Are you one of the people that has heartburn and takes medication for it? I was one of those people for a long time. You may take the over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn medication, most commonly Proton pump inhibitors (PPI), for the 14 days sometimes longer. The most common PPI’s sold OTC are: Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, Protonix. The typical length of time that “the box” says to take the medication is 14 days.
WHAT ARE PROTON PUMP INHIBITOR’S?
PPI’s reduce the amount of acid that is produced in the stomach wall. When this happens it is thought that the stomach may be able to heal itself, of ulcers, and by preventing the formation of them on the stomach, esophagus, or duodenum. (5) It is reported 15 million Americans have prescriptions for PPI’s, and many more buy OTC PPI’s. (4)
WHY DOES IF FEEL WORSE?
You can only wonder why it feels worse? Is it because you forgot what it really felt like to have heartburn? Maybe. But come to find out there is something called “rebounding symptoms,” where the cells that produce the acid, produce even more after there is no more of certain medications effecting them. (1)
One study recruited 120 healthy adults without history of acid reflux for a 12 weeks study. There were some major changes in the adults. 44% reported at least one bout of acid reflux in weeks nine through 12. After four weeks of being off the medication 21% reported heartburn or indigestion. After discontinuing PPI treatment for 3 months, participants reported their symptoms being resolved. (6)
WHY DO YOU REALLY WANT TO USE PPI’S?
There was also a study published on May 30th, 2019 via researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Veterans Affairs (VA) St. Louis Health Care System has linked long-term use of PPI’s to cases of cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease and upper, chronic kidney disease, and gastrointestinal (GI) cancer. (4) There were also side effects of short-term use of PPI’s.
It was found that more than 80% of PPI users were on low doses, of prescription or OTC versions. This shows that the risk may not be limited to prescription medication for heartburn.
The chances of these side effects happening increases the longer the PPI is taken. Other studies have also linked bone fractures, dementia, pneumonia, and heart disease to PPI use.
FINAL THOUGHTS ON USAGE OF PPI’S
You may consider yourself fortunate that you had the rebound effects of your heartburn medication. It was your body telling you something! Luckily your body told you soon enough to where you weren’t part of those statistics. Taking them out of your diet may not completely get rid of your heartburn, but it is a sure way to start healing you gut, and finding the root cause of you heartburn!
If you want a place to start your heartburn relief the healthy way then check out:
4 “DO NOW” STEPS TO RELIEVE YOUR HEARTBURN
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