Aloe Vera and Zinc

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Hi I am wondering whether anyone has tried these for GERD, I have been recommended them for diverticular but upon reading up about them, they may help my GERD as well. Thanks

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  • Posted

    There are many claims made for Aloe Vera. It's main use as a balm is to soothe abrasions. This may explain its popularity for those with acid reflux or oesophagitis.

    Cancer Research UK has carried out research into the healing properties of Aloe and the claims made for it. They found there was no evidence to suggest that aloe vera works but many patients say that they have found aloe helpful. Some early research seems to suggest that it may help wounds to heal. Early studies of aloe substances in laboratory animals seem to suggest that some of the chemicals found in aloe may have helpful effects on the immune system and can shrink some cancers.

    Some users of Aloe may experience side effects of diarrhoea, nausea and stomach pain.

    Aloe vera may interact with other drugs or herbs so always talk to your doctor before you begin taking it.

    "Once people begin taking aloe supplements regularly, they tend to develop a tolerance, requiring increased doses to maintain the effect. As the dose increases, safety is of increasing concern: case reports of fatalities and severe kidney dysfunction have been reported with high doses." [U.S.News - Health & Wellness]

    As for Zinc. If you're using high dose PPIs for too long, induced hypochlorhydria may mean you're depleted of some essential minerals, including Zinc, but I would suggest you talk to your doctor before taking supplements.

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your repply. I do appreciate the time taken to reply and find it interesting. I have been taking PPIs for so long now that my GP suggested I might be low in magnesium but has not checked. No mention of Zinc but health shop gave me both to help settle my stomach after diverticular flare up. Will give them both a go and not expect too much, but any relief at the minute helpful.
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    • Posted

      Hi - there does seem to be an absorbsion problem if ones tummy is out of whack. I get around this by using a spray on my feet each morhing. I think they call it magnesium oil though it isnt oily at all. I dont think you can go wrong with zinc and its great for stopping nagging coughs in my experience.
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    • Posted

      Hi Barretts, you seem to be very switched on re GERD so would you mind me asking whether you know anything about not having enough acid. The reason for the question is that the symptoms for low acid are virtually the same as too much.  I was recommended a lower dose by GP last November, but due to horrendous virus in January after various anti b's needed to increase dosage again which was a shame as the lower dose was working. Seem to be in this cycle of pain, bloating and now excess gas all of which could be not enough acid which upon reading is even worse that too much.  Any thoughts please
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    • Posted

      There are people who are naturally hypochlorhydric or even achlorhydric butthe condition is fairly rare compared with hyper-acidity. So acid reflux is usually what it says acid reflux - otherwise it's Non-acidic reflux and all reflux can cause problems, especially  if it's full column / extra-oesophageal.

      The main problems of hypochlorhydria (insufficient stomach acid) are 1. malabsorption of essential minearls and vitamins and 2. immune deficiency.

      1. Stomach acid turns the minerals in food into chlorides that enable them to pass into the bloodstream through the villae of the small intestine. (I remember just 7 years ago discussing with two of the most eminent gastroenterology professors in the country the idea that insufficient stomach acid could cause malabsorption of essential minerals. They pooh-poohed it saying the minerals are absorbed in the duodenum nit the stomach. They have now had to admit research has proved I was right.)

      2. Bacteria die in strong acid. The H-Pylori bacterium living in the stomach is the most likely cause of "natural" hypochlorhydria. It tries to prevent the stomach from making the nevironment too hostile for it (and it burrows itself into the stomach's mucosa for protection. But reduced acid can also mean harmful bacteria like C-Difficle are not eradicated and may also be responsible for an overgrowth of bacteria in the small intestines (SIBO).

      Hypochlorhydria can also be induced by overuse of acis suppressant medication. This has given PPIs a bad name  for simply doing their job too effectively. (Usually problems with PPI induced hypochlorhydria are due to over prescribing and more prevalent in self-prescribers (usually USA) who buy their medication over the counter who do not use them correctly and are not properly monitored by a doctor.

