More writing from Brian Libby

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Wow, that new reflux procedure is news to me. I'll keep my eyes out for more info on that one.
Unfortunately, the most simple and inexpensive treatments for reflux are often overlooked. Sometimes even having too *little* stomach acid can cause problems in certain people, because HCL is one of the things that help maintain the tone of the lower esophageal sphincter. There are also other, very simple ways to increase the tone of the LES and combat reflux. This procedure may end up being a good option for those people for whom all of the simple interventions are ineffective, which I would imagine to be a fairly small percent. I wonder how common it will end up being in the long run.
That must be an interesting article you are writing...I would love to read it!!


Wow, thanks Margaret! Your post reminds me that I really ought to include the alternative medicine point of view in my story as well.

Even though the procedure I heard about is intruiging and probably worthwhile to those who were to get relief from it, I still think it seems unnatural to put a piece of teflon on the wall of the lower esophogas with the intention of keeping it there for the rest of one's life. Apparently the esophogeal (sp?) tissue eventually grows over the synthetic material, but still--I sure wouldn't want a procedure like that done unless it was absitively posolutely necessary.


Teflon?? Holy....
I absolutely agree that it is unnatural, and I find the concept rather terrifying. However, from the medical community's point of view, including the Naturopathic community, reflux is a problem that needs to be dealt with aggressively--and with good reason. If not dealt with, over time the repeated exposure to acid with cause metaplastic changes in the lower aspect of the esophagus, where the cell type changes to resemble stomach cells. This is called "Barrett's esophagus," and is considered a precancerous condition, so you can see why they jump on it.
As drastic as this procedure sounds, I will acknowledge that it makes an attempt to correct the real problem at hand (a lax LES,) rather than just attacking the stomach acid. I have a big problem with the H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors now being available over the counter, and being prescribed to anyone and everyone who complains of heartburn. They were originally designed to be used short term as an ulcer treatment, in conjunction with bismuth and an antibiotic, to decrease acid while the stomach has a chance to heal. They were not originally intended to be taken year in and year out for "acid indigestion." We are now seeing significant nutritional deficiencies in patients who are on these drugs long term, including B12 deficiencies. As you probably are aware, you don't mess around with a B12 deficiency.

Let's put it this way. Stomach acid is your friend. It's not the problem. However, like fire, it needs to be kept in its place.


I'm sorry, but I long for the "good old days" when the south waterfront was an industrial wasteland. I loved the area just south of the old steam plant, under the Marquam Bridge. There were lots of old twisted and rusted pieces of monster machines that had died long ago. Of course, I didn't know at the time that it was also a toxic wast dump, but then the people who live there now probably don't know it either. I also heard it was a common place to dump bodies. I never found any of those but I always found signs of lives that were probably not very happy. Plants and animals, however, made good use of the area, and that's what I loved.

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