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Common heartburn medications linked to kidney disease

Turns out that some OTC heartburn medications may be causing serious health problems.

If you suffer from heartburn and regularly take medications to treat it, you may want to reconsider which medicines you take. Researchers have found a strong link between Proton Pump Inhibitors (PPI), such as Prilosec, and an increased risk of Chronic Kidney Disease (CDK).

Two studies have both found similar results showing that PPI’s increase the risk of CDK. Besides, Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium have also been implemented in the studies. These medications are among the most popular used to treat chronic kidney disease.

The medications linked to CDK are Proton Pump Inhibitors. Previously, these medications have been proven to be very effective at treating heartburn, including ulcers and other related conditions.

CKD reduces the ability of kidneys to filter blood. Our kidneys are essential for cleaning our blood, and any reduction can cause serious health consequences. As many as 25 percent of people older than 60 suffer from CDK, though for many of the victims, the disease is not in an advanced state.

CKD has been linked to an increased risk of diabetes and hypertension.

The first study was conducted from 1996 to 2011, and was carried out by a Johns Hopkins University research team. Led by Benjamin Lazarus, the researchers tracked nearly 10,500 adults with normal kidney functions. Those who used PPIs recorded 20 to 50 percent risk of developing CKD.

A similar study conducted from 1997 to 2014 tracked even more patients, in fact just over 24,000. This study reported a similar risk of increased CKD prevalence. PPI users recorded a 25.7 percent increased risk of developing CKD.

Other medications used to treat heartburn were not found to encourage increased rates of kidney diseases. H2-blockers, such as Pepcid, were not found to increase CKD risks.

Heartburn, which causes a painful sensation in the stomach and chest, is a chronic, non-life threatening disease. It is a very prevalent condition, and is caused when acid from the stomach backs up and into the tubes that carry consumed food from the mouth to the stomach.

The most common way to treat the condition is to reduce the acidity levels found in the stomach.

Other actions can also reduce the risk of heartburn. It is recommended that patients eat at least 3 hours before going to bed, and that they do not lay down after eating. Sufferers should also avoid spicy foods and other foods that upset their stomach.

Before reaching into the medicine cabinet for a solution, sufferers should consider natural ways to reduce heartburn.