Heartburn Drugs Can Break Your Hip

The list of reasons not to take proton pump inhibitor (PPI) for your heartburn is growing, especially if you want to protect your bone health. Baby boomers who stay the course on heartburn drugs for at least a year raise their risks of a broken hip significantly.

Based on a review of more than 145,000 seniors (their average age was 77) patients who used a heartburn drug -- Nexium, Prilosec or Prevacid among the most popular culprits -- elevated their risk of hip fractures by 44 percent, more than twice the risk of non-users. What's more, a patient's risk of fractures grow, the longer her or she takes a PPI.

If you think taking a H2 blocker -- Tagamet or Pepcid -- for your heartburn is any safer, forget it. Taking those drugs confers a smaller but similar risk to your bones.

You don't need a bone-killing drug, less sleep or even surgery to treat heartburn if you're willing to make these lifestyle changes:

  • Replace sugary sweet drinks with clean water.
  • Follow the eating plan spelled out in my Total Health Program.
  • Consume 1-2 cloves of garlic daily to eliminate H. pylori, a contributing factor for many patients with heartburn.
  • Take a high quality probiotic.

Journal of the American Medical Association, Vol. 296, No. 24, December 27, 2006: 2947-2953

New York Times December 26, 2006 Registration Required

Yahoo News December 26, 2006

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