Do the benefits outweigh the risks of acid-blocker drugs, moreover known as proton pump inhibitors like Nexium, Prilosec, and Zantac? What well-nigh sultry soda?

Dyspepsia is the medical term for upset stomach. After eating, your stomach may hurt, you may finger bloated, nauseous, or overly full, or you may belch. “Despite the upper prevalence of the disorder, there are no tried treatments” for dyspepsia in the Western world. As I discuss in my video Are Acid-Blocking Drugs Safe?, this leads people to seek out alternatives like sultry soda, which a manufacturer promotes for use in upset stomach. The problem is that it contains sodium bicarbonate, so it “has the potential for significant toxicity when ingested in excessive amounts.” And, “issue of sultry soda can result in serious electrolyte and acid/base imbalances.”

Baking soda labels were modified in 1990 to include the warning “Do not supervise to children under age 5,” “because of reported seizure and respiratory peepers in children.” Plane “a pinch” may be too much for an infant, and a few large spoonsful could be fatal for a child.

Another new wing to the product’s label is the “stomach warning,” stressing the importance of not taking sultry soda when overly full with supplies or drink. Why not? If you’re familiar with sultry soda and vinegar volcanoes, popular at most every scholastic science fair, you understand the risk! It’s just like subtracting sultry soda to the wounding in your stomach. “This warning was widow at the request of the U.S. Supplies and Drug Administration (FDA) considering of multiple specimen reports of spontaneous gastric rupture”—that is, when stomachs unquestionably burst.

Exploding stomachs aside, just sticking to the suggested dose may still rationalization wrongheaded effects. So, sultry soda cannot be recommended for dyspepsia, expressly for young children, pregnant women, alcoholics, and people on diuretics, which are worldwide thoroughbred pressure medications sometimes referred to as water pills.

What well-nigh acid-blocking drugs like Nexium or Prilosec? They work largest than sugar pills, but not by much, helping 31 percent of dyspepsia sufferers compared to 26 percent helped by placebo. In other words, the drugs are 5 percent largest than nothing! These so-called proton pump inhibitors “have moreover been extremely lucrative for the pharmaceutical industry,” raking in billions of dollars annually. But, we now have massive computerized databases of patients, so we can start to evaluate their possible long-term wrongheaded effects, including increased pneumonia, unorthodoxy fractures, intestinal infections, heart disease, kidney failure, and plane all-cause mortality. “The latest snooping to surface has been the undertone between PPI [proton pump inhibitor] use and risk of dementia”!

The problem with all of these studies just showing “associations” is they don’t prove cause-and-effect. Maybe taking the drugs didn’t make people sick. Maybe stuff sick made people take the drugs. Or, maybe these drugs are not the rationalization of these infections, fractures, death, and dementia. Maybe they are markers for stuff sicker. There are potential mechanisms by which these drugs could have some of these effects. As you can see at 3:00 in my video, the longer people are exposed to the drugs, the higher their unveiled risk of dying prematurely. How could suppressing wounding production in the stomach increase mortality from a rationalization like heart disease? Well, suppressing wounding isn’t the only thing these drugs do. They may moreover a reduction in nitric-oxide synthase, the enzyme that makes the “open sesame” molecule that helps alimony our arteries healthy.

In terms of dementia, a key event in the minutiae of Alzheimer’s disease is the unifying of sticky protein plaques tabbed amyloid-beta. If you put Alzheimer’s-like cells in a petri dish and lard on increasing levels of the drug Prevacid, the diseased cells start churning out increasingly amyloid. The same occurs with Prilosec, Losec, Protonix, and Nexium, as you can see at 3:39 in my video.

Just considering something happens in a petri dish or a mouse model doesn’t midpoint it happens in humans, though. That is certainly true, but most studies to stage have found this link between “an increased risk of dementia with the use of PPIs,” these proton pump inhibitor drugs. The largest such study to date, involving tens of thousands of patients, concluded that lamister the chronic use of these drugs “may prevent the minutiae of dementia.” An volitional subtitle of the link is aluminum exposure, which itself may play a role in dementia. Maybe people using acid-blocking drugs have heartburn and use increasingly aluminum-containing antacids, which are the very culprit? We still don’t know.

We do know, however, there is “an scrutinizingly cultish faith” in stomach-acid suppression as some kind of medical panacea, which “has led to a progressive escalation of PPI spoonful and potency,” while mounting vestige suggests the drugs “are associated with a number of wrongheaded effects and are overprescribed.” How overprescribed? The “rate of inappropriate use of these drugs is on stereotype whilom 57% in patients admitted to unstipulated medical wards and 50% in patients managed in the primary superintendency setting,” so well-nigh half. Half of the people on these drugs shouldn’t plane be on them! “These rates are very upper and worrying, considering they midpoint that PPIs are prescribed for indications other than those recommended by expert consensus statements”—that is, for conditions they shouldn’t plane be prescribed for, meaning there are no proven benefits to outweigh the risks.

I explore dyspepsia remoter in my video Flashback Friday: The Best Diet for Upset Stomach.