      Treatment for the effects of hypochlorhydria however caused include supplementation of essential minerals.

      But for the hypochlorhydric experiencing "GORD - like" symptoms, the treatment is the same as for anyone experiencing reflux whether acidic or not. If lifestyle choices about not over-filling the stomach and attempting to prevent the backflow through the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter and ineffective, the other option is surgery.

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    • Posted

      I do wish there was an edit facility on these posts, It's easier to proof read once posted but it's too late to correc tthe typos!
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    • Posted

      Thanks for your very informative reply. The trouble I have is that I have diverticular as well as GERD and sometimes I am unable to tell what is causing the pain. I have also been a long term user of PPI's having been diagnosed with reflux and IBS at 15, I am now 56 so like yourself a long term sufferer I have no objection healthwise to taking my esomeprazole, but googling got me thinking as to whether it is too much or too little acid as I have become extremely gassy (sorry) recently and this seems to be more the non acid side of things. I am going to try a new regime drinking lemon in hot water each morning, taking probiotics and a good quality multi vitamin along with my PPIs and see if this can reduce the constact pain under ribs and down sides of stomach, all of which are more likely to be diverticular rather than acid related. I had my last endoscope about 6 years ago when my throat was burning with acid and was told there was no acid just bile and was given a photo of green gloop in my stomach. I do not have any problems with gall stones so not sure what this was but having mentioned it to several GP's they are not bothered by it and said as I had a scope within the last 10 years do not need another one. I wish I was like hy husband who can eat and drink anything and never has a problem or if he does have the odd bout of indegestion thinks he is dying. LOL. Have a good day
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  • Posted

    Anything natural in moderation is good.  But I know that high doses of zinc will cause nausea, indicating that it has chemically burned the stomach lining.  Not something a GERD sufferer needs.

    Also, caution is needed when taking any supplement that a person has never heard of or they can not pronounce.  Some are just trouble.

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    • Posted

      Sorry to disagree. I could think of thousands of things that are natural that are not good in moderation. And what is "natural" anyway?

      Our ancestors found natural remedies by eating the fresh herbs etc. I guess many died from eating poisonous ones? As we started refining our foods, we learned to remove the bad parts of plants etc and ended up with cleaner versions which were less harmful and more efficacious to health - ie medicines.

      The only natural aloe vera is the plant. Do you advocate just picking th eleaves and eating them or buying one of the many aloe products that have been refined from it, but, not counted as a drug have not been rigorously tested and approved as drugs have?

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    • Posted

      Thanks for your reply. I also like to think that natural is a good way to start and I will give it a go and see what happens. I will re-think the zin as it is a high strength.
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    • Posted

      I wonder how rigorously tested some of the modern drugs are.  They seem to do basic testing and then as people start getting sick, the lawsuits fly.

      They advertise new drugs on TV and show the benefits, but then explain the side effects from allergic reaction to death.  It's a little scary.  But, I have noticed that most include nausea and vomiting in the list.  And that's why many of us are here on this forum.

      But, I also agree, I would not feel comfortable walking through the forest and eating leaves off of various trees.  We are fortunate that we have a relatively safe (tested) food supply.

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    • Posted

      I think that's one of the fundamental differences between UK and US health systems. But all drugs have to gain approval of the appropriate bodies - FDA in US and to gain that they have to have been rigorously trialled and tested. Possibly even more so in UK where they must prove themselves eligible ofr the NHS to spend money on if they are prescribed.

      All drugs must list their possible side effects: it doesn't mean everyone taking them will suffer them.

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    • Posted

      I do take a 5 source magnesium since I also take a small dose of PPI before bed.  I take 300 to 500 mg daily and it does help to keep the digestive system moving.  It can also help to prevent bone loss.  I also take an enzyme with every large meal to improve digestion and assimilation.  And yogurt every morning.
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