Education is Key
A recent article on the National Public Radio website highlighted the increasing amount of scientific evidence that shows these extremely popular drugs could lead to severe complications.
According to the article, an estimated 15 million people in the United States take PPIs, which are available through prescriptions as well as over the counter. However, studies have shown a link between PPIs and severe issues such as chronic kidney disease and even kidney failure.
Many people don’t even need to take PPIs in order to alleviate their heartburn, according to a doctor quoted in the article. Dr. John Clarke of Johns Hopkins Hospital said that simple lifestyle changes could help eliminate heartburn, such as reducing alcohol and caffeine intake and also cutting back on fatty and spicy foods. In addition, Dr. Clarke said, too many people continue taking PPIs much longer than needed. Doctors typically recommend that people take this type of medication for 2-8 weeks.
If you take a PPI, it is critically important that you carefully weigh the risks versus the benefits, and be alert to any signs you may be experiencing kidney problems. These include:
- Bloody urine