Sunday, March 25, 2012

Acid blocking medication: a good or bad idea?

Is offsetting bad lifestyle and food choices with acid blocking medication a good or bad idea?     

   It’s probably a bad idea, but that is not going to stop Americans from doing it or pharmaceutical companies from advertising for it.  Research is finding that in the decades to come some of these people may suffer from unresolved anemia, bone loss, depression, impaired detoxification, and other chronic problems. Big Pharma doesn’t mention that in the commercials — all you see is a smiling fat man finishing off a plate of BBQ ribs and assuring us not to worry because he takes drug X.

Prescriptions and over-the-counter (OTC) medications have become the mainstay of therapy in acid-related, upper gastrointestinal disorders.  I think there are some people who need these medications, but I have a strong feeling many people could get relief with some diet and lifestyle changes – much more work than popping a pill.  As a nutritionist, I am concerned with the nutritional implications of blocking stomach acid long term. There are many nutrients that depend on a low-acid environment for absorption. Here are three nutritional areas I think about when someone uses acid blocking medication.

Minerals – Reduced mineral absorption due to acid blocking medications is well documented and has sound theoretical support from basic chemistry.  The dissociation of calcium complexes from food and the liberation of calcium salts are dependent on a low pH.   Research has noted increased risk of hip fractures in elderly women on long-term Proton pump inhibitors (PPI) intake.  In a study with 13,556 hip fracture cases and 135,386 controls, the risk of hip fracture was increased in patients on long-term high-dose PPIs and increased with duration of treatment. They even found significant associations after just one year of PPI treatment.  Suppression of gastric acid has also been shown to reduce intestinal absorption of zinc and other minerals.  Zinc is essential in enzyme functions and amino acid breakdown.  The consequences of inadequate mineral absorption could be significant to overall health.

Anemia – In patients with refractory anemia, once gastrointestinal blood losses have been excluded, intestinal mal-absorption should be the next area to be investigated.  Acid is important for absorption of dietary iron.  Hypochlorhydria also affects the absorption of vitamin B12.  It is protein bound and released in the presence of acid and pepsin. Thus, patients with increased stomach pH are at risk of both iron deficiency and megaloblatic anemia.  So if you have a patient with unresolved anemia, don’t forget to ask if they are taking acid blocking medication.

Amino acids – Lastly, acid secretion facilitates protein and lipid digestion.  Pepsinogen, the most potent protease (an enzyme that breaks down protein), is activated under acidic conditions below a pH of 4.  So hypochlorhydric patients may have impaired digestion of proteins.  Earlier research simply looked to see if there was a decrease in muscle mass, but newer research is looking at the effect of low levels of individual amino acids.  The possible lowering of tryptophan, tyrosine, and phenylalanine in the blood may be a precipitating factor in depression in hypochlorhydric patients.  It’s also important to think about the other functions of amino acids, such as building proteins and detoxification.  In patients who take acid blocking medication, it is advised to test for these nutrients instead of doing a diet assessment, because they may get enough nutrients but may not absorb them efficiently.

Performing a red blood cell mineral test can identify your mineral status; checking methylmalonic acid (MMA) can identify a functional need for B12; performing a plasma amino acids test can show levels of individual amino acids.  Besides nutritional concerns, there are many others such as bacterial overgrowth, acid sensitive feedback regulations, effects on hormones, and increased risk of intestinal infections.

Management Revenue Group, LLC
“Large enough to serve; Small enough to care!”™
for more information email

Killing Me Slowly With His Pills


For Immediate Release: May 25, 2010
Media Inquiries:
Elaine Gansz Bobo, 301-796-7567,
FDA: Possible Fracture Risk with High Dose, Long-term Use of Proton Pump Inhibitors

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today warned consumers and health care professionals about a possible increased risk of fractures of the hip, wrist, and spine with high doses or long-term use of a class of medications called proton pump inhibitors.           

Yes folks, that right; the pills you pop based on the constant ads you are bombarded with have serious negative side effects!  In fact, here is the warning directly from one manufacturer’s website:

The following instructions are taken directly from              

14-Day Course of Treatment:  Swallow 1 tablet with a glass of water before eating in the morning;  take every day for 14 days; do not take more than 1 tablet a day; do not chew or crush the tablets; do not crush tablets in food ; do not use for more than 14 days unless directed by your doctor

Repeat 14-Day Courses (if needed): You may repeat a 14-day course every 4 months; do not take for more than 14 days or more often than every 4 months unless directed by a doctor

But you say, “This can’t apply to me because my physician prescribed these pills.”  Folks, when the physician runs out of diagnostic tools to help them determine what is the ROOT CAUSE of your SYMPTOMS, the physicians have no other choice but to push drugs and try and manage your symptoms.

By eliminating the acid in your stomach, they are effectively stripping you of your mainline, internal defense against Bacteria, Parasites and Fungi.  Stomach acid is also a critical component in the process of digestion and absorption of essential nutrients.

The paradox:

Having sufficient stomach acid keeps the valve to the esophagus closed so it cannot be harmed by stomach fluids. When the stomach produces acid it also produces bicarbonate of soda.  Bicarbonate of soda is what protects the stomach lining from being damaged by the acid. Therefore, it stands to reason that IF the stomach is not producing sufficient acid it also won't be producing enough bicarbonate of soda to protect the stomach/esophagus and this will allow ulcers to form.

So what can you do?  If you are going to have an Endoscopy (this is where the physician goes in for a look see from the top) then demand that the tissue sample they are testing is sent to TZAM Diagnostics.  That lab does PCR testing for H. pylori.  Their Multiplex PCR test is astoundingly better than any other testing option; it finds what the other miss.

If you have already had the “look see” from the top (and/or from the bottom) and you are now on pills; demand that your physician (Gastro or Primary) orders the MetaMetrix 2100 Profile.  This is another patented PCR based test that looks at ALL of the Bacteria, Parasites and Fungi that might infect your Digestive System.  If your issue isn’t H. pylori then there is something “bugging you” and this test will help identify that for nearly everyone.  It’s non-invasive (done on stool) and has helped over 100,000 people find out what is keeping their lives turned upside down.

Remember, pills for symptoms promote the status quo.  What you need is a cure for the cause…

Management Revenue Group LLC - "Large enough to serve, Small enough to care"

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Try Herbal Relief First for Acid Reflux

Key Statistics: The number of prescriptions written for Prilosec surged by 8 million in 2010, for a total of 53.4 million prescriptions dispensed.

Natural Remedy: Try Herbal Relief First.“When people take Prilosec, it blocks the protective hydrochloric acid (HCL) in their stomach, which can lead to bacterial overgrowth in the small intestines and ultimately to mineral deficiencies by hindering their absorption,” says Liz Lipski, PhD, CCN, author of Digestive Wellness. “It’s okay to take Prilosec in the short term, but you should try to find the underlying factors causing your indigestion or reflux rather than just covering them up with drugs.

Dr. Lipski recommends trying an herbal fix, such as slippery-elm lozenges from your local health food store, to see if it eases symptoms before going on meds. Slippery elm coats the throat and stomach; has antioxidants that help relieve inflammation in your intestines; and boosts mucus production to help protect your gastrointestinal tract from excess acid. “Simple lifestyle changes, such as pinpointing food sensitivities so you can steer clear of your trigger foods, eating slowly, and managing stress will make the biggest difference in the long run,” she says.

Management Revenue Group, LL
“Large enough to serve; Small enough to care!”™
for more information email