Gastric reflux drugs may be tied to dementia risk

One more reason to not take these drugs long term

Well, I already knew that taking the PPI’s long term were not a good idea (you can read that post here), and now the potential link to dementia?

As reported by NPR and lots of other news outlets:

The latest concern is that PPIs might increase the risk for dementia. Britta Haenisch and colleagues at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases in Bonn studied 73,679 people ages 75 and older. The researchers found regular PPI users had at least a 44 percent increased risk of dementia compared with those not using the drugs.

The researchers caution that the risk could only be considered an “association,” until more research could be conducted to produce more conclusive evidence. But the findings indicate “the avoidance of PPI medication may contribute to the prevention of dementia.”

How PPIs might increase the risk for dementia is unclear. But other researchers recently reported that, in the brains of mice, PPIs seem to increase levels of a damaging protein that accumulates in the brains of dementia patients, known as beta-amyloid.

In an editorial accompanying the study in the journal JAMA Neurology, Lewis Kuller of the University of Pittsburgh wrote that the findings “provided an important and interesting challenge to evaluate the possible association,” which is a “very important issue given” how commonly the drugs are used by the elderly, who are already at increased risk for dementia.

As reported by NPR: “The teaching for many years was that these drugs were quite safe,” says John Clarke, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. “But there is data that’s emerging that suggests PPIs may not be as safe as we think they are.”

So, stick with the basics that I talk about here to manage your reflux.

Heartburn Hotel

Checkout today!

Today’s article is one I recently read in MORE magazine, titled “How I Checked Out of Heartburn Hotel.” Hope you enjoy it! When you’re finished, browse through the site to see if you find your symptoms–as well as some remedies. She’s an advocate of what I’ve learned:

“I’m still a card-carrying member of the reflux club: I sleep on a slant, take probiotics religiously, drink aloe juice and never eat anything right before bed.”

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid Reflux Common Symptoms

Acid reflux is a condition in which gastric acid is regurgitated- stomach acids rise up into the esophagus because the valve that separates the stomach contents from the esophagus is faulty.The word “reflux” comes from the Medieval Latin word refluxus which comes from the Latin word refluere, meaning “to flow back, to recede”.  Acid reflux and heartburn are often used interchangeably. Acid reflux is the movement, the action of stomach acids going up the wrong way, while heartburn refers to the burning sensation.

 A 2011 Norwegian study found that in most industrial nations, the incidence of acid reflux has risen by more than 50% since the beginning of the millenniumStatistics on the frequency of heartburn and GERD differ greatly. In accordance with some approximations, 7% of Americans have heartburn everday and 14% suffer it at least once every week. Alternative estimates suggest that GERD affects about 20% of the adult American population, mostly those in their forties or older. But, GERD can affect people of all ages, including infants and children.

Most Americans thinks it’s just another disease which can be cured by taking a pill. They treat the symptom rather than treating the source.

When I first asked my doctor what was wrong with my throat, he asked me if I woke up with a sour taste in my mouth. Check. Did I clear my throat often. Double Check.  However, for me, when things got really bad, I could barely talk. Scary, huh? As I later discovered, the acid rising from my stomach was landing on my vocal chords.  This condition is known as Silent Reflux.  When I read more about it, I got really serious about getting things under control.

What are the common symptoms to help you decide if this is your problem?