If you’re taking drugs to treat acid reflux and heartburn, you might want to reconsider.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are common treatments for heartburn and acid reflux. They’re used by an estimated 15 million Americans and are sold as prescriptions or over-the-counter heartburn drugs such as “Nexium”, “Prilosec” and “Prevacid.”
Now new research is showing that taking these drugs could increase your chances of kidney disease.
This is not particularly surprising considering the mounting evidence against the safety of PPIs. When they were first developed in the 80s they were thought to be safe and were not associated with any adverse health conditions. About 30 years later, however, after more adequate and thorough research had been done, links have been established between PPI use and bone fractures, infections, heart problems, and now kidney disease.
One of the researchers in the study, which was published in JAMA Internal Medicine, says these medications are simply prescribed too often, and many people are taking them when they shouldn’t be. Now, if your doctor gave you a prescription, I understand why you’d take it. But as I wrote yesterday, your doctor might not always have your best interest in mind.
Thankfully, there are number of ways you can treat acid reflux and heartburn naturally. In fact, for most people, simply changing their diet, eating more slowly, limiting alcohol, and quitting smoking will take care of acid reflux.
But for those times you need treatment on the fly, there are some natural remedies you can try. Here are a few of the most common:
- Ginger: Ginger is one of the best and easiest ways to treat heartburn. You can take it naturally or in capsule or tea form—and it should provide similar results. Since it’s a natural anti-inflammatory, taking ginger just before or after a meal can help relax the stomach to prevent pain and encourage proper digestion.
- Whole grains, fruit, and vegetables: If you’re eating a big meal or something fatty, try to eat whole grains, veggies, or fruit along with it. These foods help limit acid reflux and improve digestion to keep symptoms at bay.
- Apple cider vinegar: Apple cider vinegar can help settle an upset stomach by neutralizing stomach acids. If you feel some heartburn coming on, you can either take a tablespoon of it straight up, or mix it with some water and a teaspoon of honey. If you choose to mix it, sip it slowly for best results.
The more these popular antacid medications are explored, the more dangers are being uncovered. Avoid popping pills the next time you experience heartburn, and instead try to control it with diet and effective natural remedies.
Related Article: What Does Heartburn Feel Like? A Basic Guide to Heartburn
Sources for Today’s Article:
Lazarus, B., et al., “Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and the Risk of Chronic Kidney Disease,” JAMA Internal Medicine, published online January 11, 2016; doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2015.7193.
Stein, R., “Popular Acid Reflux Drugs Are Linked To Kidney Disease Risk,” NPR web site, January 11, 2016; http://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2016/01/11/462423759/popular-acid-reflux-drugs-are-linked-to-kidney-disease-risk.