The long-term effects from using antacids or acid reducing medication e.g. proton pump inhibitors.
I have worked with many women that have been put on this common and popular antacid or acid suppressing medication known as a proton pump inhibitor. Examples of this type of medications include Prilosec and Nexium.
This antacid medication reduces stomach acid on purpose to bring relief from acid reflex and ulcers. This is very important for short term use. However, the problem with taking acid suppressing medication long term is that reduced stomach acid will have downstream health effects.
What kind of downstream health effects are there to long term use?
- Low and less acidic stomach acid impacts our ability to breakdown and absorb nutrition from our food and denature proteins for amino acids. These are important for hormone and neurotransmitter production.
- Low stomach acid can lead to B12 deficiency. Which can cause cognitive impairment, fatigue, weakness, impaired methylation and detoxification, neuropathy, and other nervous system problems.
- Also, insufficient mineral absorption that can lead to anemia, T2D, autoimmune, arthritis, depression, hypothyroidism, and more.
- Another downstream health effect from reduced stomach acid is a gastric infection of a bacteria called H.Pylori. This bacterium is endemic in the gut, but it can overgrow into a simmering infection and lead to an ulcer. H.Pylori will further suppress stomach acid production in order to make their environment hospitable. This overgrowth is more common when there is lower stomach acid.
Long term use of this medication is a root cause for many of my client’s health issues. This is due to the impact it has on nutrient and mineral absorption. Unfortunately, since they’ve been taking it for a long period of time they can’t just quit cold turkey.
Together, my client and I must address the root cause of why they are having acid reflux in the first place. Identifying root causes, like H. Pylori, will allow us to begin working on healing the lining of the stomach, wean off the medication, and improve overall digestion.
If you have been on a PPI for a long period of time and are experiencing the health issues I mentioned above, schedule a FREE consultation with me!
You can also check out my “Time to Gut Healthy” webinar that goes more in depth about gut health and the root causes.
Here is the link for you to watch if you want more information: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KlsMh3huFR4