Can put people at risk of dangerous side effects such as fractures.
Proton Pump Inhibitors Being Over Prescribed. As per a story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune, the belief is growing that certain people are abusing both prescribed and over the counter (OTC) heartburn medications, even taking them unnecessarily. Exceeding recommended usage can put people at risk of dangerous side effects such as fractures.
Proton pump inhibitors limit the release of stomach acid and are successfully used to treat such ailments as the small intestine and stomach ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and swelling of the esophagus. Popular OTC Brands are Prevacid 24 hour, Zegerid OTC, and Prilosec OTC. Prescription versions include Aciphex, Protonix, Prevacid, Zegerid, Prilosec, Dexilant, and Nexium. As is reported in the Star Tribune, close to 120 million prescriptions were written 2009, putting them near the top of all prescribed drugs on the market. But, Proton pumps are not just found in the stomach Almost every cell in your body, except blood cells are equipped with mitochondria that allows your cells to metabolize carbohydrates and fats to produce energy. This is done by emitting protons through the cell membrane. By doing so, the cell sets up an electric potential which the cell then uses to make ATP, our main form of energy. If Cells cannot do this, the body must resort to anaerobic systems to supply energy, producing rapid fatigue.
Gastroenterologists are worried that the medications are being over-prescribed. Side effects are rarely mentioned because the product is intended for short-term use. Many people it appears are abusing them for long periods of time. A recent editorial in the “Archives of Internal Medicine” claimed that “53 to 69% of the prescriptions for Proton pump Inhibitors are for inappropriate indications.”The inappropriate use of Proton Pump Inhibitors is putting abusers at risk for serious side effects.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reported it was amending safety labels on Proton Pump Inhibitors to better warn of increased risks for fractures. According to the FDA, Those who used the inhibitors for a year or more were in danger of the increased likelihood of spine, wrist and hip fractures. There is also an increased risk of pneumonia. There may also be indications that the medications may interfere with the heart drug “Plavix.” Our stomachs and our intestines harbor microbes which aid in the decomposition of food. These Microbial “communities” are very sensitive to the ph around them, PPI’s change the acidity levels in the stomach and gut making them less efficient. By lowering acid levels, many microorganisms that would normally be eliminated can travel down into the intestines. You raise your likelihood by taking PPI’s of acquiring Salmonella, Listeria, and pneumonia. Pathogens, such as Streptococcus also favor a less acidic environment.
Doctor’s attitudes toward Proton Pump Inhibitors may be changing. Recent reports indicate that roughly 22% would decrease their usage of the drugs for their patients, with 61% saying the FDA’s action would alter their view on how they recommend the use of the drugs.
Greater care must be exercised in the medical community regarding the prolonged use of PPIs. Evidence of the potential side effects is building. There are some other options that could help you avoid PPIs. Switching to a low-carb diet is one such idea. Malabsorption of carbohydrates can lead to an overgrowth of bacteria in the gut resulting in the very symptoms’ you are looking to avoid. Too little acid in the stomach is a significant contributor to acid reflux.
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