Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked To Silent Kidney Damage

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The long-term usage of a number of popular heartburn drugs has been directly linked to silent kidney issues, according to the results of a recent study published in Kidney International.

Patients prescribed PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) such as Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium, and Protonix, are typically told to stop taking their medications after displaying symptoms of serious kidney problems. However, this new report suggests that a significant number are being affected by those same problems without even realising it.

Researchers from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Veterans Affairs St. Louis Health Care System analyzed data from the Department of Veteran Affairs databases on 125,000 users of PPIs. Their results show that more than half of those who later developed chronic kidney damage and end-stage renal disease suffered no kidney complications beforehand.

“Our results indicate kidney problems can develop silently and gradually over time, eroding kidney function and leading to long-term kidney damage or even renal failure,” said Ziyad Al-Aly, MD, the study’s senior author and an assistant professor of medicine at Washington University School of Medicine. “Patients should be cautioned to tell their doctors if they’re taking PPIs and only use the drugs when necessary.”

It’s estimated that approximately 15 million Americans take PPIs for heartburn as a way of reducing gastric acid.

“Doctors must pay careful attention to kidney function in their patients who use PPIs, even when there are no signs of problems,” added Al-Aly. “In general, we always advise clinicians to evaluate whether PPI use is medically necessary in the first place because the drugs carry significant risks, including a deterioration of kidney function.”

One of the main difficulties with kidney disease is in detecting it early enough. Traditional Chinese Medicine treats kidney problems extremely well, however.  TCM not only treats kidney function, but has a way of detecting early stages of dysfunction via pulse diagnosis. This technique has been used for over 2000 years to detect weaknesses in the body’s physiologic function. If you or a loved one is concerned with an acid reflux issue please contact the clinic for a free consultation and learn about how to handle this problem naturally and without devastating side effects.

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