Do you struggle with heartburn, acid reflux, indigestion, or peptic ulcers? Some of the most commonly prescribed drugs to treat these conditions are a class of medications called proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).
You might be asking—should I take this medication?
“A new study of more than 200,000 Americans found that regular use of PPIs increased the risk of developing diabetes by 25%”
👉 Most importantly, you should always talk to your doctor and never change your medications based on a social media post 👈
Still…if you’re taking a medication, it’s important to understand how it works, what the side effects might be, and whether or not there are other options!
PPIs work by stopping the production of stomach acid. That sounds great if you have acid reflux, but then we have to think about all the downstream effects. Without enough stomach acid, you could…
- Compromise nutrient absorption (like vitamin B12, calcium, and magnesium)
- Change your gut microbiota (possibly even leading to overgrowth and SIBO)
- Affect the health of organs outside the gut (including the kidneys and heart)
👉 A new study of more than 200,000 Americans found that regular use of PPIs increased the risk of developing diabetes by 25%.
The risk for diabetes was highest in people who took PPIs for the longest duration of time. That’s important because PPIs were approved only for short-term use of 2 weeks. PPI’s are great in the short term to heal gastric ulcers and esophageal irritation and definitely have a place, the issue comes when they start doing more harm than good. Sadly, many people take these medications for a much longer time because they don’t know what else to do!
What are the risks of taking PPI’s long term?
- An overgrowth of H. Pylori
- Bacteria and parasitic infections
Let’s break it down! (pun intended)! Did you know that besides breaking down our food, one of the many jobs of stomach acid is to close the upper esophageal sphincter? When you don’t have enough stomach acid it is common to have heartburn. Did you know that only 5% of the population have too much stomach acid?
The real question we should be asking is whether there are other options.
I say yes 👍
Functional medicine has an extensive toolkit of options for optimizing digestive function and eliminating symptoms like heartburn for good. Instead of covering up the symptoms with an acid blocker, we’ll search for the root cause and help your gut recover naturally.
Want to get started on a better path to health?
Reach out! We hope to hear from you soon!
Yuan J, He Q, Nguyen LH et al. Regular use of proton pump inhibitors and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective cohort studies. Gut. 2020.