I meet a large number of people that take acid blocking drugs, but from a clinician point of view it is very frustrating because I know the harm that they do. Your body needs stomach acid to properly digest food. Taking an acid blocking drug only masks the symptoms while potentially doing considerable harm to your body if taken long term. If your body doesn’t have enough stomach acid to breakdown food then mineral deficiencies will develop as well as potential protein and certain vitamin deficiencies such as B12. The result can be diseases such as osteopenia or osteoporosis from a lack of calcium, boron and magnesium absorption. Or anxiety and restlessness from a lack of magnesium absorption. Fatigue and anemia from a lack of proper protein breakdown and reduced B12 absorption. I know because I’ve seen this in my clinic.
Acid blocking medications are prescribed widely by physicians and are also available over the counter. There have been many studies over the years showing that long term use of these acid blockers cause many deleterious effects. Just to be clear these acid blockers absolutely do have their place and are a good medicine if someone has an inflamed esophagus and potential ulcer or cancer in the esophagus or stomach then they should be used short term. They were made for short term use, not long term use, but unfortunately people seem to stay on them for years causing many maladies.
Finally several studies were released in the May 10th Annals of Internal Medicine that showed the disastrous effects of taking protease pump inhibitors (PPI) long term and the major media outlets picked it up. The studies just released showed a 47% increase in spine fractures among women that took the drug and a 74% increased chance of C-Diff from a hospital stay. Hopefully this will help people understand that they cannot just pop a Prilosec every time they eat. I’ve successfully helped many people get off acid blockers by modifying diet as well as using acupuncture and herbs. Often times it is just a change of eating habits that can do the trick such as not eating late at night.
Oh and taking TUMS isn’t a good option either as it will also cause a reduction of stomach acid leading to mineral absorption issues, protein malabsorption as well as digestive issues. TUMS is calcium carbonate (which doesn’t exist in food and is a very poor source of calcium) which can cause constipation in many people.
So if you have acid reflux please give me a call and we can schedule a 15 minute free consultation. There are better long term options than taking drugs that should only be used short term.
Yours In Health,
Nationally Certified Chinese Herbalist.