Increased Mortality Risk with Acid Blocking Medications
If you have been taking medications to block stomach acid this is a must read. Prescription and over-the-counter proton pump inhibitors (PPI) such as Prilosec, Prevacid, Photonics and host of other medications are primarily prescribed for acid reflux and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
A recent study published by the British Medical Journal on May 30, 2019 has raised some alarming insights into the contraindications of the use of these medications. A long-term observational study was carried out over a 10 years with US veterans. The in-depth study used extensive data from the Department of Veterans Affairs databases. All of the veteran studied were enrolled in the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare program, which is responsible for the care of over 90 million veterans. The researchers also use the National Death Index data to analyze mortality and cause of death.
The findings clearly illustrate that long-term use of acid suppressing drugs (PPIs) have a negative health impacts. The predominance of the adverse events including all-cause mortality significantly increases risk of specific health conditions such as cardiovascular disease, chronic kidney disease, and upper gastrointestinal cancer.
Other significant side effects/diseases not mentioned in the study are osteoporosis and fractures related to osteoporosis, increased Clostridium Difficle infections, and decreased absorption of B12 and all minerals.
PPIs are only intended for short-term use. Chronic use of these drugs leads to a host of other medical problems and side effects that are too numerous for this article.
Care must be given for prescribing such medications such as investigation of the chronic use of NSAIDs, recent antibiotic treatment of Helicobacter Pylori which is known to cause esophageal erosion, even conditions such as Zollinger-Ellisons Syndrome.
Most common GERD is easily corrected by dietary change and other simple lifestyle factors. Is it worth the risk of popping a pill to block uncomfortable symptoms or does it make more sense to fix the cause of the problem?