If Anxious Check Drugs: PPIs and Diuretics

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November 10, 2014 | 2 Comments

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  1. Somewhere back in seventh-grade science class I think we learned our stomachs were full of acid for a reason: to digest our food. It stands to reason that the more efficiently a drug turns off the acid pump, the more trouble it could cause. Far too many people take these pills every day, long term.

    It’s even scarier how many are put on them by doctors for “prevention” — before they even have any stomach upset. A lot of the pain doctors in my area issue a script for omeprazole along with the first script for painkillers without even waiting to see if the pain pills upset the patient’s stomach.

    I’m no doctor, but the list of vitamins, minerals etc. that can’t be properly digested when you’re on proton pump inhibitors is alarming. There’s calcium — the link to osteoporosis is real — and vitamin B12, a shortage of which can cause all kinds of nerve and brain damage. The next cohort of people to hit age 65 will include a lot of folks who have been popping these pills for twenty years, and they may be in much worse health in old age than they ever expected.

    I wonder if one reason the problem stays under the radar is alcohol. Heavy drinkers tend to have some of these problems anyway, particularly B12 deficiencies. And heavy drinkers are top customers for acid-indigestion remedies. When one of them shows up with serious deficiencies, the booze gets all the blame, and the Nexium or Prilosec gets off scot-free.

  2. I totally echo Johanna’s post. I was put on Omeprazole for three years for reflux! In that time, I developed debilitating panic attacks, ectopic heart beats and hypocalcemia. I have to take calcium and D3 daily as my parathyroids were destroyed during botched thyroid surgery. There was no mention of the need to counteract the D3/calcium with magnesium either, but that’s endocrinology for you – always far more interested in Diabetes and dismissive of poor hypothyroid sufferers.

    When my legs gave way and I passed out, I insisted on full blood panels and discovered I was b12, iron and zinc deficient too. PPIs are very efficient at removing stomach acid, but why in the world would you want to? As it happens, I had reflux caused by low stomach acid, not high, and never should have been on these drugs for three harmful years.

    I have no words for how much I despise them and the pushers who foist them on us. That’s what they are, drug pushers.

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