Your antacids are putting you at risk for thyroid problems and a broken hip.If you're taking that little purple pill, Nexium, for acid reflux--watch out.
If you use Turns or other antacids Antacids Definition
Antacids are medicines that neutralize stomach acid.
Antacids are used to relieve acid indigestion, upset stomach, sour stomach, and heartburn. because some foods don't agree with you--you could be headed for trouble.
I've warned you about the dangers of antacids before. They don't solve heartburn heartburn, burning sensation beneath the breastbone, also called pyrosis. Heartburn does not indicate heart malfunction but results from nervous tension or overindulgence in food or drink. problems. They only treat its symptoms. And they reduce your ability to digest and utilize protein, calcium, magnesium, and iron. This means you could be eating the right foods and still be deficient in one or more of these nutrients. In addition, stomach acid kills off bacteria that can lead to stomach infections (such as H. pylori), which, in turn, can cause stomach ulcers and gastritis.
As if all that wasn't bad enough, new studies indicate that antacids interfere with the absorption of your thyroid medication and increase your risk for a broken hip. If you take antacids, this is a good time to re-evaluate what you're taking and why. And to look for a safer solution.
Your thyroid and antacids
You don't need stomach acid (hydrochloric acid hydrochloric acid: see hydrogen chloride.
or muriatic acid
Solution in water of hydrogen chloride (HCl), a gaseous inorganic compound. , or HC1) just to help break down and utilize proteins, calcium, magnesium, and iron. You need HC1 to utilize your thyroid medication.
If your T4 blood test is low, you have an underactive thyroid and you're probably taking oral thyroxine. Thyroxine is T4. You should have 20 times as much T4 as T3, another thyroid hormone Thyroid hormone
Any of the chemical messengers produced by the thyroid gland, including thyrocalcitonin, a polypeptide, and thyroxine and triiodothyronine, which are iodinated thyronines. See Hormone, Thyrocalcitonin, Thyroid gland, Thyroxine . But if you're using any antacids, you're reducing stomach acid, which is needed to absorb thyroxine.
A group of Italian researchers discovered that people with low stomach-acid secretion who were taking thyroxine needed between 22% to 34% more thyroid hormone than those with normal secretions. All of the participants in this study had a goiter goiter: see thyroid gland. . And all of them had some form of reduced acid secretion.
If you're taking any antacid antacid, any one of several basic substances that counteract stomach acidity (see stomach). Antacids are used by physicians to treat hyperchlorhydria, i.e., the excessive production of hydrochloric acid by the parietal cells lining the stomach. , remember that it can affect the levels of a number of medications. Talk with your doctor or pharmacist to make sure your medications are working for you at the prescribed levels, and that there are no negative interactions. People who take antacids and thyroid medications are frequently asked to separate them by two to four hours. This isn't possible if you're taking a long-acting antacid, like Nexium.
But antacids don't just cause problems for people on thyroid medication. They negatively affect everyone who takes them. And women are especially susceptible. A recent study published in JAMA JAMA
Journal of the American Medical Association found that if you've been taking antacids for more than a year, you have a 44% increased risk of breaking your hip! Your risk for hip fracture is based on how long you take antacids as well as their strength. Nexium, for instance, is stronger than Tums Tums
A trademark for an over-the-counter preparation of calcium carbonate.
Adcal (UK), Alka-Mints, Cacit (UK), Calcarb 600, Calci-Chew, Calci-Mix, Caltrate 600, Children's Pepto Chooz, Florical, and puts you at a higher risk than the over-the-counter antacid.
Nexium is just one of a number of prescription antacids called proton pump inhibitors Proton Pump Inhibitors Definition
The proton pump inhibitors are a group of drugs that reduce the secretion of gastric (stomach) acid. They act by binding with the enzyme H+, K(+)-ATPase, hydrogen/potassium adenosine triphosphatase (PPI (1) (Pixels Per Inch) The measurement of the resolution of a monitor or scanner. For example, a monitor that is 16 inches wide and displays 1600 pixels across its width would have a resolution of 100 ppi (1600 divided by 16). ). It may get rid of your heartburn, but PPI therapy also decreases calcium absorption and bone density. What's more, 20% of people who break their hips due to PPIs die during the first year after their fracture.
The same percentage needs nursing home care. And while this study examined the effects of PPIs that are stronger than over-the-counter antacids, a second study published last year (Calcif Tissue Int) found that common antacids also contribute to hip and spine fractures.
Forget the costs of health care. A broken hip, especially in later years, is a life-changing event that you want to avoid at all costs. The researchers of this study suggest that older patients who need high doses of PPIs increase their dietary calcium and calcium supplements. But too much calcium without enough magnesium creates other problems, such as arthritis and heart disease.
I have a better solution--avoid antacids
If you have acid reflux acid reflux
See heartburn. , first repair your digestive tract digestive tract
See alimentary canal.
The organs that perform digestion, or changing of food into a form that can be absorbed by the body. . As surprising as it may seem, you actually need more stomach acid, not less. I explained this in an article that appeared in June 2003 ("Take acid--not antacids--to end your heartburn"). You can find this article on my website.
For those of you who don't have computers, this information is in my new book (The Health Detective's 456 Most Powerful Healing Secrets). This book is now available through bookstores. But you can get it free just by renewing your subscription (800-728-2288).
Indigestion and acid reflux are indications either of a poor diet or poor digestion. Begin by chewing your food extra well. If that's not enough, take a good probiotic pro·bi·ot·ic
A dietary supplement containing live bacteria or yeast that supplements normal gastrointestinal flora, given especially after depletion of flora caused by infection or ingestion of an antibiotic drug. (friendly bacteria) to help with your digestion and to help fight bad bacteria. Some of the more expensive brands, such as Dr. Ohhira's Probiotics Probiotics
Bacteria that are beneficial to a person's health, either through protecting the body against pathogenic bacteria or assisting in recovery from an illness.
Mentioned in: Colonic Irrigation, Dysentery, Gastroenteritis 12 Plus are excellent (877-262-7843). But you may find that more affordable products--like Advanced Probiotic Formula (Advanced Bionutritionals, 800-728-2288)--work well for you.
Next come digestive enzymes. They help you digest protein, fats, and starches. Lower your total fat intake and take a digestive enzyme with each meal for three to six months. You can find enzymes in any health food store. Or you can call ProThera (888-488-2488) and try a bottle of their TheraGest. I've used it successfully with many of my patients.
Antacids treat symptoms. They don't address the core of a problem, and they lead to more health risks. I don't believe in just treating symptoms.
"Acid suppression medication linked with increased risk of hip fracture," JAMA, December 27, 2006.
Centanni, M., MD, ct al. "Thyroxine in goiter, Helicobacter pylori infection, and chronic gastritis," NEJM NEJM New England Journal of Medicine , April 27, 2006.
Vestergaard, P., et al. "Proton pump inhibitors, histamine H2 receptor antagonists, and other antacid medications and the risk of fracture," Calcit Tissue Int, August 2006.