In the October issue of Women's Health Letter, I discussed some of the dangers of using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to help manage heartburn. Not only do these drugs come with risks, they also fail to treat the underlying cause of heartburn, leading to a dangerous cycle. And, in addition to the risks, recent research has just come out linking PPI use to dangers to your bone health.
This study, published in the journal Bone, examined the use of PPIs and osteoporosis medication in Australian women. The researchers included data from 4,432 women born between the years 1921 and 1926 who participated in the 2002 Australian Longitudinal Study on Women's Health. They compared that data to information from the national pharmaceutical administrative database on medication use from 2003 to 2012. They also used hospital datasets that included information about fractures.
Of the participants examined, 2,328 used PPIs and 2,104 did not. Subsequently, 827 (36%) and 550 (26%) of the participants began using osteoporosis medication, respectively. As you can see, there was a link between PPI use and the need to use osteoporosis medication. Those who used multiple PPIs had even higher risks of using osteoporosis and experiencing fractures.
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While short-term use of PPIs does not carry the risks that long-term use seems to, it's still best to try to find long-term natural solutions. In this month's Women's Health Letter, I outline some simple starting solutions. In addition to those, you can try Homeopathic Nux Vomica 15c or 30x. Try taking one dose, three times a day for two to three days, when you experience indigestion. Homeopathic Nux Vomica is like the gentle 911 for indigestion. You also can drink peppermint and/or ginger tea. People generally prefer one or the other, so give them both a try to see which works best for you. If your symptoms persist, you may want to try Dr. Isaac Eliaz's Integrative Digestive Formula. Give this formula a month or two and you will most likely feel much more comfortable in your digestion. Heartburn — gone; bloat — gone.
These remedies can help you find immediate relief, but to avoid PPI use in the long run, you need to address the underlying cause of your heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). These issues are almost always accompanied by negative bacterial overgrowth. Restoring friendly bacteria and getting the digestive tract back in balance are always important in the treatment of indigestion, heartburn, GERD, and even H. pylori infection recovery.
If you have enough "good" bacteria to dominate your digestive tract, there's less opportunity for "bad" or pathogenic bacteria to take over. So if you're suffering from any of these issues, you may want to try a probiotic, such as Advanced Probiotic Formula, to provide reinforcements to your "good" bacteria. Probiotics have been shown to be effective for individuals with IBS, Crohn's disease, colitis, and GERD. I'd much rather you find an effective solution to these issues than cover them up with a drug that will likely just cause you more problems in the future.
Better Health and Living for Women,
Bone. 2015 Aug 28. pii: S8756-3282(15)00335-X. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2015.08.024. [Epub ahead of print].