So it appears that yet another commonly used pharmaceutical drug has bad ‘side-effects’.
Recently regulators in the UK & US have issued new warnings about a group of medicines known as Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPIs). These are routinely prescribed by G.Ps for indigestion, acid reflux or heartburn, & are available without prescription at lower dosages.
They work by reducing your stomach acid production & are a classic example of allopathic medical thinking. Too much acid means…. you need an anti-acid.
Simple, problem solved. Or not.
Unfortunately suppressing stomach acid production has consequences. It is needed so we can break down proteins, as well as to absorb iron, magnesium, calcium & vitamin B12
Low iron & protein levels will lead to low energy levels
Low magnesium levels could lead to weak muscles, fatigue, cramping, irregular heartbeat, and problems with calcium absorption.
Osteoporosis drugs (which are about as much use as a chocolate teapot anyway) often cause heartburn, so G.Ps prescribe PPIs …which then impair calcium absorption! In fact PPIs can cut the effectiveness of these drugs (called Biphosphonates) dramatically. In a Danish study, post-menopausal women taking PPIs had a greater risk of spine, forearm & total fractures than women who weren’t taking PPIs. (Hasn’t anyone heard of the fantastic results available simply using Tissue Salts?)
A 10-year study in the BMJ showed that patients taking PPIs increased their risk of heart attack, even though they are regularly given to patients on low-dose aspirin (for preventing heart attacks!) to reduce the risk of intestinal bleeding. PPIs also increase the risk of developing C. difficile by 2/3 & increased risk of pneumonia.
In my opinion this group of medications should not be routinely prescribed, as they still are at present. I feel like a stuck record, but this 19th century model of our bodies (‘if there is excess acid, given something to reduce the acid’) is simplistic in the extreme. A much wiser course of action is investigating the CAUSE of this over-production & correcting that. There will be a reason our bodies are producing too much acid…& it will usually be found in an incorrect lifestyle connected with a mental/emotional issue. As always, individualised treatment is the way to go. Homeopathy can often solve excess stomach acidity quickly & gently, with none of these serious knock-on effects.