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Success in health? A personal story.

25 Aug

There have been hints for years regarding the potential dangers of Proton Pump Inhibitors used to treat GERD (aka PPIs – Prilosec, Nexium, etc.) GERD is characterized by having acid reflux 2 or more times a week. This year the FDA admitted the dangers of PPIs, including that PPIs are often over-prescribed and easily available with over-the-counter availability. Myself, I was buying the over-the-counter Prilosc, splitting it and taking a half dose a day. I’m not stupid…I saw that the box said “Do not take for more than 14 days”. I ignored the warning because it did the trick…

…but are the recently publicized risks worth the pay-off.

The risks are far beyond the risk of fractures as publicized by the FDA. Heck, they don’t even tell you why the risk of fracture increases with PPI use. Maybe it’s just coincidence that PPI users are clumsy? OK, not really. The reason is that they prevent absorption of the mineral calcium as well as other essential nutrients. The effects of mal-absorption increase far beyond bone health; your digestive track and immune system is at risk as well, opening up the door for a whole host of diseases from IBS to cancer. I’m not saying PPIs cause these illnesses, but their role could have a correlation. We need healthy bacteria in our digestive tracks and acids in our stomachs. To read more about the risk, check out one of many experts writing on this topic via the web: http://chriskresser.com/heartburn

Back to me – I’ve been on these drugs for somewhere north of 15 years. Yes, I said 15 YEARS! It’s not like I have a terrible diet either. In that time, I’ve been through IBS, Pancreatitis and a gallbladder so badly atrophied that it totally worthless. I don’t know if the PPIs had any roles in those conditions, but I do know that some of the recently reported dangers are worth quitting PPIs and suffering a little reflux. I mean, a correlation with cancer? No-brainer!

2 weeks ago I quit PPIs cold turkey. When a person quits PPIs, there can be a rebound effect that can cause bad reflux. I’m not going to lie, I suffered, although not as badly as I thought. I’d like to thank Baking Soda and Tums for getting me through. And today I had the day I’ve been waiting for over the past several years – NO REFLUX! No more being bound to a pill every morning before I eat. No more huge regrets if I forgot a pill or ate a particularly reflux-inducing meal. I feel so free.

I want people to know that you can take control of your health. Sometimes a little risk taking leads to a huge and rewarding success.

What change do you want to make with your health today?

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