1. PPIs linked to kidney damage

    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.

  2. PPIs linked to stomach cancer

    Heartburn meds linked to deadly form of cancer

    There's no such thing as a "good" cancer... but some forms of this disease are a whole lot worse than others.

    And on the long list of cancers you want nothing to do with, stomach cancer has to be near the top.

    It's not just that it's one of the deadliest types of cancer, with a five-year survival rate of less than 30 percent.

    It's that even when you fight this cancer and win... even when you beat the odds and survive... you could be living without part of your stomach and intestines, changing your life completely and permanently.

    You want to do everything you can to AVOID this disease.

    Instead, you might be RAISING your risk -- right now -- without even realizing it!

    A frightening new study finds that a common class of medication taken by millions could lead to directly to stomach cancer.

    The latest findings show that proton pump inhibitors taken to fight heartburn and reflux can increase your risk of this devastating disease by up to EIGHT TIMES!

    That's not even the scary part.

    Ready for it?

    You DON'T have to take these drugs every day to face that risk!

    Even occasional use -- taking a PPI an average of just once a week -- will more than double your risk of stomach cancer.

    Taking the drug daily will increase your odds of this cancer 4.6 times, and the risk keeps rising if you keep taking it.

    Popping a PPI daily for a year will increase your risk of stomach cancer by five times... while taking it daily for three years will increase your risk of by 800 percent.

    What makes this study so alarming is that it focused on patients who had been treated for H pylori, a germ responsible for gut infections and ulcers that can also increase the risk of stomach cancer.

    Everyone in the study had been given antibiotics, and the bacteria was completely eliminated.

    In theory, they should have had a lower risk of stomach cancer.

    Instead, just the opposite happened -- and it's all linked to those PPI drugs.

    The shame of it is that almost no one even needs these meds in the first place. Sure, they bring down stomach acid levels, which probably sounds fantastic when you're fighting off the misery of reflux.

    But stomach acid isn't actually the cause of reflux.

    It's just a symptom.

    Instead of popping PPIs to tame those raging acid levels, work with a holistic medical doctor who can test for and treat all of the possible causes of reflux, including undiagnosed food sensitivities.

    For complete testing and treatment in the San Diego area, I can help. Make an appointment to see me here at the Stengler Center for Integrative Medicine.

    Not in Southern California? I'm also available for advice by phone. Call 855-DOC-MARK to schedule a consultation.

    And don't forget to connect with me on Facebook!

  3. Arteries prematurely age after prolonged use of PPIs

    Medications used to fight acid reflux – known as PPIs – can age the arteries, setting the stage for serious cardiovascular problems.
  4. Stomach acid meds and vitamin B12 deficiency

    Common stomach acid meds taken by millions can leave you deficient in vitamin B12, a nutrient needed by your heart, brain and more.
  5. Proton pump inhibitor commonly misused

    The PPI meds given for heartburn are supposed to be short-term drugs -- but most docs prescribe them for years, against guidelines.
  6. The peanut butter cups of bad meds

    For drug makers, it must have been a "you got your peanut butter in my chocolate" moment -- but instead of "two great tastes that taste great together," you're about to get two bad meds that are even worse together.

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