lotus position in deep meditation on a train track when there is an oncoming train speeding in your direction.

Once you identify Steps #1-3, recognize that the secret to YOUR fulfillment is within you. Click here  for the LinkedIn version of a road map to tap into your wisdom and joy.

Namaste and continued blessings along your journey.

The Mind Is More Powerful Than Most People Realize

Contact:  (917) 716-6802

Even conventional medical practitioners recognize the strength of the intangible ‘mind’.  Just look at the placebo effect.  What was once believed to be ‘coincidence’ is now understood to be a useful tool . . . and the term ‘imagination’ is gaining new respect.

Once technology catches up with intuitive knowing, we will have means by which to satisfy all wellness professionals with  overflowing confirmation using  ‘evidence-based data’ to support what many, but not all, know to be truth.  At this point we have kirlian photography  and recognition of energy fields, Reiki,  and a wide range of holistic healing approaches that western medicine is beginning to embrace. Until we do have ‘hard evidence’ measured by scientific rules defined by our society, there is nothing to stop anyone from tapping into personal, internal power.  Begin here:

Creative visualization and imagery in health

For additional techniques, hints and tips, Holistic and Integrative Healing LLC is available. Dr. Iankowitz can facilitate your healing process by supporting and guiding you throughout your healing journey. She can work with or help you create a team of professionals, at your request.  Dr. Iankowitz can be reached (917) 716-6802 for consultation, by appointment only, so call in advance.