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Reflux and Ulcer Medications Linked to Kidney Stones and Chronic Kidney Disease

Two new studies show that you could be setting yourself up for developing kidney stones as well as kidney disease or injury, if you take proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) or histamine receptor-2 blockers (H2 blockers) for heartburn, acid reflux or ulcers, Newswise reports. One study of a Department of Veterans Affairs national database of 152,157 users of the drugs showed PPI use was associated with a greater than 30 percent higher risk of developing chronic kidney disease (CKD), Newswise said.

Besides CKD, other research has linked PPIs to dementia, heart attack, overgrowth of bacteria, infections, bone fractures and the fastest growing type of esophageal cancer. The sad thing is, although PPIs are designed to inhibit the proton pump and reduce the amount of acid produced, they do not specifically target the cells in your stomach, and stomach acid is usually not the primary trigger behind chronic heartburn.

Quite the opposite is true. Low amounts of stomach acid and the subsequent overgrowth of bacteria changes the digestion of carbohydrates, producing gas. The gas increases the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter releasing acid into the esophagus, creating heartburn.

There are several natural ways of dealing with your heartburn, including adding acid to your meals. One strategy is to take 3 teaspoons of raw, unfiltered apple cider vinegar in 6 to 8 ounces of fresh water before each meal. For a list of other alternatives, please see my article, "15 Natural Remedies for the Treatment of Acid Reflux."
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