The Truth about Prescription Drugs like Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, and Over-the-Counter Antacids Lyle Loughry Copyright--August 2008
If you're one of the 100 million Americans who suffer from Heartburn,
Indigestion, Bloating, Diarrhea, Upset stomach, Acid indigestion, Embarrassing
gas, Occasional constipation, and a host of other digestive problems … most
likely you've sought relief by taking antacids or other over-the-counter
digestion medicines, or received a prescription from your doctor. But new
research now shows these approaches to digestion problems may be wrong… Wrong… WRONG!
Statistics bear this out. "Digestive disorders" may well be linked to some 90 Million doctor visits, and 200,000 deaths, annually. This is pretty dismal
results for the billions of dollars spent on solutions to this problem. This is the
reality for one primary reason, simply put, "MMM" (modern medicine
mentality); treat the symptom with drugs and surgery, and ignore the cause.
You can avoid this epidemic, but you won't if you subscribe to MMM. This article
does not deal directly with the primary causes for digestive disorders, which of
course involves the colon, but suffice it to say that, out of the colon comes
more human misery and suffering, emotional and mental, as well as physical,
than from any other known cause! The astonishing findings of autopsies, colonic
irrigations, surgeries and X-rays reveal the colon of most civilized Westerners to
be the most abused, and abusing organ in the body!
The difference between heartburn and acid reflux is subtle, but clear.
Heartburn is generally caused by stomach acids that back up into your
esophagus. Most folks feel a burning sensation that rises from the stomach into
the center of the chest. Acid reflux is a regular and frequent regurgitation of
stomach acid. This is caused when the muscle located at the top of your
stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn't open and close
properly—and allows acid from your stomach to leak into your esophagus. Acid
reflux frequently causes sore throats and can even damage tooth enamel.
What's more, it can also cause acid to leak into your lungs and trigger
wheezing… violent coughing… and even lung problems!
The drugs, Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, are regularly prescribed by
physicians because they lower the acid levels in your digestive tract. They are
called "proton pump inhibitors," or PPI's. PPI's work because they temporarily
ease the symptoms of acid reflux in the short-term by neutralizing the acid in
your stomach. These acid-suppressing drugs have become so heavily prescribed,
they rank in sales second only to cholesterol-lowering drugs! But while these
acid suppressors can relieve painful heartburn, scientists now know they're
doing nothing to fix the underlying reflux problem. In fact, this type of drug
therapy simply changes the chemical makeup of the gastric juice being
refluxed. In other words, instead of being exposed to acid, your esophagus now
gets bathed in bile, an alkaline, gastric fluid that can even be more dangerous
than acid! A study, printed in the Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery, monitored
gastric reflux in patients before and after Prilosec therapy and found that using
Prilosec did not change the frequency of reflux episodes—it just altered the
chemical makeup of the stomach content from acid to alkaline!
We've all heard of acid reflux—but is anyone telling you about the even more
serious alkaline reflux? Most doctors focus entirely on treating acid reflux, and
never warn patients about the serious consequences of alkaline reflux that can
occur when taking PPI's. Just how serious is alkaline reflux? According to Nasser
Altorki, Director of the Division of Thoracic Surgery at New York Presbyterian-
Weill Cornell Medical Center… "If you expose the lower esophagus to alkaline secretions, you will get a more severe injury and destruction than if you expose it to acid alone." And while acid-reducing drugs appear to cure the
symptoms of acid reflux, new studies show patients are unaware they are now
A British study in the Archives of Surgery followed 32 patients with Barrett's
esophagus who had alleviated their heartburn and reflux symptoms with PPI
drugs. Using special monitoring devices, the researchers found that two-thirds
of the patients still had bile reflux or abnormal acid reflux, even though the PPI
medications were controlling their symptoms. In other words…they didn't feel
the heartburn—but they were still having digestive problems! This can
eventually lead to more drastic remedies, like surgery.
