PPI's bad for Kidney's????

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Hello all,

I am just so confused and don't know what to do. I know everyone bad mouths omeprazole and PPI but I really feel like they saved my life. For two yrs I was against taking them and had constant chest pains, reflux, and lost 30 pounds because all I ate was chicken and rice. Now, after taking the meds I feel like I got my life back. I go out again with my husband and friends, I can eat again (still no chocolate or coffee) and am chest pain free. However, now I see reports of these meds damaging kidneys and I feel trapped. I can't go off the meds cuz the chest pains come right back. Any advice?

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  • Posted

    I was on PPi (plus other meds) after diagnosed with Barretts. On a follow up endoscopy 3 months later , a different gastroenterlogist took me off all medications saying my Barretts was negligible. I have stopped for 6 months now ..I have learnt to know my food triggers (and not eating for hours on end also causes a problem) and not to over eat. My chest pains (never really had hearburn) do return now and again and the sensation of food stuck in my gullett, and I do regurgitate undigested food (if i over eat by even a small amount)

    ​i help this by taking bicarbonate of soda and gaviscon advance ..at bed time when needed.

    My burning tongue is constant ...but the meds. never stopped that anyway.

    ​I am not saying I will never restart the ppi and other meds (though I do miss not having to worry about what i ate or drank ..the ppis and othe meds helped me tremendously...almost immediately)

    ​I am supposed to go for another follow up endoscopy in 6 months time and i will go with the gastroenterlogist's advice

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    • Posted

      Have you tried B12 for your burning tongue?  I was just reading that B12 deficiency is very common, especially if you take acid reducing meds.

      "A deficiency of the B vitamins thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, folic acid, biotin, B-5, B-6 or B-12 can adversely affect the tissues of your mouth and tongue, leading to burning mouth syndrome and other symptoms. Deficiencies of folic acid and B-12 occur more commonly than other vitamin B deficiencies."

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    • Posted

      I was presrcribed a multi vit B complex. ..that hasnt really helped my burning tongue syndrome, though on some days I can ignore it than on others. (havent worked out the correlation of what i eat/dont eat to affect the outcome).
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    • Posted

      I have never had heart palpitations  had a whole gamut of blood tests including testing for anemia (the various tests were requested by a cardiologist, a rheumatologist, a pulmonlogist and an opthamologist )
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  • Posted

    I understand your fears.  I read the research you're talking about.  But the data is not conclusive.  The kidney issues people had happened after ten years or so.  Hopefully you won't be on PPI's that long.  

    One thing to consider is that damage from acid in the esophagus and throat has it's own risks long term as well.  Esophageal cancer and throat cancer are both associated with untreated reflux.  You are doing the right thing to protect yourself from those risks.  

    I think someone else mentioned gaviscon advance.  I took something similar - esophageal guardian.  The active ingredient is alginate, or alginic acid.  You take it at the end of a meal, or before bed.  When it hits the stomach, it foams and forms a floating raft at the top of the stomach, blocking stomach acid from rising up into the throat.  It works as a physical blockage, but doesn't change the acid levels in the stomach, so you maintain proper PH for digestion and avoid side effects.  

    When you decide to wean off the PPI's, the aginate is something to try.  

    Also, have you been checked for a thyroid issue?  Hyperthyroid can cause too much stomach acid.  Hypothyroid can cause atrophy of the esophageal sphincters, and low digestive motility.  It's common for doctors who specialize in one thing, like reflux, to neglect to check for other conditions.  

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    • Posted

      Thank you and yes, they checked my thyroid. I have had every test known to man and they found nothing except extreme reflux. I even had gallblader and stomach emptying test, major bloodwork and everything else was normal.
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  • Posted

    Hi Dane, maybe this will help you. The research into the link of PPIs to kidney disease was of people beyond a ten years period in one case, and there was no "direct proof" of causal link, but a shown "association." Other factors may also have played a part, like how the mean age of the patients was 63, with many being obese, taking NSAID painkillers and being in poor health in other ways. For even NSAIDS and some other non-prescription meds can lead to kidney damage. The people who did the study didn't take NSAID use into consideration, so even that might have played a part in the increase of perceived kidney damage. The main guidline is that PPIs are overprescribed in too many cases, and are sometimes continued when the underlying trouble has actually settled. Another med for reflux, called an H2-blocker, like Zantac, is said not to have this association with kidney trouble. So maybe you could discuss that with your doctor? Trying that med might ease your worry? Read the words below from Jan 2016. They too might ease your mind.

    Because the new study isn't a clinical trial, it doesn't prove that PPI use causes chronic kidney disease, said Dr. Kenneth DeVault, president of the American College of Gastroenterology and chair of medicine at Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla.

    "These types of studies, these big data studies, can sometimes suggest a signal that something's going on, but I don't know if they prove it," DeVault said.

    "It's possible that the drug users suffer chronic kidney disease more often because they have overall poorer health," he said.

    Grams said the study authors tried to address that concern by comparing PPI users to people using another heartburn medication called H2-blockers. Both patient groups tended to be equally unhealthy, but PPI users had a 39 percent higher risk of chronic kidney disease, the researchers said.

    While this study shouldn't lead anyone to knee-jerk stop using proton pump inhibitors, people who use them regularly should talk with their doctor about whether they really need them, Grams and DeVault said.

    "If you don't need these medicines, you shouldn't take them," DeVault said. "That said, there are reflux patients with heartburn who really need the PPIs to help them with their symptoms."

    Doctors also might opt to prescribe an H2-blocker like Pepcid, Tagamet or Zantac. "To me, this is a cheaper, safer alternative that might work as well with some patients," Swaminath said.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Paul - tried Zantac for yrs and it didn't touch the pain from my chest pain....ugh.
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