The hidden hazard in every heartburn pill
Right now, at this very moment, people are gulping down heartburn meds. Millions do this every day. And you can’t blame them. They swallow a pill. It brings relief.
It’s a no-brainer.
But these pills come with a grave risk that almost nobody talks about. And in the long-term, this risk is much too serious for any short-term benefits.
Protecting your brain and bones
Two years ago, the FDA put out a warning that proton-pump inhibitors can deplete magnesium levels.
That was way out of character. The agency isn’t in the habit of throwing blockbuster drugs under the bus. PPIs include Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid.
Magnesium loss is a significant danger. This key mineral helps support cognitive and bone health, plays a role in DNA production, and it’s essential for keeping your blood sugar in check.
When magnesium runs too low, it can set off muscle spasms, irregular heartbeat, and seizures.
So the magnesium problem alone is enough reason to put a 10-foot pole between your heartburn and a PPI pill.
Now, new research shows that PPIs and another class of heartburn drugs called H2 blockers (Pepcid, Zantac) can cause vitamin B12 deficiency.
This makes them even more dangerous than we believed — and especially for seniors.
Low B12 can reduce cognitive function, put bone health in jeopardy, and increase risk of shingles.
The study followed more than 200,000 people. Those with the lowest B12 levels were mostly over age 60 and had used their meds daily for at least two years.
But one bit of good news here is encouraging. B12 levels bumped back up again when patients stopped using the drugs.
Of course, many patients fear that heartburn will come roaring back if they stop their medication. But that’s not necessarily the case.
Previously, Dr. Spreen explained how these drugs actually perpetuate the problem they supposedly “solve.” That sets up a dependency on the drug, which encourages long-term use.
But the cycle can be broken. You can go here to read about Dr. Spreen’s recommendation for a simple, inexpensive, heartburn treatment. It doesn’t create dependency, and there’s no chance of depleting essential vitamins or minerals.
“GERD Meds Up Risk of B12 Deficiency” Cole Petrochko, MedPage Today, 12/10/13, medpagetoday.com