Digestion: More Trouble With Antacids
By Ann Musico
There is something that many people take on a daily basis that could be putting them at increased risk for COVID-19 and other viruses as well as liver and kidney damage, pneumonia, C. difficile, muscle wasting and other serious conditions. And the truly upsetting thing for me is that there are very effective, natural alternatives that could be used instead.
I am talking about PPI’s – proton pump inhibitors. So many people are diagnosed with acid reflux, chronic indigestion and GERD and are put on these drugs, often indefinitely. Most people do not realize that these drugs were designed to be taken for no more than eight weeks when first approved by the FDA, even though they are often used long-term despite their well-documented risks.
Upon analyzing the data from over 80,000 people, researchers found that people taking PPIs once a day had more than double the risk of contracting COVID-19 than those who didn’t. For those taking PPIs twice a day, they had more than three times the risk of contracting COVID-19 than those not on the drugs.
The researchers believe the drugs cause hypochlorhydria, a low level of stomach acid, which impairs the body’s ability to defend against ingested bacteria and viruses. In one study, once-daily PPI use “increased the odds for enteric infection by 33%.”
Additionally people using acid blockers are 4.5 times as likely to develop pneumonia as those who do not take them. Without acid in the stomach, bacteria in the intestines can migrate to the throat and lungs causing infection.
The acid in our stomach digests our food but it is also a first line of defense against viruses and bacteria, so completely shutting it down makes you more vulnerable to disease. This is concerning, especially since there are natural alternatives to these drugs.
The interesting thing is that in many, if not most cases, the acid reflux is a result of having too little stomach acid rather than too much and/or lack of digestive enzymes. GERD often results from the altered function of the lower esophageal sphincter, a small, circular valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. So, shutting down acid production needed for digestion and other important functions doesn’t address the source of the problem.
Other common causes of indigestion and GERD are being overweight, cigarette smoking, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, fried foods, carbonated beverages and prescription and over the counter drugs. All of these tend to decrease lower LES tone.
Besides losing weight and eliminating any suspected food triggers, elevating the head of your bed by 6″ can help. Try not to eat at least 3 hours before bedtime to allow yourself ample time to digest your last meal and avoid wearing tight clothing that may restrict your ability to digest.Taking a hydrocholoric acid supplement (HCL) and digestive enzymes has also been found to be helpful for many people.
If you use PPIs or acid reducing drugs regularly would you consider alternative, natural therapies?
Ann Musico is a holistic health coach and independent nutritional consultant. She has developed a “3-D Living Program” to assist her coaching clients in achieving vibrant health and wholeness – spirit, soul and body. Visit her website at https://www.threedimensionalvitality.com to learn more about the “3-D Living Program,” her book, Today is Still the Day, as well as the coaching packages she offers. Subscribe for her free monthly newsletter and weekly email messages.
Health is more than just the absence of illness. Let Ann show you how to create a life of passion and purpose, wholeness and harmony.
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