A Canadian study has confirmed that using drugs to treat reflux increases your chances of having a hip fracture -- by nearly five times after several years of taking the drugs! Often prescribed by doctors for complaints such as undiagnosed stomach discomfort, these drugs are highly habit forming and tend to be taken for years afterward, no matter how minor the original problem was. Yet they may be among the riskiest drugs prescribed today, leading directly to osteoporosis for far too many. Losec, Prevacid, Nexium, Pantoloc and Pariet are the most recent, most powerful, and most problematic of these drugs; but Zantac and other first generation proton-pump inhibitors are only somewhat less dangerous, and then only somewhat less dangerous precisely because they are somewhat less effective.
The problem? You need acid to absorb calcium. Cut down on your available stomach acid after you've eaten and the calcium you can't absorb, but need, has to be taken directly out of your bones. Over just a few years, the study shows, this more than doubles your risk of fracture, and the odds keep climbing steeply after that. Yet these drugs are commonly taken, not just for years, but for decades! That's because a lack of calcium also causes -- acid reflux. Excess acid is most easily controlled by having the body release a little calcium into the mix. As well, calcium increases gut mobility, which is important because medical researchers say that reflux “is primarily a motor disorder.”
This means that if you aren't absorbing much calcium due to the reflux drugs you're taking, and don't have calcium to spare, you're back to reflux -- and reaching for another pill, or an even stronger pill. So it's no accident that pharmaceutical companies have reaped such extraordinary profits from these drugs over the last year or two; these are the perfect drugs: they both treat the symptoms and cause the disease they “treat.” That's allopathic medicine's perfect profit scenario, and it has kept the drug companies floating in profits, despite having fewer new wonder drugs in the pipeline, and drastic problems with many recently introduced drugs.
While stomach bleeding (often caused by overuse of NSAID painkillers such as Aspirin and Advil) can be life threatening, and so reflux sometimes has to be treated by any means available; proton pump inhibitors are clearly adding hugely to the public's burgeoning health care costs, at the same time as the Drug companies that shoved them onto the market are running to the bank giggling.
As someone once remarked, often the best course of action is to “Just say no!” Even brief use of these drugs may cause even sharper episodes of reflux when they are discontinued. If your doctor naively continues to prescribe them to you, you may be in for a world of hurt later on. Even after you stop the drugs, it may be years before your body can restore a proper calcium balance so that your reflux vanishes on its own.
Source: Pubmed.com research article numbers: 18695179, 15729198, 17201221, 15628717
By Mortin - Copyright 2009
Last modification 31/12/2009