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Issues with antacids and kidney damage

By Anonymous April 19, 2016 - 5:49pm
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There is conflicting data about which antacid is most damaging to kidneys. Some sites indicate that the H2 group like Pepsid is worst. Now I read that PPB types like Protonix are worst. Is there a safe alternative?

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HERWriter Guide

Hi Anon!

Thanks for your post!

According to an EmpowHER interview with Dr. Andrew Weil:

"Antacids are things like Tums and Rolaids®--those are okay in moderation, but the concern today is about these prescribed and over-the-counter drugs that inhibit acid production in the stomach. These are very powerful drugs. They are not intended for long-term use. They are widely given out for GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) and other digestive problems.

I think there are so many risks associated with them. They block absorption of key nutrients, including calcium for example. They may increase the risk of stomach cancer. They may increase the risk of other kinds of chronic GI conditions. Stomach acid is our main defense against infection that comes in by the oral route, so if you are walking around with no acid in your stomach, you are at greatly increased risk of serious infection that you get exposed to that way.

They probably increase risk of osteoporosis in women. So I think we are going to hear more and more research about the dangers of these acid suppressive drugs."

That being said, you're correct - there are new concerns over kidney damage. The NY Times reports on a study here: http://www.nytimes.com/health/guides/disease/gastroesophageal-reflux-disease/medications.html

Alternatives to these medications can certainly include watching your diet carefully. Some foods trigger GERD quite severely. Spicy or hot foods and alcohol can trigger symptoms.

Again from Dr. Weil:

"I think if you are having heartburn the first thing to ask yourself is why because that’s not normal.

And you know what, your stomach is telling you it’s unhappy and you want to figure out why it’s unhappy.

Either you are eating the wrong foods, you are eating too much, you are eating at the wrong time, you are eating wrong combinations of foods, you are putting things into the stomach that are irritating, other aspects of lifestyle, particularly stress for example, are interfering with digestion.

So I think you want to do a thorough analysis of that, and often heartburn can be eliminated simply by making appropriate adjustments in diet and other aspects of lifestyle.

There are some natural remedies that are effective, things like chamomile tea for example, which can be very soothing to the stomach.

There is a natural remedy called DGL which is a licorice extract that you can get in any health food store that increases the mucus coating in the stomach; it makes it more resistant to stomach acid.

And I recommend doing these things, the lifestyle adjustments and the natural remedies, before you take one of the strong pharmaceutical drugs that block stomach acid production.

There’s a lot of dangers associated with those that many people don’t think about and they are suppressive drugs; it’s easy to become dependent on them, that’s really not the solution."


April 20, 2016 - 5:37am
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