Heartburn is a painful sensation that, if serious enough, can lead to a host of gastrointestinal problems. If you’ve ever experienced severe heartburn, you’ll know how painful this sensation can be.
Some people have described heartburn or indigestion as feeling like they have a grapefruit lodged in their chest, with a constant burning sensation each time they swallow. No matter how much water you drink to suppress the sensation, it just doesn’t seem to work.
Fortunately, modern medicine has advanced to the point where we now have medications to combat heartburn, without having to go to the emergency room. Unfortunately, however, there have been severe missteps in some heartburn medications on the market today, particularly Zantac, which is now the subject of class-action lawsuits.
Though Zantac is still available for purchase, consider the details behind this drug and explore natural alternatives with comparable symptom relief for better overall health.
What is Zantac?
Zantac’s active ingredient is Ranitidine, an H2 blocker that is used to treat stomach ulcers and intestinal ulcers. The active ingredient is used to heal the ulcers and also can prevent them from reforming.
The drug works by decreasing stomach acid production and relieving the symptoms associated with the high production of stomach acids such as stomach pain, cough, and heartburn.
Zantac medication is offered both at the prescription level and as an OTC drug.
Problems with Zantac
The problem with Ranitidine (Zantac) is that it is now being looked at by the FDA as a carcinogen, a component that can cause cancer in the human body.
In laboratory testing, Ranitidine has been found to cause cancer in laboratory animals who have anatomies comparable to the human body,
The FDA and other health organizations are now in the process of investigating Ranitidine and its possible link to various types of stomach cancers found in patients who have reported taking the drug.
In September of 2019, The FDA went public with its new findings during preliminary tests. These tests found that low levels of Nitrosodimethylamine (NDMA), a common carcinogen known to cause cancer in animals and humans, were present in Ranitidine.
Many Zantac users who have developed stomach cancer or other cancers are now considering filing lawsuits against the manufacturer for compensation.
Other Options for Treating Heartburn
Thankfully, you don’t have to rely on Zantac to alleviate your heartburn symptoms. Several other OTC drugs are available that are not thought to cause cancer such as Pepto-Bismol, Tums, and other antacid chewables.
If you’d prefer to go the natural route, then you’re in luck, because there are several natural remedies that are known to relieve symptoms associated with heartburn and acid reflux.
Ginger has a natural ability to reduce stomach acid. Though you’ll probably not want to eat raw ginger (yuck), you can eat anything containing high levels of ginger, drink ginger-ale, or brew ginger tea.
It’s recommended that consuming between 3 and 4 grams of ginger per day is the optimal dosage for relieving heartburn or acid reflux. Too much ginger, however, can actually cause heartburn or acid reflux. So, watch your dosage.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has been the subject of many natural health studies. It is thought not only to help with indigestion but is also thought to aid in weight loss and has been found to improve skin conditions.
The trick with taking apple cider vinegar is that it will increase your body’s ability to produce stomach acid. Since low acid levels can cause indigestion, only take apple cider vinegar if you’re not producing enough stomach acid to digest properly.
Licorice and marshmallow root are both common ingredients in teas that are great to help soothe a sore throat. Licorice root, however, has active ingredients that naturally ease inflammation and spasms within the gastrointestinal tract.
Since licorice root can also cause high blood pressure in high daily doses, the recommended dosage is around 2.5 grams per day and take about a half-hour before eating to help with indigestion.
Medication is great for relieving symptoms, but sometimes science gets ahead of itself and doesn’t perform due diligence prior to approving medicines for human consumption. If you’re worried about the possibility of developing a debilitating condition, it’s best to avoid certain medicines such as Zantac which are now under investigation. Instead, and to give you peace of mind, try the natural remedies first.
As always, consult your physician prior to engaging in any new diet with the purposes of relieving symptoms, or when considering taking any new medications.