How do you ease heartburn? Millions of people take acid-suppressing drugs every day, but the risks from long-term use of medicines like esomeprazole, lansoprazole or omeprazole have gotten a fair amount of attention lately. Other people prefer home remedies such as ginger tea, persimmon punch, apple cider vinegar or coconut water.
Coconut Water for Heartburn:
Q. When I read about proton pump inhibitors possibly harming the kidneys it got my attention. I only have one kidney and want to do all I can to preserve it.
I quit taking Nexium and switched to Zantac. It did not work as well as the PPI but I managed my heartburn with Tums in the afternoon and evening.
After reading your article on coconut water for heartburn, I started drinking a rather small amount. The results have been excellent. Even after cutting my Zantac dose in half, I have no symptoms.
Long-Term Consequences of PPIs:
A. Research linking acid suppressing drugs (PPIs) to kidney damage has been accumulating (Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, online, April 14, 2016). These are drugs such as dexlansoprazole (Dexilant), esomeprazole (Nexium), lansoprazole (Prevacid), omeprazole (Prilosec), pantoprazole (Protonix)or rabeprazole (AcipHex). Different heartburn medications (H2 blockers) such as cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid) and ranitidine (Zantac) do not appear to pose the same risk.
Many readers have reported that coconut water seems helpful for indigestion. One Australian visitor to our website noted:
“Over the last several weeks I have been mostly free from heartburn. It occurred to me just tonight that I’ve been drinking a couple of glasses of coconut water a day so I believe that is doing the trick. The bonus is that I love drinking coconut water.”
Another visitor shared her story:
“I have a hiatal hernia along with a lot of intestinal damage from an undiagnosed gluten intolerance that wreaked havoc before I went gluten free. I suffered greatly from acid reflux and heartburn on top of hiatal hernia ‘events’ that were nothing short of hell.
“I began drinking kefir milk each morning and coconut water throughout the day and am absolutely blown away by the difference. I can actually sleep at night (when my cat allows it!) and enjoy meals again without being afraid of them.”
There are many other non-drug options for dealing with indigestion in our Guide to Digestive Disorders. If your choice of remedy is coconut water, keep in mind that some people find it helpful in combating diarrhea; others may notice constipation if they overdo.