If you’re going to be spending any time in a hospital, you might want to think twice about that acid-blocking medication you’re taking.
It turns out that proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as Prilosec, Prevacid, and Nexium, come with one more doozie of a side effect… they could increase your risk of developing pneumonia by 27 percent.
Acid-blockers may be linked to pneumonia deaths
And researchers are warning that this means that since 40 to 70 percent of people in the hospital are given these meds routinely, they may be directly responsible for deaths from hospital-acquired pneumonia.
When scientists from Seoul National University Hospital did a systematic review of all published studies, they found a definite pattern.
One out of every 200 patients on PPIs will develop pneumonia.
With 110,000 prescriptions written for these drugs in 2009 alone… and please correct me if my math is wrong here… that means that about 550 people that year acquired pneumonia as a result of their acid medication.
And, of course, if you’re not in the best of health, or have a suppressed immune system, a bout of pneumonia could easily be a death sentence.
Proton pump inhibitors pack OTHER side effects
Oh, and let’s not forget that PPIs come with a host of other dangerous side effects as well, including an increased risk of bacterial infections (suppressing your stomach acid lets the nasty C. difficile bacteria gain a foothold) and bone fractures.
The surprising truth is that many people who have symptoms of heartburn or acid reflux actually have too little stomach acid.
You see, as we age, our bodies start producing less of the digestive enzymes and stomach acids we need.
As a result, food doesn’t get broken down as well as it should, and we get food gurgling back up—resulting in that uncomfortable burning feeling we know (and dread) so well.
Combat heartburn and acid reflux with a digestive enzyme
To combat this, you should look for a quality digestive enzyme.
According to HealthierTalk.com contributor Dr. Allan Spreen, you should look for one that says FULL SPECTRUM on the label or just make sure the capsules contain all three types of enzymes:
- proteolytic (proteo relating to proteins)
- pipolytic (lipo relating to fats)
- amylolytic (amylo relating to carbohydrates)
The fact is that PPIs are dangerous and, in some cases, even deadly… so if you don’t truly need them, you should work with your doctor to get off them as soon as possible.
Remember…soothing the burn doesn’t have to send you knocking on heaven’s door.