Again and again, we find that few prescription and over the counter drugs do anything but temporarily suspend or mask superficial symptoms. Many may alter our chemistry in one way or other to reduce the effects of harmful medical conditions. But invariably, the side effects are worse or equally bad.
We should remember the words of the ancient philosopher Hippocrates, who advised medical professionals to heal the patient with food- rather than medicate them with drugs.
While it is rapidly becoming common knowledge that statin drugs and NSAIDS are much more dangerous than the medical community is telling us, over the counter drugs still fly beneath our radar. Few people realize the dangers of over the counter painkillers and similar drugs.
Now, new research has demonstrated that heartburn stopping drugs put us at greater risk of heart attack.
Scientists from Stanford University have published a study that shows proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are associated with a greater risk of heart attacks and death from heart attacks. Even more disturbing, the findings held true even in subjects who had no history of heart disease. Of those who took PPIs, between 16 and 21 percent of them showed a greater tendency to suffer heart attacks. Worse yet, these patients had a 122 percent higher chance of dying from a cardiovascular condition.
The study was conducted by compiling electronic patient data spanning from 1994 to 2012. It traced the effects of PPIs on more than 3 million patients and were derived from a set of approximately 16 million digital documents. Once the researchers identified a group of 297,000 individual patients, all of whom suffered from acid reflux disease, they went on to look for recorded use of PPIs and accompanying cardiopulmonary conditions.
They found that those who did take any of the five most frequently prescribed PPI drugs had more than double the risk of a deadly heart attack as those who did not take the drugs. The drug names associated with an elevated risk of heart attack are Nexium, Prilosec, Protonix, Dexilant, and Aciphex.
These are not the only such drugs on the market, but they are the ones most commonly prescribed for acid reflux. Generic versions of these drugs were not studied, but it can be presumed that the results would be similar.
If you are one of the 21 million Americans taking a proton pump inhibitor, you know how unpleasant acid reflux can be. Globally, these types of drugs sell for more than $13 billion dollars every year.
Heartburn is a pretty common condition. Most people will experience acid reflux at some time in their lives. Many of those people will confuse the event with a heart attack, which puts them at risk of being diagnosed with a condition they do not have. Doctors who encounter cases of acid reflux which the patient mistakes for a heart attack are more likely to prescribe a PPI. They do this to reduce the risk of the patient will be misdiagnosed with a heart condition at some time in the future. Only now do we know that PPIs might be as dangerous or more dangerous than a misdiagnosis.
This is far from welcome news, especially in light of the fact that most over the counter pain killers are also associated with an increased risk of cardiovascular problems and heart attack. In fact, taking a drug like Tylenol PM, or Excedrin places a person at 4 times their normal risk of a heart attack or stroke. Considering the fact that many people take these drugs every day that is a terrifying realization.
PPIs can also increase your risk of kidney problems and bone fractures.
To avoid all of these terrible risks and side effects, you can prevent and treat heartburn naturally. By avoiding foods that cause gut inflammation (bloated gut), you can greatly reduce the chance of stomach acid rising into the esophagus.
More and more, we find that foods that cause belly bloat are associated with a host of dire medical conditions. When the belly becomes swollen, the intestines are inflamed- much like a swollen sinus cavity. This reduces the gut’s ability to retain acids and toxins that should only be in the gut. Once these toxins seep into the bloodstream, or rise into the esophagus- all manner of harm can occur.
It will require some research, and we recommend keeping a food journal. Write down the foods that cause bloating, and avoid those foods.
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