Heartburn is the burning sensation in the chest caused by acid aversion in the esophagus, and is a form of indigestion. People who use certain drugs for continual heartburn are expected to be at an increased risk of developing kidney disease, as suggested by many recent studies.
Drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) include over-the-counter and prescription drugs, like Prevadic, Prilosec and Nexium, which are especially highlighted as medicines with a high potential of risks associated with kidney damage.
Continued use of PPIs has also been linked to some mineral deficiencies and loss of bones’ solidity, making them weak and brittle and prone to osteoporosis. As per the FDA, people who use PPIs for 12 months or more are vulnerable to bone fractures.
In January 2011, another study in JAMA Internal Medicine was published, which found an increasing risk of kidney damage associated with a high PPI usage. Usage of prescribed heartburn drugs has been found to cause kidney issues, like intense kidney injury and inflamed kidney in the short run. However, new research has proven the loss of kidney’s ability to filter blood efficiently. In accordance with the US National Institute of Health, if continued, these problems can eventually lead to kidney failure, forcing regular dialysis or even a probable kidney transplant.
Another research study, which involved 173,321 new consumers of PPIs, concluded that 15% of those users were diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, which translated to 28% exposure to serious kidney disease. As is evident, using heartburn drugs may not necessarily be the best way to treat the condition, as there is really no point in curing a problem only to suffer from other serious side effects.
And let’s not forget the fact that using those drugs may not necessary be able to cure your condition in the first place. In fact, if you take the wrong drugs, it can make your condition worse than before. So how can we avoid the side effects, especially the damage done to one of the most precious organs of our body: kidneys?
Well, the best way to do so is not to consume those drugs in the first place. When you depend on drugs, you are basically only trying to deal with the symptoms, not the root cause. Therefore, first and foremost, it is important that you understand the causes behind heartburn and acid reflux.
A lot of times, it is due to an unhealthy lifestyle. If that is the case, the first thing you should do is make changes to your way of living in a way that it improves your overall health. Live more zealously. Continual pill popping is no good if you are not prepared to make changes to your lifestyle.
You may also want to try natural home remedies. Many easily available and effective solutions to heartburn remain a few clicks away. Although these may take time to show results, at least you can be at peace knowing your body will not be subjected to harmful side effects, unlike in the case of prescribed heartburn drugs.