Heartburn Drugs Increase Mortality — How to Safely Address Indigestion

Story at-a-glance

  • Proton pump inhibitors are commonly used to treat heartburn, but have been shown to do far more harm than good, raising your risk of kidney disease, dementia, heart attacks and premature death
  • Most acid reflux cases are related to insufficient amounts of stomach acid, food allergies, Helicobacter pylori imbalance and/or hiatal hernia. Gallbladder disease can also be mistaken for heartburn
  • To address heartburn, eat unprocessed food and fermented foods, and take supplemental digestive enzymes. Foods such as papaya, pineapple and ginger can also help, as well as a number of other supplements

By Dr. Mercola

If you suffer from frequent heartburn, chances are you’ve been prescribed a proton pump inhibitor (PPIs) such as Prilosec, Prevacid or Nexium to inhibit acid production. This, despite the fact they were never intended to treat heartburn in the first place.

PPI drugs were originally designed to treat a very limited range of severe problems,1 including bleeding ulcers, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome (a rare condition in which tumors in the pancreas cause your stomach to produce excess acid) and severe acid reflux concomitant with esophageal damage. But that hasn’t stopped them from becoming the go-to solution for everyday indigestion.

Research clearly shows PPIs are outrageously overprescribed and misused, and do far more harm than good.2,3,4,5,6,7 There are many alternative treatment strategies that can help ease this painful problem without the serious side effects associated with PPIs, which include kidney disease, pneumonia, osteoporosis, hip fractures, dementia and an increased risk for heart disease,8 heart attacks9 and premature death.1

The long-term answer to heartburn and acid indigestion is to restore your natural gastric balance and function. The most important step is to eat real food, as processed foods and sugars are a surefire way to exacerbate acid reflux. Reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria, either from traditionally fermented foods or a high-quality probiotic supplement, is also important. Aside from that, there are a number of natural substances that can help address the root of the problem.

What Causes Heartburn?


The All Natural Heartburn Remedy for Instant Relief

instant heartburn relief

Reaching for antacids all the time?

Do you stash bottles of antacids in your car, office and home? Or do you experience less frequent but still very uncomfortable bouts of heartburn? Then your body is telling you something… and the message is NOT to take a swig of liquid antacid medication or pop some pills.

Heartburn: a vicious cycle (more…)

Stop with the antacids already

Have you ever noticed how young people in good health never seem to have indigestion? It is because their stomachs make enough acid to digest their food. But as we age, our stomachs make less and less acid. By the time we are 60 years old, our stomach acid has dropped off up to 75 percent less from when we were 20.

Okay, now think this through. If we are making significantly less stomach acid, then what’s up with the billions of bucks we spend on antacids to treat our “acid reflux”, GERD and etc.? Maybe, just maybe, it isn’t an overproduction of acid in our tummies but rather a lack of it. Millions of dollars go into advertising to convince us that we need the latest and greatest antacid when in fact we usually need more hydrochloric acid. (more…)

The scary heartburn-bone connection

Last night I had a long overdue dinner with a very dear friend of mine. Over a platter of fresh oysters (yes, we were in clear violation of the “R rule,” and it was well worth the gamble), she told me about the recent health problems her husband has been facing.

It seems he’s been having some terrible issues with acid reflux — he can’t eat any of his favorite foods, and he has to sleep sitting up. Of course, I immediately suggested she have him get in touch with a doctor skilled in natural medicine rather than going the mainstream route of acid suppression…and absolutely insisted on it when I heard the next words out of her mouth:

“It’s so bad, he’s been taking a double dose of heartburn medication.” She was, of course, talking about a popular over-the counter proton pump inhibitor (PPI) — a class of drugs with which my readers are all too familiar. (more…)

FDA issues free pass to Nexium

The FDA is an enabler. It hands out countless second chances for drugs that do incredible amounts of harm.

In fact, the FDA now admits…

Yes, an insanely popular class of drugs (especially among seniors) could lead to heart problems and seizures.

Yes, this isn’t the drugs’ first offense. Last year, studies showed that these drugs could increase your fracture risk by up to 25 percent.

Yes, hundreds of millions of Americans could be affected.

But, no, they won’t recall the drugs. They’ve issued a warning. (Way to stand firm, FDA.)

Reflux drugs cause major mineral deficiencies (more…)

Hot Way to Ramp Up Your Metabolism and Dial Down Your Heartburn

It seems as though there’s one in every crowd. You probably know one yourself. I’m talking about the guy who gulps chili peppers by the handful and lives by the motto “the hotter, the better.”

He may be a bit of a showoff, but your friend is also smart. Because hot peppers provide lots of health benefits.

Both red and green chilies are high in vitamin C and good sources of vitamin A and iron. But it’s their “heat” that makes them so healthy.

That heat comes from a substance called capsaicin. It’s the active ingredient in many topical pain-relief formulas. And with good reason.

Athletes use it for sore muscles… it helps ease joint discomfort (1)… it can promote lower levels of nerve-related pain (2)… and even helps soothe persistent rectal itch.(3) (more…)

Why is it so hard to get off your heartburn drug?

Don’t be surprised when you have a hard time kicking your PPI (proton pump inhibitor) habit. In fact, I’ve heard Nexium called “Purple Crack for seniors” at 50 cents a pop. All kidding aside, there’s a scientific reason why it’s so difficult to wean yourself off these drugs. Just ask the scientists from Copenhagen University…

These guys studied the effects of PPIs on 120 healthy volunteers. Just to be clear, these volunteers did not have acid reflux or any other gastrointestinal disorder. Nor had they ever taken a PPI prior to the study. (more…)

Try These Tips For Healthy Digestion

If you’ve ever experienced digestive difficulties then you know how they dramatically impact your quality of life.

But most embarrassing gas, constipation, diarrhea, heartburn, acid reflux and other digestive problems can be quickly addressed—and perhaps even eliminated—if you can simply get to the root of the problem.You can then apply all-natural methods to counteract the cause of your digestive woes.

If you’re experiencing digestive problems, look for these hidden causes… (more…)