Without jumping into the thick of this issue I’d just like to share a few observations. Herbalists have long treated GERD and other stomach complaints as “acid deficiency” conditions. This was well collaborated by an article in a medical journal just a few years back which hit the on-line news-circuits. All, of the GERD treatments that I know of used in conventional medicine suppress stomach acid which greatly relieves symptoms, but doesn’t address the root cause – which in the majority of cases is an individuals lack of “digestive fire.” A functional medicine or herbal approach to the condition would work at both relieving symptoms while enhancing digestion.
It is worth noting that over the last few years all the various conventional treatments for “stomach acid” have been shown to have significant side-effects and to be highly over-prescribed as is clearly outlined in this article in regards to PPIs. In my opinion this doesn’t necessarily point to a failure on the part of the drugs (which certainly relieve symptoms and when prescribed in appropriate cases may be less problematic and even effective), but in the failure to address the underlying cause and take a functional perspective. In other words to investigate how a stomach is actually supposed to digest food and to inquire into why an individual’s digestive system is not working as it should – stress, poor diet or eating habits, dysbiosis or infections, etc. Such an approach addresses the root of the problem AND enhances (rather the suppresses) the organs functions which results in the restoration of health as well as the alleviation of symptoms. And in most cases, by restoring function, “treatment” is no longer required (though lifestyle changes will have to be maintained) and the individual no longer needs to be indefinitely on a drug, thereby decreasing the long-term risks associated with many pharmaceuticals. The “disadvantage” is that the patient will likely need to improve their eating habits and diet, and decrease their stress, which requires taking self-responsibility for their own health. The side-effects (benefits) of a functional or herbal approach to GERD and other digestive issues is therefore improved overall health and well-being, improved quality of life, and potentially decreased risk of developing any diseases correlated with poor diet and stress (which, as far as I can see, is nearly all health conditions).
Whether drugs actually cause CKD remains uncertain