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Antacids, Laxatives, and Pain Relievers

by Howard F. Loomis Jr., D.C.

The title of this article suggests problems with digestion, elimination, and assimilation. The product names of many over-the-counter remedies in this category are instantly recognized and the combined sales of these and similar products total billions of dollars each year.

For many people these products are a way of life. They represent on-the-spot relief for problems that are covered up year after year until surgery finally removes the offending organ. Before starting down this slippery slope you must realize that the aforementioned drugstore remedies do not actually correct problems and restore normal function.

Such products are examples of the "magic bullet" theory of "sick care" which places emphasis on attempts to mask symptoms. There is no attempt to remove the cause of the symptoms and restore normal body function, as is done in healthcare. While prompt pain relief is important and necessary, it should not be a way of life.

People with indigestion rarely go to a doctor before serious complications begin because it is uncommon to seek help for mild symptoms and non-life-threatening problems. In the absence of positive test results, over-the-counter remedies are used until they are replaced by more expensive prescription drugs.

Fortunately, there is a better way. Every symptom has a general physiological cause, and lifestyle changes and nutritional support for the stressed organs can correct these problems. A prudent course of action is to remove the stress by changing a few simple dietary habits and including the use of food enzyme supplements to restore normal function.

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