The Growing Concern Over Acid Reflux Meds and Kidney Disease

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Approximately 60 million Americans experience acid reflux, with treatment often involving some type of medication, according to home care agencies in The Woodlands. Recent research suggests a certain class of medications taken to control the indigestion and heartburn associated with acid reflux may lead to kidney disease.

Proton-Pump Inhibitors and Kidney Disease

It’s the use of proton-pump inhibitors, a potent class of drugs used to reduce gastric acid production, that appears to increase the risk of developing chronic kidney disease, according to researchers at Johns Hopkins, who looked at data from more than 200,000 patients. A higher-than-anticipated risk for developing kidney disease was observed in patients who were prescribed PPIs, however researchers didn’t consider how long patients used PPIs.

PPIs and Other Health Risks

Available in over-the-counter and prescription versions under names like Prilosec and Nexium, PPIs have been approved by the FDA to treat acid reflux disease, or GERD, since the 1980s. However, this isn’t the first time possible health risks have been suggested. There’s also evidence from previous studies suggesting a possible link between PPIs and an increased risk of:

• Bone fractures
• Infections
• Heart problems

Limiting the Use of PPIs

There’s not enough evidence to conclusively form a link between the use of PPIs for acid reflux control and kidney disease. However, patients are urged to limit the use of such drugs and consider other ways to treat their acid reflux, including:

• Adopting a low acid, high-fiber diet
• Avoiding highly acidic foods, such as soft drinks and other caffeinated beverages
• Limiting alcohol consumption

Those with acid reflux are encouraged to see their doctor for an official diagnosis rather than self-treating with OTC PPIs. The testing process for acid reflux can now be done without the need for sedation by inserting a thin camera the size of spaghetti noodle through a nostril to the throat area.

Learn more about promoting senior wellness by reaching out to Home Care Assistance. All of our friendly and experienced caregivers in The Woodlands are trained in our proprietary Balanced Care Method, which helps seniors maintain physical, mental, and emotional health. Speak with a dedicated Care Manager by calling 832-412-1345 today and request a free in-home consultation.