Think and Drink Outside the (Milk) Box

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Mark Bittman shared how milk affects him and found that there are a lot of people that also suffer a number of symptoms after consuming dairy products. The list of ailments includes irritable bowel syndrome, heartburn, migraines, acne, gall bladder issues and a slew of other health issues.

The Problem: Limited Options

Doctors don’t have much to say about milk, and the answer to your ailment is usually in the form of a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) prescription. You know, that little drug that magically stops your body from producing stomach acid.

Well, not so magically, it’s more like a wrench in the chemical cogs of your body. The proton pump inhibitor inhibits the proton pump (hence, the name of the drug), which secretes hydrogen ions into the gastric lumen – thereby thwarting the final step in the production of stomach acid.

The Problem with PPI

The problem is that we have stomach acid for a reason: Stomach acid helps us digest proteins and absorb nutrients; and the acidic environment is also necessary for maintaining a healthy stomach. Hypochloridia, or low concentrations of stomach acid, can result in infections.

Before accepting a solution that may lead to other problems, consider drinking outside the milk box, it may be the more affordable way of treating your symptoms.

PPI Could Stand for Pretty Penny Industry

As in, that industry makes a pretty penny. We want more from doctors, but so do pharmaceutical companies. The cost of PPI prescription drugs ranges from $19 to $267 per month, and we have spent $13 billion on PPI in 2010 alone.

It seems that more emphasis should be placed on health care, as opposed to drug distribution. It’s possible that doctors are overwhelmed with too little time and too many patients, but are drugs always the answer? Well, of course not (unless you’re a drug trafficker).

The (Possible) Solution: Think/Drink Outside the (Milk) Box

The results aren’t the same for everyone, but it doesn’t hurt to eliminate your dairy intake and see if the change in your diet mitigates any symptoms you have been experiencing. Some even claim that the type of milk affects your health, so check out Where is My Milk From? and determine if these changes help.

Try drinking outside the milk box.  Let Lucine know, did it work for you? Do you wish the pharmaceutical companies would refund your money? Share your story.

Elena Perez obtained a B.A. in American Literature at UCLA, but a growing interest in environmental issues led her to enroll in science classes and gain lab experience at UCSD and SIO. The close link between our ocean’s health and our own well-being has spurred Elena to explore the role environmental toxins play in our growth and development.

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