Deficiency Problems with Acid Reflux Medications
From the highly advertised pharmacological solutions to over-the-counter “miracle” cures, acid reflux medications get a whole lot of attention. Unfortunately, as many people with acid reflux in Albany already know, GERD can’t be treated with a pill. Reflux medications attempt to make your life with GERD a bit easier by diminishing symptoms and lessening the amount of acid produced by your stomach. However, once you stop taking the pills the pain returns.
Without correcting the damage to the lower esophageal sphincter you are in for a lifetime of discomfort or medication. And as many people have learned over the years, the lifetime of medication is often accompanied by discomfort, sometimes in ways you don’t even realize.
Nutrient Deficiencies and Acid Reflux Medications
Of the problems associated with prolonged use of acid reflux medications, one of the most profound is the development of nutritional deficiencies and the accompanying ailments and health concerns that follow.
PPIs, H2 antagonists and antacids can affect your health negatively in a variety of ways. Here are a few nutrient concerns to keep in mind:
- Vitamin B12: Our bodies obtain vitamin B12 as it is released from protein sources, and this is done by the breakdown of the protein by gastric acids in the gut. The overuse of antacids and H2 blockers can reduce the absorption of vitamin B12 and lead to a deficiency. Vitamin B12 deficiency causes symptoms like chronic fatigue, confusion and depression.
- Magnesium: Long-term PPI use is associated with magnesium deficiency, as PPIs block the transportation of magnesium in the intestine. This can lead to muscle spasms, seizures, hypoparathyroidism and depression.
- Vitamin D: The reduction of stomach acid in the stomach can prevent vitamin D absorption as well. You can attempt to supplement vitamin D by exposing yourself to sunlight, but must be careful not to burn your skin with UV rays.
- Iron: Iron deficiency is associated with a collection of severe health concerns, including anemia, chronic fatigue, heart palpitations, dizziness and anxiety. Certain H2 antagonists are highly associated with iron reduction in the body, causing up to a 65 percent reduction per dosage.
Talk with your reflux surgeon about all of your treatment options before settling on a reflux medication. Remember, acid reflux disease can only be cured by repairing the lower esophageal sphincter. Reflux surgery to repair this valve can eliminate your need for reflux medications and help you develop a healthier diet free from much of the pain of heartburn.