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Popular Heartburn Drugs Linked to Gradual Yet 'Silent' Kidney Damage

If you’re one of the millions of people taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium and Protonix, take notice: A new study shows that not only can these drugs cause chronic kidney damage, but they do it so silently you won’t even notice it until it’s too late, ScienceDaily reports.

This adds to a growing body of evidence that PPIs can cause dangerous side effects that may significantly affect your quality of life and increase your risk of infection. Besides kidney problems, recent research identified a reduction in acid in your arterial system elicited by PPIs as one important trigger for heart, kidney and brain side effects.

If you suffer from “acid indigestion,” it’s important to learn what causes it before you begin treating it with drugs — There are a variety of reasons acid may pass the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and trigger heartburn, but most are related to a hiatal hernia or an infection with Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori).

Often, simple lifestyle changes will treat occasional heartburn effectively, but chronic pain over many weeks may require making a few more changes. Start by weaning yourself off PPIs gradually to avoid severe rebound symptoms. Begin eating real food and probiotic-rich fermented foods, and ditching processed foods altogether.

Reseeding your gut with beneficial bacteria, either from traditionally fermented foods or a high-quality probiotic supplement is important, as this not only will help balance your bowel flora, but can also help eliminate helicobacter bacteria naturally. Probiotics and fermented foods, especially fermented vegetables, also aid in proper digestion and assimilation of your food.
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