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Show 1024: Could Popular Heartburn Drugs Destroy Your Kidneys?

New research suggests that popular heartburn drugs like Nexium or Prilosec are associated with a risk of chronic kidney disease.
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Could Popular Heartburn Drugs Destroy Your Kidneys?

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America’s most popular heartburn drugs might be harming our kidneys. Research published in the February issue of JAMA Internal Medicine suggests that regular use of drugs like Nexium, Prevacid or Prilosec is associated with a higher risk of chronic kidney disease. While the research shows an association and doesn’t establish that the drugs are causing kidney damage, this is such a serious outcome that it is worth paying attention.

We discuss several published studies on both the benefits and lack of benefit of PPIs preventing the progression of Barrett’s esophagus to esophageal cancer. Here are the links.

Gut, Aug. 2014: a meta-analysis of observational studies showing PPIs help reduce the risk of cancer

Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics, May, 2014:  Danish nation-wide study showing that proton pump inhibitors may not prevent the progression to cancer

Expert Opinion on Drug Safety, Jan., 2016: safety of proton pump inhibitors related to gastric cancer

Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention, July, 2015: presents the esophageal cancer risk attributable to Barrett’s esophagus and other factors, including PPI effects on the gastrointestinal tract

New England Journal of Medicine, Oct. 13, 2011: “Barrett’s esophagus is a strong risk factor for esophageal adenocarcinoma, but the absolute annual risk, 0.12%, is much lower than the assumed risk of 0.5%”

Alternatives to Popular Heartburn Drugs:

Are there other ways to prevent painful heartburn symptoms? Joe and Terry offer some helpful remedies and invite listeners to share their favorites.

Flu Shot Reactions:

Flu season is off to a slow start this year, but now it is underway. What should you do to minimize your chance of flu? Have you ever had a reaction to a flu shot that lasted for months instead of days? Such problems are supposed to be rare, but they should be reported to the FDA and CDC when they occur. Here’s how to make the report to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System (VAERS). The CDC and the FDA maintain it jointly. Find it online at vaers.hhs.gov. Fax a completed form to (877) 721-0366 or mail the form to VAERS, P.O. Box 1100, Rockville, MD 20849-1100.

If you believe you have been injured by a flu vaccine you may be eligible to receive compensation from the federal government for your injuries if certain criteria are met. To learn more visit the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program website or call 1-800-338-2382.

Beet Juice for Better Health:

Could beet juice boost your endurance and lower your blood pressure? A new study from Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, NC, showed that drinking 2.4 ounces of British beetroot juice for a week improved endurance by 24 percent. It also lowered blood pressure. (Journal of the American College of Cardiology-Heart Failure,Volume 4, Issue 6, June 2016) Are you drinking beet juice?

Call Us:

For this show, Joe & Terry welcome your questions and stories. Call 800-472-3366 between 7 and 8 am EST on Feb. 13, 2016.

This Week’s Guest:

Lisa Gill is deputy content editor of Best Buy Drugs for Consumer Reports. The Consumer Reports web site is:http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/health/prescription-drugs/best-buy-drugs/index.htm

Listen to the Podcast:

The podcast of this program will be available the Monday after the broadcast date. The show can be streamed online from this site and podcasts can be downloaded for free for four weeks after the date of broadcast. After that time has passed, digital downloads are available for $2.99. CDs may be purchased at any time after broadcast for $9.99.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies..
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