Acid Blockers

A study shows how acid blockers negatively affect your liver. The most common type of drug is proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which are often prescribed for gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD.

Acid Blockers- Stress for the Liver

Acid blockers seem to cause enormous stress to the liver, as Californian researchers have shown.

If you have also been prescribed acid blockers or so-called stomach protection because of stomach problems or “just” as an accompaniment to antibiotic or painkiller therapy, then take a look at the package. If there is an active ingredient name ending in -prazole (e.g. omeprazole, pantoprazole, lansoprazole or similar), then you are swallowing acid blockers of the proton pump inhibitor (PPI) type.

PPIs are among the top 3 most prescribed medications

According to the drug prescription report, these acid blockers are in third place among the most commonly prescribed drugs – ahead of antihypertensive drugs and statins. This means that they are taken in millions and bringing millions in profits to the pharmaceutical industry. Americans alone spend $11 billion a year on acid blockers.

However, PPIs give the pharmaceutical giants great pleasure not only because of the sale of the drugs, but also because of the resulting secondary diseases, which then have to be treated with other drugs.

PPIs promote three chronic liver diseases at the same time

Side effects of acid blockers include nutrient deficiencies and their various consequences, food intolerances, chronic kidney disease, an increased risk of infection, digestive problems, and – if pregnant women take PPIs – increasing risk of allergies and asthma in the child. PPI’s also make you dependent (9). And another study (8) has shown that people who had no problems before taking PPI’s (usually prescribed ‘just in case’) had Reflux after stopping the medication.

It had also been observed that long-term PPI intake worsened liver values. Researchers at the University of California/San Diego found that acid blockers can affect the intestinal flora in such a way that this condition can now lead to three different chronic liver diseases: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, non-alcoholic liver inflammation (steatohepatitis) and an acceleration of alcohol-related liver damage ( 2 ).

It is tragic that people with liver disease are particularly likely to take acid blockers and thus do not become healthier, as they hope, but worsen their state of health even further.

Acid blockers allow harmful bacteria to migrate through the body

In Nature Communications (October 2017), the Californian researchers led by Dr. Bernd Schnabl, Professor of Gastroenterology, wrote: “One of the reasons why our stomachs produce stomach acid is to kill the bacteria that arrive with food. If you take drugs that inhibit this acid formation, these bacteria survive and multiply.”

As early as 2014, a study (JAMA Pediatrics) had shown that the intake of acid blockers in children led to increased bacterial growth in the stomach. However, the bacteria do not remain in the stomach. Dr. Schnabl goes on to explain: “From the stomach, the bacteria eventually reach the lymph nodes and the intestine and change the composition of the intestinal flora in the latter ( 4 ).”

The so-called Enterococcus bacteria are then able to spread there. These migrate through the intestinal mucosa into the blood and directly into the liver, where they trigger inflammation or intensify pre-existing liver problems. In addition, those who drink copious amounts of alcohol and take PPIs at the same time develop liver disease more quickly than from alcohol alone.

It was already known that the state of the intestinal flora can affect the risk of developing liver disease. The present study once again confirms these earlier findings.

Increasing prevalence of liver diseases

Chronic liver disease is currently on the rise in Western countries – and cirrhosis is one of the twelve most common causes of death worldwide, with only half of all liver cirrhosis being alcohol-related. An important cause of common liver disease is obesity, which can lead to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) (1).

The latter is the inflammation of a non-alcoholic fatty liver, i.e. a fatty liver that is not caused by alcohol consumption, but usually occurs together with the so-called metabolic syndrome. Metabolic syndrome, on the other hand, includes four ailments: high blood pressure, high blood sugar, high blood lipid levels, and obesity.

Professor Schnabl suspects that the increased use of acid blockers in recent years may have contributed to the growing incidence of liver disease.

Take PPIs only if you have a good reason

So we recommend that you think carefully about taking acid blockers. There are great alternatives available.

Any measure that lowers the stomach acid concentration can change the intestinal flora and thus lead to an increased risk of liver damage. One way to treat heartburn is to reduce excess weight, limit alcohol and caffeine consumption and consume less high-fat or spicy foods.

For the liver’s sake: it’s better to use natural measures instead of acid blockers

From a naturopathic point of view, most of the complaints that lead to the prescription of acid blockers in conventional medicine can be countered with holistic measures – without any side effects.

However, since acid blockers can be downright addictive to the type of PPI, a gradual “withdrawal” is first necessary.

Here are some measures that can be used instead of acid blockers to calm the stomach and naturally regulate acid production.

  • Nux Vomica D6 Homeopathics
  • Multiminerals with Kalium, Calcium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Zinc, Mangan, and Copper
  • Natriumhydrogencarbonat (Baking Soda) 1/4 tsp in water

These measures not only protect the liver but even lead to better liver health.

Check that there is not a stomach acid deficiency

A stomach acid deficiency manifests itself with very similar symptoms to an excess of stomach acid and is a common cause of stomach complaints, especially in people over 50.

This can lead to heartburn, stomach pressure, nausea after eating, and reflux because the stomach lining produces LITTLE stomach acid. But how can stomach acid rise up the esophagus if there is too little of it?

If enough gastric acid is formed in the stomach, the so-called gastric acid closes. Esophageal sphincter, a type of sphincter between the esophagus and stomach. If only a small amount of stomach acid is produced, the pH value in the stomach is never so low that the sphincter would close. It remains open – and stomach contents can rise to the top. And even if it is not acidic enough for the correct (closing) sphincter response, it is still sufficiently acidic to cause pain in the esophagus.

If such a gastric acid deficiency is present, then the administration of acid blockers is, of course, all the worse, since the already insufficient stomach acid formation is then inhibited even further. (10).

If a gastroscopy is due, the acid status can also be checked at the same time. A probe can also be used to measure the pH value of the stomach over the course of 24 hours (pH meter).

Home remedies to stimulate stomach acid formation

If none of these medical examinations are pending, you can self-carefully try out whether the symptoms can be improved with stomach acid-stimulating home remedies, e.g.

  • Bitter substances (e.g. Swedish Bitter – Digest-Pure),
  • Cranberry juice,
  • Sauerkraut
  • Lemon juice or Apple Cider vinegar (diluted with water)
  • Wild plants (e.g. Dandelion as a salad or tea, also plantain, yarrow etc.)
  • bitter salads ( Rocket, endive, radicchio – also in a smoothie)

If it goes better after these measures, you can even (temporarily) use capsules with a substance similar to stomach acid: Betaine HCL Capsules.

Together with the right diet and good stress management, the body’s own stomach acid production can be stimulated in this way.

In addition, make sure to chew very well, not to drink anything with meals and to take eat calmly and without computer, mobile phone and TV.

Check out our all natural 4-week Liver and Gallbladder Cleanse here. 🙂

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