A Reader Asks:
“I suffer from acid reflux and to treat it I take maximum strength Zantac 150 mg. I want to know how long I should be taking Zantac and if it will eventually cure me of my acid reflux? Also because of the acid reflux my voice sounds very muffled and it makes it hard for people to understand me when I speak, will my voice ever go back to normal or is the damage from the acid already done? I have been suffering from acid reflux since I was 18 and now I’m 27.”
The short answer is written on the packaging: and it says that if you are self medicating you should not take this more than 2 weeks before seeing a doctor.
Now, saying that, it is very unlikely that you will cure or relieve your heartburn permanently within that 2 weeks. If your heartburn continues after you stop taking Zantac then go see a doctor and he/she may prescribe something more permanent. My personal opinion is that over-the-counter medication is used to see if you will respond to their medication, then if you see the doctor you will ask for their prescription version. Once you start taking medication, you will most likely be on the medication for the rest of your life to control your heartburn. To get a permanent cure you need to be willing to make lifestyle changes or possibly surgery.
Damages to your body
To address your concern about damage to your esophagus or larynx: Yes, you may have damage already, but what most doctors have told me is that it can be reversible if you stop the acid flow. You most likely already know that the damage is caused by stomach acid, but what you may not know why it is happening. Your esophagus has two sphincter valves at each end. There is the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) and the Upper Esophageal Sphincter (UES). Both of these valves work the same, they let food down the esophagus but nothing should come back up if the valve is working properly. Due to varies reasons these valves sometimes do not work properly and allow excessive stomach acid into the esophagus or in the case of a faulty UES, up into the larynx or throat. Your esophagus has a protective lining and when the acid eats away at this lining it causes burning and damage. You control this either by fixing the sphincter valves with surgery or by controlling the excessive acid in your stomach with medication. If your acid reflux is controlled and if there has not been too much damage already then the lining is allowed to grow back. I don’t want to alarm anyone, but too much damage has been known to cause cancer.
What can you do about it?
There are over 7 million acid reflux suffers in the United States and about 20% will not respond to medication and must seek out other options such as lifestyle changes or surgery. I have several articles on this website that address those options.
With so many people suffering with heartburn, you would think they would want a permanent solution, however, only 5% of sufferers are motivated enough or willing to make the necessary lifestyle changes to control their acid reflux. You have most likely paid quite a bit of money already for over-the-counter antacids or other medications, why not get the eBook that I recommend for less than $40, follow their advise and never have to pay anything again to control your heartburn. Just a thought. Read my review of the eBook here then take a chance, it comes with a money back guarantee so if you don’t see the results, get your money back. However, there are only a small number of individuals who ever ask for their money back, so it must be good advise.