The FDA just issued another health warning on PPIs like Prilosec and Prevacid. If you're taking these popular drugs, it's worth considering some healthier alternative remedies.
The FDA yesterday warned that using proton pump inhibitors (PPIs, sold as Prilosec, Nexium, and Prevacid) may increase the risk of diarrhea.
Ever since I spoke with Tierona Low Dog, MD, earlier this year, I’ve been on a soap box about the overuse of popular drugs, which unfortunately block stomach acid production in people who often need it the most—namely older people. Stomach acid production drops off with age, making it harder to absorb nutrients.
Indeed, the warning, prompted by a research review, said that several adverse event reports involved patients who were elderly.
Other possible negative effects of chronic PPI use include depleting magnesium levels (which can lead to arrhythmias and seizures) and greater risk of osteoporotic fractures.
In severe cases of GERD, PPIs can provide much-needed relief. But taking more holistic steps to heal the gut is a great idea for many people who currently take PPIS—especially because once you start taking them, it can be very tough to wean off of them.
To prime your digestive system before meals, especially dinner, Dr. Low Dog recommends drinking bitters (Swedish or Angustura) mixed with sparkling water 15 minutes before eating. Taking a good digestive enzyme supplement before meals can help, too. See more alternative remedies for GERD, acid reflux, and heartburn.
Do you or a loved one suffer from GERD? Have you found natural remedies that relieve symptoms for you? I’d love to hear about them in the comments below.