The only thing worse than reflux...

Christmas is a time of good feeling... a time when we wish for peace on Earth as we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.

But all that celebrating can lead to another kind of feeling, especially if you haven't been careful about your diet.

Too many rich meals and desserts can lead to the burn of acid reflux bubbling up from your stomach to your throat and sometimes right into your mouth.

It can turn the season of joy into a month or more of misery, so I have no doubt that reflux drugs are selling like candy canes right now.

But new research shows why you shouldn't turn to these meds -- not now, when you're looking for some holiday help after "overdoing it," and not any other time of year, either.

Some of the most common drugs taken for acid reflux and heartburn -- meds that do billions in sales every year -- can damage some of your most vital organs of all.

They can wreck your kidneys.

The new study finds that proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium, Prilosec, and Prevacid can increase your risk of chronic kidney disease or kidney failure by a third.

Kidney problems kill nearly 1,000 Americans every single week, and one reason they're so deadly is that most people don't notice the damage.

Not at first.

By the time they feel that something's not right and get help, it's often too late... and they're hurtling on the highway toward kidney disease and kidney failure.

And as the new review of five studies shows, this entire process can start with a drug so common and so readily available that many people never even think twice about taking it.

Naturally, all the "experts" are lining up to downplay the risk, claiming maybe folks who take PPIs already have kidney damage because they're less healthy to begin with.

Just one problem: A study earlier this year found that more than half of folks who developed kidney disease while taking the drugs DIDN'T have any signs of damage before they started.

And kidney disease isn't the only risk.

These drugs have been linked to liver damage, cancer risk, infection, and more. They've even been linked to dementia.

The best way to get control over reflux is to do it right: Celebrate more in spirit, not on the dinner plate, and watch what you eat.

Sometimes, you know exactly which foods trigger reflux and just need to resist the temptation a little better.

In other cases, you may need to work with a doctor to find which foods or ingredients cause your acid to bubble up, so you can better learn to avoid them.