More than 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month, and millions more suffer from heartburn symptoms every day. A class of medications known as proton pump inhibitors (or PPIs) is widely used to treat the painful burning and acid reflux often associated with heartburn, but scientists at Johns Hopkins University warn that those drugs may come with harmful side effects.
In a recent study, researchers analyzed the health data for more than 250,000 people and found a link between PPI use and an increased risk of developing chronic kidney disease. Further, in patients who used PPIs twice daily, they saw a significantly higher risk when compared with once-a-day-users. The information is in line with previous studies that have found a relationship between using PPIs and a decrease in healthy kidney function.
PPIs are one of the most commonly prescribed medications in the United States, and many are available over the counter. Lead author Dr. Morgan Grams points out that although the study findings do not conclusively link PPIs with long-term kidney damage, it may be best to use caution and consider non-drug treatment options first, such as dietary and lifestyle changes.
Click here to learn more about occasional heartburn and the simple, everyday changes that may help you find relief.