Health Fitness

Digestion: more problems with antacids

There is something that many people take on a daily basis that could increase the risk of contracting COVID-19 and other viruses, as well as liver and kidney damage, pneumonia, C. difficile, muscle atrophy, and other serious conditions. And what’s really disturbing to me is that there are very effective natural alternatives that could be used instead.

I’m talking about proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Many people are diagnosed with acid reflux, chronic indigestion, and GERD and are prescribed these medications, often indefinitely. Most people don’t realize that these drugs were designed to be taken for no more than eight weeks when the FDA first approved them, although they are often used long-term despite their well-documented risks.

By analyzing data from more than 80,000 people, the researchers found that people who took PPIs once a day had more than twice the risk of contracting COVID-19 than those who did not. For those who took PPIs twice a day, they had more than three times the risk of contracting COVID-19 than those who did not take the drugs.

Researchers believe that the drugs cause hypochlorhydria, a low level of stomach acid, which affects the body’s ability to defend itself against ingested bacteria and viruses. In one study, the use of PPIs once a day “increased the chances of enteric infection by 33%.”

Also, people who use acid blockers are 4.5 times more likely to develop pneumonia than those who do not take them. Without stomach acid, bacteria in the intestines can migrate to the throat and lungs causing infection.

Our stomach acid digests our food, but it is also a first line of defense against viruses and bacteria, so turning it off completely makes you more vulnerable to disease. This is concerning, especially since there are natural alternatives to these medications.

The interesting thing is that in many, if not most cases, acid reflux is the result of having too little stomach acid rather than too much and / or a lack of digestive enzymes. GERD is often the result of impaired function of the lower esophageal sphincter, a small circular valve that separates the esophagus from the stomach. Therefore, stopping the production of acid necessary for digestion and other important functions does not address the source of the problem.

Other common causes of indigestion and GERD include being overweight, smoking, alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, fried foods, carbonated drinks, and prescription and over-the-counter medications. All of these tend to lower the lower LES tone.

In addition to losing weight and eliminating potential food triggers, elevating the head of the bed by 6 “can help. Try not to eat at least 3 hours before bed to give yourself enough time to digest your last meal and avoid wearing tight clothing. that may restrict your ability to digest. Taking a supplement of hydrochloric acid (HCL) and digestive enzymes has also been found to be helpful for many people.

If you use PPIs or acid-reducing medications regularly, would you consider alternative natural therapies?