We have received an influx of calls in our office over the last week due to the most recent news on the negative effects of the proton pump inhibitor medicines, or PPI, that are so prevalent today. These medications have been prescribed to patients for heart burn, reflux, and indigestion. However, they are such common issues that many are self-prescribing and accessing medicines over the counter such as: Nexium, Omeprazole, Prilosec, Prevacid and Pantoprazole.
For those of you who didn’t hear the news, there are new studies out showing that being on these medicines long-term can cause such things as dementia, heart attack and kidney disease. Known side effects have always been bone loss, muscle spasms, leg cramps and nutrient deficiencies (making you tired and have low energy).
So why are these medicines causing these issues? When you eat food it goes into your stomach as a solid. Obviously we chew our food, but we don’t chew it into a liquid and the body cannot use food in a solid form. In order for the body to benefit from food it must be broken down into a liquid. So when you eat, your body has to go to work to make enzymes, acids and many other gastric juices. The now liquefied food moves into the small intestine and from there it gets absorbed into the body. This is how we feed our body.
Normally we see patients in our office in their 40s, 50s and 60s with reflux, heartburn and indigestion. This is because as we age, our enzyme production begins to decline. Over the last few years, we have seen 18, 19, and 20-year-olds with these same issues. Primarily because they are the first generation of kids who have grown up on fast food and processed food. When we don’t eat a healthy diet day after day, we don’t provide our body what it needs to make healthy enzymes.
Without enzymes our food cannot break down properly. This causes the food to sit in the stomach too long, in a nice pool of acid, or move on partially digested. This can cause symptoms such as heartburn, reflux, indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation and diarrhea. If you presented to a primary care physician, PCP, or a gastroenterologist with these symptoms the standard of care says PPI.
The PPI turns off of the acid pump in the stomach so you don’t have the symptoms. The problem is, your food needs acid just like it needs enzymes. So now, not only are you not making enzymes, but you’re not making acid either – so imagine how much digestion is taking place? NOT MUCH! When you are taking a PPI, especially for long periods of time, no matter how healthy you eat your body is not benefiting from the nutrients. When the cells of the body are denied nutrients day after day they will get sick.
Our goal is to help patients get off PPI medicines by taking digestive enzymes instead. By replacing what the body isn’t producing anymore and watch the body begin to work right again. By taking a healthy digestive enzyme with every meal we have helped hundreds of patients get off their PPI and get their energy back. There are certain people that cannot come off PPI’s, it’s important to contact us to make sure you are not one of these people. Also, you have to make sure you take a good digestive enzyme. Not all enzymes are created equal and many on the market have fillers that cause digestive issues. We recommend our Everyday Enzymes™ for all of your digestive needs. If you want to come off your proton pump inhibitor, PPI, and you want to do it right, please contact us at 623-772-6999, extension 102 or visit our website at www.drlizcruz.com.