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These Popular Heartburn Drugs May Have Hidden Risks
Did you know that heartburn medications are one of the most frequently prescribed drugs in the US?
Although commonly referred to as heartburn, this is a misnomer. Heartburn has nothing to do with the heart. Instead, this burning sensation in the chest is caused by irritation from stomach acid affecting the esophagus.
Proton Pump Inhibitors lower the amount of acid produced by the stomach providing relief from the symptoms and irritation of heartburn, GERD and acid reflux. The Proton Pump Inhibitors designed to provide relief sometimes bring their own set of issues. Because these medications decrease the amount of magnesium levels in the body, over time they create a deficiency of this necessary mineral. This deficiency can take a dangerous toll on the kidneys.
Some symptoms of kidney function failure:
- high blood pressure
- unusual fatigue
- decrease or increase in urine
- unexplained weight loss
- chest pain
- swelling in the legs
Heartburn medications deter the production of stomach acid. Stomach acid, though, helps the body digest food. A lack of this acid makes it difficult get vitamins, minerals and other nutrients your body and kidneys needs for optimal function.
Recent research indicates the long-term use of these common medications may lead increased risk of kidney disease and kidney failure. Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid, the most commonly used of these meds, are often prescribed to treat ulcers, heartburn and acid reflux. While they do the job they’re designed to do, they also create the potential for harming the kidneys. Everything you put in your body eventually passes through your kidneys. Patients using these over-the-counter and prescribed drugs, experienced a decline in kidney function as high as 32%.