Prilosec, It's Not So Nice!

We often hear in our clinic that many are taking a PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitor, such as Omeprazole) and the folks are not even aware of the bad consequnces of the medication.  Many respond with something like, "It can't be bad.  It's an over-the-counter medication.  Those are always safe!"

In functional medicine, these are one class of medications which are causing harm in all who take the medicine.  Yes, we know symptoms of reflux are not pleasant, nor are they a sign of good health.

The reason people take the PPI's is to reduce stomach acid production.

I describe  ithis way.  When you scrap the skin on your knee, and if you pour a weak acid on the injured area, you will experience pain.  Same hold true in the gut.   When the esophagus is raw, or the stomach lining has a raw area, any acid will cause a burning sensation.  The PPI's reduce your acid production.  The antacids block the acid from attaching to the area of concern.  Both of these mechaisms reduce the pain of acid interacting with the raw lining of the gut.

The problem is we need stomach acid to begin the digestion process of our foods.  Without the acid, the foods are not properly digested to smaller particles, and when these particles reach the small bowel, the body sees these as foreign material; antibody-antigen reactions begin.  The result is inflammation in the gut and other tissues of the body.  Pain occurs, brain fog develops, fatigue, and many more symptoms of poor health develop.

What is is needed is the healing of the raw lining in the GI tract.  When this occurs, one can eat almost anything - peppers, spicey foods, tomatoes, and many more.

We spend a great deal of time in functional medicine helping to get this resolved, and it really is not a difficult process.

So, the next time you need to reach for that Omeprazole, Zantac, or antacid, ask yourself, "Can I do something even better for my health, and how do I do that?"

You will thank yourself for correcting the real problem and will again enjoy many of the "forbidden foods."

Author
Roy Hall MD Dr. Hall is the owner of Mountain Health Functional Medicine, located in Billings, MT. He is a certified practitioner of Functional Medicine through the Institute for Functional Medicine.

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