Don’t let your over medication habit plague your kidney

Dr. Manny, a previous FNC medical contributor, warns that Americans are over medicated. 

This is possible due to pharmaceutical industry’s commercialization of medicine that affects people dramatically. Many of us who watch television shows every day are being bombarded by well-made commercials for a miraculous pill which can cure whatever medical condition we’ve been suffering from.

Acid reflux is one of the most common medical problems in America, which affects about 25 million adults every day. This phenomenon can cause severe gastric and esophageal issues, but the chronic use of antacids is certainly not a permanent solution to the problem. Under no circumstances should you use any kind of medication without an adequate instruction from a doctor who can carefully assess the risk-to-benefit ratio with an experienced team — not simply by persuasive presentation from commercials or rumors.

A recent study suggests that people taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) to treat acid reflux, indigestion and heartburn may be more likely to develop chronic kidney diseases than those who don’t take these medications, which are often under the brand names of Prevacid, Prilosec and Zegerid and can be easily bought over the counter. PPIs work by lessening the production of acid in the stomach.

It means that the chronic use of PPIs could lead to kidney problems. And some of those problems are even unrecoverable – in fact, they often only get worse with age.

For this study, scientists analyzed data on two patient groups and found that over 10 years, PPI users of the first group had an 11.8 percent risk of developing chronic kidney disease, while this ratio among nonusers is 8.5 percent. For the second group of patients, it is estimated that the risk is 15.6 percent among PPI users, compared to 13.9 percent among nonusers.

They also noted that this side effect is unusual and the study does not claim that these medications certainly cause kidney failure. They also acknowledged the possibility other risk factors of PPI use for kidney disease. However, the fact that these medications are widely used and that the prior research has linked PPIs to kidney inflammation make their findings need further investigation.

The bottom line is, for people who have to take an antacid especially those who have been diagnosed with gastroesophageal reflux disease or an ulcer, these medications can be used but that treatment should last only a period of time. Once your symptoms improve, patients should stop and check in with their doctor. For those suffering from milder forms of gastric problems, it’s strongly recommended that they consider natural alternatives.

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