Another surprising side effect of acid-reducing prescription drugs is that they create even MORE ACID! Scientists now know that both prescription and o-t-c
drugs taken for occasional indigestion can cause a rebound effect. When you
take antacids or other digestion drugs, you neutralize and kill ALL acid in your
stomach—including the essential and good hydrochloric acid! It's similar to how
antibiotics kill all bacteria—the good and the bad! Because stomach acid is so
critical to life, your brain quickly sends a message to your stomach to speed up
production of MORE stomach acid. So when the drug wears off, you end up with
an imbalance of stomach acid and sometimes even more pain than you had in
According to Better Nutrition magazine, this may be bad for two reasons:
#1: You need acid in your stomach! It's acid that kills unwanted bacteria and
stimulates the enzymes to break down the foods you eat, and release vital
#2: If you reduce the acidity in the stomach, your body will automatically
adjust by producing MORE acid, as mentioned above.
What's more, many antacids contain an abundance of minerals that can cause
problems for many folks over 50. For example, some antacids include the
Sodium bicarbonate (baking soda)—not recommended if you have high blood
pressure or need to limit your sodium (salt) levels…
Calcium carbonate (Rolaids, Tums, Alka-2™, Titralac™) stimulates acid
rebound, where your stomach produces more acid and can actually make your
symptoms worse. They can also cause constipation, bloating, cramps and
kidney stones, and dangerous calcium buildup in joints and muscles, including
Magnesium (Maalox, Gaviscon, Mylanta, Gelucil) can cause diarrhea. And if
used too frequently, can lower blood pressure and cause fainting and heartbeat
irregularities. If you suffer from kidney problems, this can lead to excess
Aluminum (Maalox, Gaviscon, Rolaids, Mylanta) can cause constipation and
osteoporosis. They should be avoided by women after menopause. Also, if you
suffer from kidney problems, this can lead to excess aluminum in the blood and
possibly serious memory problems! Most, if not all, Alzheimer's patients have
elevated aluminum levels in their brain.
Antacids only mask the underlying problem of heartburn or acid reflux.
Someone has likened it to hearing your smoke detector go off in the middle of
the night—and you get up and remove the battery! The irritating beeping sound
stops, but the fire is still raging, and you're not addressing it! In fact, long-term
use (more than 4 weeks) of antacids has been demonstrated to cause serious
health problems. One study of 155 healthy people who regularly used antacids
found that 47% suffered erosion of the esophagus. Frequent antacid use also
impairs the stomach's ability to digest protein. And, without the right amount
of stomach acidity, "friendly" bacteria that contribute to healthy digestion are
There are many things that contribute to digestive disorders, a high sugar diet,
excessive alcohol use, birth control pills, NSAID'S (Non-steroidal anti-
inflammatory drugs), chlorinated tap water, and air pollution, but there are
three reasons considered most likely to cause the problem, starting with,
Low levels of stomach acids, the opposite of what most people think. As you
get older, your body produces less hydrochloric acid. This is the critical
stomach acid that quickly devours foods and allows it to pass through your
digestive system. Without optimum levels of stomach acid, undigested foods sit
in your stomach too long and easily lead to food allergies, occasional
constipation, and many other problems, including heartburn!
Enzyme deficiency. Enzymes are the "spark of life" needed for every chemical
reaction in your body, including regulating your heart beat, stimulating nerve
cells and even creating new brain cells, and enzymes are especially critical for
proper digestion. A variety of enzymes are required to properly break down the
foods you eat and release the nutrients, protease, amylase, cellulase, lipase,
and lactase, just to mention a few more common ones. Enzymes, along with friendly bacteria (probiotics) are the only two "worker groups" in the body.
They have been compared to both the skilled and unskilled professionals
required to construct a home. All the nails, boards, bricks, wiring, roofing and
fixtures cannot be utilized without the "workers," and it's true with nutrition in
the body. Most people are enzyme deficient because all forms of cooking
beyond 119 degrees kills the food enzymes, before eating, plus, as we get
older, our body's enzyme production drops dramatically.
The good news is that you don't have to be part of this "digestive disorder"
epidemic. An overwhelming majority of the doctor visits, drugs and deaths
associated with digestive disorders are unnecessary! For more information on
the real solution to most digestive disorders, go to the Nutritional Supplement
section of this website and checkout the articles about Digesticol and Floracol. If you're tired of heartburn, belching up stomach acids, damage in
your esophagus from acid reflux, and propping up your head at night just so you
can sleep, there are natural solutions that work. PLEASE don't fall for this huge antacid hoax!
For more information, call Lyle Loughry, 800-829-9913 or e-mail
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