(NaturalHealth365) Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are one of the most widely used prescription medications used today to treat heartburn, and GERD. In fact, more than 15 million Americans were using prescription PPI drugs back in 2013. This means that an average of $10 billion dollars was spent on these drugs in 2013 alone!
Got heartburn? Be warned – PPIs don’t come without consequences. For example, a recent study done in 2016 has shown that these drugs are linked to dementia. German researchers have found that older adults who take proton pump inhibitors have a 44% increased chance of developing dementia than those who did not take this class of medication.
Are PPIs being used and prescribed inappropriately?
Have you seen the newest addition to the over the counter PPI medications available without a prescription? Nexium, also known as the ‘purple pill,’ has recently made its way onto the pharmacy shelves, not requiring a prescription. This is allowing consumers to take this medication without the discretion of a medical professional – which increases the risk of harm.
Not only this, but Britta Haenisch, Ph.D., from the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases stated that these medications are commonly over prescribed and that according to some research, up to 70% of all PPI prescriptions could be inappropriate.
READ THIS RIGHT NOW – if you suffer from heartburn
If you are wondering why these drugs are more frequently being prescribed, it’s likely because of the diets we see today. The standard American diet (SAD) is often to blame for many of the health conditions on the rise today, and GERD or acid reflux is no exception to this rule.
Acid reflux is caused by things like fried and fatty foods, high alcohol consumption, caffeine intake, smoking, obesity, and poor lifestyle choices. The standard American diet certainly does not help with the prevalence of acid reflux seen today.
In order to reduce the prevalence of GERD, it’s important to take a look at dietary and lifestyle choices and to start focusing on whole and natural foods. The main point here is simple: you CAN eliminate unwanted digestive problems without the need for toxic drugs.
Long term use of PPIs linked to another serious health problem
The list of potential side effects from long-term PPI use doesn’t stop at an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease. These medications have been linked to 20-50% increased risk of chronic kidney disease.
The more of this drug you take, the more your risk increases. One study found that twice a day users of this drug were 46% more likely to develop kidney disease. That almost doubles your chances just by taking a medication.
A natural way to stop heartburn and protect your health
You may be asking what you should do from here? We know that these drugs are commonly prescribed unnecessarily so, what should you do? The first step is to determine if PPI use is even appropriate for you. Given that these medications are commonly prescribed unnecessarily – there may be a chance they may not be the answer for you either.
Addressing dietary changes and lifestyle factors as the cause of heartburn or GERD is another great place to start. The truth is: you CAN prevent GERD and other digestive problems without the need for medication.
Here are a few good tips: Avoid sugary, processed foods. Eat organic (fresh) food – as much as possible. When hungry between meals, try to snack of fruits and veggies. In addition, try eating smaller size meals and chew your food really well.
Of course, it’s always a good idea to find a naturopath or other healthcare provider that understands the power of nutrition.
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