Common heartburn drugs associated with early death in a new study
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Heartburn medicines, called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), may increase the risk of life-threatening conditions, according to new research(a new study suggestion).
Over the counter (OTC), as well as prescription drugs, may increase the risk of heart disease, stomach cancer and kidney failure, among other health problems. Research suggests that a person’s risk increases the time he or she takes the drug, even at low doses.
Examples include Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, and Prevacid. The results showed that for every 1,000 people, 45 excess deaths were attributable to the long-term use of PPI. A 17 percent increased risk of death was observed in the PPI group.
What do these results mean for people taking heartburn? And what can you do if you suffer from chronic heartburn? To discuss.
How many people have heartburn and what causes it?
Gastric acidity is very common and heartburn drugs are among the most common drugs in the United States, with up to 10% of adults taking drugs for this problem. Up to 60 percent of people will experience symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) sometime in the next year
Esophageal reflux is referred to as acid reflux and results from the appearance of gastric acid in the esophagus. If this happens only occasionally, it is usually referred to as heartburn, but if it is chronic, it is likely to be diagnosed as GERD.
Some people get stomach upset due to certain foods or beverages (think of spicy or alcohol-rich foods) while others are preparing to develop the condition because of other factors such as smoking or weight gain. Intestinal acidity can be the result of pregnancy or stress. There are even some drugs known to cause heartburn.
A low, long-term dose of heartburn medicines “unsafe”
The latest study showed evidence that prescription heartburn medicines are not the only ones that increase the risk of serious health conditions – even over-the-counter medications at low doses appear to be a problem.
What is interesting is that the study noted that many people (more than half of them in the study) do not actually need these drugs, although the authors did not notice why these subjects were prescribed for these drugs. The most interesting thing is that deaths associated with PPI use were higher in people who took PPIs without the medical need to do so.
The lead researcher, Dr. Ziad Al Ali, claims that the use of these drugs should be restricted and that they contribute to thousands of deaths each year. It also claims that it should not be used for more than 14 days and that ingestion over a period of months or years – even when taking low doses – is not simply safe.
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Gastrointestinal drugs usually come in two categories: antacids, which neutralize stomach acid to help reduce heartburn and acid blockers, which reduce the actual production of stomach acid. Both are available as prescription or OTC.
Some doctors will describe both together, as antacids can help control the symptoms of heartburn so that acid blockers have time to work.
The relationship between heart disease, stomach cancer, kidney problems and heartburn drugs is not clear from the study; research does not prove that heartburn drugs cause premature death, only that there is an association that is not yet understood..
What health conditions have they been associated with?
This is not the first time that heartburn medicines have been linked to health problems. Previous research has linked these drugs to other health conditions such as dementia, pneumonia and even bone fractures.
Because heartburn medicines interfere with stomach acid, they may affect the ability of the body to absorb calcium, which can lead to bone weakness and increase the risk of fractures.
The cause of the link between heartburn drugs and cognitive decline is unclear, although some researchers predict that any potential reduction in vitamin B-12 may be due to the effect of drugs on stomach acid – can make the brain more susceptible to damage.
In pneumonia research, producer prices were associated with an increased risk of pneumonia among people aged 60 years or older. Researchers predict that this is due to the fact that stomach acid helps prevent inflammation of the intestine in some people.
The latest research suggests that PPI doubles the risk of stomach cancer even after the elimination of H. pylori, a bacteria known risk factor for gastric cancer. The evidence is also associated with the use of PPI with heart disease and chronic kidney disease, and increased risk of death in general as a result of these conditions.
How to Stop Heartburn Naturally
Although you should always follow your healthcare provider’s instructions and never stop taking the medicine without consulting your doctor first, many people who have heartburn will ask what they can do after reading this research
People with occasional heartburn or GERD need a way to prevent stomach acid from damaging the esophagus. Gastric acidity is not only painful: Acute stomach acids have the ability to damage the esophagus and even lead to an increased risk of esophageal cancer .
In addition, stomach acids can move with the esophagus to the oral cavity, where it can damage the tooth enamel and increase the risk of tooth decay and sensitive teeth .
What can you do to help stop heartburn naturally?
Do not eat huge meals. Eat smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day to help control the body’s natural production of stomach acid.
In addition, it has been shown that eating smaller meals is much beneficial in your metabolism
Weight loss. If you are overweight, this is a risk factor for heartburn. By shedding pounds, you may be able to help relieve the painful symptoms of GERD.
Do not lie down after eating. This will encourage stomach acid to go out into the esophagus, so keep your posture upright after the meal.
Some patients find it useful to sleep in a high position as well.
Try the ginger. I love ginger and it helped me in some serious health problems . Ginger is known to help with stomach problems including indigestion and gastritis . Try eating gingerbread capsules, drinking ginger tea, or using fresh ginger root in your meals.
Drink baking soda. Yes, it is a total, but it may help. This is only to be used as a temporary solution (about one week) for heartburn.
Try a teaspoon of baking soda in eight ounces of water, and drink it all to help neutralize stomach acid. Do not exceed seven doses a day
Other helpful tips include eating bananas every day to reduce acid trouble, eating an apple a few hours before sleep, and trying chamomile tea before an hour of sleep.
In the light of this new research as well as previous research on the effects of gastrointestinal drugs, it has become clear that we need to find other solutions to address chronic and chronic health problems such as heartburn.
If you suffer from prescription strength or even a low dose of daily heartburn medication, talk to your doctor about your alternatives and consider giving the above natural remedies an attempt to relieve discomfort and protect your body!