Medical Research May Cause Heartburn

So now we learn that Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid, to name a few brand-name proton pump inhibitor drugs — used to treat acid reflux — might be related to chronic kidney disease and heart attacks.

The research on kidney disease (Johns Hopkins) and heart attacks (Stanford) was reported in The Washington Post on Jan. 12, 2016. The research does not establish a cause-and-effect relationship; only a statistical association, as I understand it. (Truth too tell, I don’t understand scientific and medical information at all. It makes me queasy. I think I need to lie down. But reclining makes it easier for the acid to reflux.)

I take omeprazole, the generic of Prilosec. Therefore, I resent the implications of this research. I mean, I take it personally. Does this suggest that we need to choose between kidney disease and/or heart attack, and acid reflux?

It’s worth noting that acid reflux, untreated, can result in damage to the esophagus. Just thinking about  this stuff gives me heartburn.

A possible alternative to omeprazole would be to give up pizza and chocolate. Or I could stop reading the newspaper and watching news on cable TV.

I’ll think about it tomorrow.

— John Hayden

 

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “Medical Research May Cause Heartburn

  1. Umm… I think that recasting heartburn as a mortal peril to your esophagus is a classic case of disease mongering and drug huckstering.

    I imagine that a chronic and intense enough pattern of regurgitating acid into your gullet will do damage. I also imagine that the inevitability of drug therapy for same is overblown. Naturopaths, for example, use cayenne to neutralize the stomach acid (yup). In other news, some alternative doctors make the point that insufficient stomach acid results in poor closing of the cardiac valve, hence the reflux of what acid there is. In other words, possibly you’re not acid enough.

    Not saying that this is a remote diagnosis, only that these alternate perspectives exist and that someone has a serious buck to make off convincing people that the purple pill is their only protection.

    As always, my first advice is regular exercise. Just saying my digestion only works if I work up a sweat once a day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks, Ms. Sled. You always have the best information on healthy living, and the sanest outlook on modern medicine. I’ve been told I have a leaky valve allowing acid up into my esophagus, AND too much acid. I must say that one omeprazole before breakfast keeps it in check. But I’ve been taking it for years. In general, we Americans take too many pills, and no one is more guilty of that than me. The cayenne cure is definitely counterintuitive, but who knows!?

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      • One of many references to the use:
        http://www.peoplespharmacy.com/2011/12/19/hot-peppers-for-heartburn/

        Some more mainstream articles doomily advise against cayenne and other peppers as likely to “increase acid production,” but then, the rubric I learned is that acid has to reach a certain concentration to stimulate closure of the cardiac valve (as it is confusingly called). Sort of a Chinese finger trap mechanism. Lots of people are HCl deficient, and don’t digest well, plus that also makes you more susceptible to foodborne bacteria.

        Capsules of podered cayenne actually work though I’ve heard of a desperate character just putting a tablespoon of dried powdered red pepper in a glass of water and chugging with salutary results. I’d probably skip that modality.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Reflux complications are real and PPIs are the best medicine we have to treat it.

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  3. Many thanks for this info.. we have to ask ourselves what is causing all the extra acid in the first place? just what sort of foods are we eating.. or chemicals in what we are drinking such as the fizzy drinks etc..

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  4. Sledpress above mentioned susceptibility to foodborne bacteria. Yes. I’ve heard that stomach acid is the body’s natural defense system for killing off bacteria before it gets into your intestines and makes you sick. Therefore, I sometimes fear that by taking omeprazole I’m making myself more susceptible to food poisoning or other illnesses. Damned if you do and damned if you don’t.

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