Health

Heartburn medication use could be fatal long term

An observational study revealed a potential 25% increased risk of early death when taking certain heartburn drugs.
heartburn meds

A new study out of the US has revealed some alarming statistics about the long term use of heartburn medication.

Most of us have felt the effects of heartburn in some way, thankfully mostly it is just a minor inconvenience. For some people though, heartburn can be debilitating, almost crippling and a long term problem

For these people, doctors will often prescribe a type of medication called proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), which curb excess stomach acid.

The new study only investigated prescription strength (PPIs) which are typically used at higher doses and for longer time periods.

The study did not examine over-the-counter PPIs or particular brands of the drug.

Previous studies have found multiple health issues as a result PPI use, including kidney disease and even dementia.

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly of the Washington University School of Medicine was a senior author on the study and confirmed that people who used proton-pump inhibitors experienced a 25% heightened risk of death from any/all causes than people taking another family of stomach acidity regulators, known as H2 blockers.

“In our studies, however we looked at the data, there was always a consistent relationship between (proton-pump inhibitor) use and the risk of death,” Al-Aly explained of the findings.

The link between the use of the PPIs and the increased risk of death isn’t clear at this stage and more research needs to be done.

Natural ways to cure heartburn

Before you reach for an antacid tablet, try these three natural remedies:

Press the point

Acupressure is a quick way to stop acid rising into your oesophagus. To find the right point, place two fingertips about four inches above your navel. Gently press on this spot until you feel relief.

Line your stomach

Certain herbs produce mucilage, a thick, sticky substance that, like saliva, coats your digestive tract and forms a protective barrier that neutralises the acid. One is licorice tea (Glycyrrhiza glabra), which has also been shown to inhibit the growth of bacteria; another is slippery elm powder (Ulmus fulva). Drink the tea or add the powder to water and sip.

Try homoeopathy

Take Pulsatilla if you suffer from acid reflux after eating fatty foods, or Nux vomica if you are easily irritated and your back and neck muscles feel tight.

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