Millions of people take medicines like Prevacid, Prilosec or Nexium every day. But while such proton pump inhibitors may ease symptoms of heartburn, they can also lead to serious side effects. Dr. Philip Gorelick, spokesperson for the American Heart Association, describes the research linking these heartburn drugs to an increased risk of stroke.
What is the solution? Many experts recommend limiting such PPI use to acute situations where they are clearly necessary. Dr. Robynne Chutkan, a gastroenterologist, tells us how the microbes in our digestive tract affect our health. PPIs can have deleterious effects on our microbiota. She offers a number of other ways we can address digestive difficulties without wrecking the balance of bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract by taking heartburn drugs. How can you live dirty and eat clean for good health?
Remember: do not stop any prescribed medication, including heartburn drugs, without your doctor's knowledge and supervision. Stopping a PPI abruptly can lead to rebound hyperacidity and troublesome heartburn for many weeks.
Robynne K Chutkan, MD, is on faculty at Georgetown Hospital and is the founder of the Digestive Center for Wellness in Chevy Chase, Maryland. She did her medical training at Columbia University and is board certified in gastroenterology. Dr. Chutkan is the author of three digestive health books: Gutbliss, The Microbiome Solution and The Bloat Cure. A frequent guest on The Dr. Oz Show and other media outlets, she’s one of the most recognizable gastroenterologists in practice today. Her websites are https://gutbliss.com and www.digestivecenterforwellness.com
Philip B. Gorelick, MD, MPH, FACP, is the medical director of the Hauenstein Neuroscience Center, Saint Mary’s Health Care in Grand Rapids, MI. He is also Professor of Translational Science and Molecular Medicine at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine. Dr. Gorelick is a spokesperson for the American Heart Association. The research he described was presented at the American Heart Association annual meeting on Nov. 15, 2016.