Stomach acid inhibiting medications are one of the most commonly prescribed medications that I see. When I see a patient, they have generally been on these medications for years. In short, a large percentage of patients coming through our doors have been prescribed these medications.

What do I think of this?

I think for long term immune system health and well being, this seemingly benign medication can have extremely dangerous implications.  The digestive process is an intricate step by step process and blocking one part of it has many consequences.

Stomach acid serves a very important purpose in our body.  It is necessary, and serves many functions. What happens when we take medications to block it?  I feel if we knew the functions and purpose of balanced stomach acid levels and a strong stomach, we would be more inclined to do the deeper healing and make simple lifestyle changes to improve the digestive health.  I feel if many knew these functions prior to prescription, the medications as proton pump inhibitors would be used as intended. For very short durations, in order to provide some relief, while investigating the root lifestyle factors responsible for acidic reflux, gerd and digestive upset.

  1. Immune system:  Stomach acid serves to be a line of defence for bacteria, viruses, fungus, parasites.  Either airborne or consumed with food, from the outside world.
  2. Complete digestion:  Stomach acid breaks down food consumed into its building blocks for complete digestion.
  3. Mineral absorption from foods:  We absorb minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, etc) because of the acidic environment our stomach provides.  Minerals are ONLY absorbed via the acidic environment of the gut. For immune health, bone density, heart health, strength of hair and nails.  All of these systems, and many others, require the absorption of minerals, to support tissue health.
  4. Essential for absorption of B12:  And acidic stomach triggers the release of Intrinsic Factor, which is required to absorb B12.  Many have low iron status. B12 is required to absorb iron and overall energy status. Many have heart issues. B12 is required for heart health.  Many will supplement B12, however, many time’s the root issue is a lack of absorption due to low stomach acid.
  5. Release of pancreatic enzymes:  The pancreas will only release digestive enzymes when Acidic Chyme reaches the Small Intestine.  Acidic chyme = stomach acid + broken down food.
  6. Heart health:  Naturopathic forefathers always wrote about how a “sour stomach” prevented heart disease. They were referring to adequate stomach acid levels.

Stomach acid suppressing medications disrupt ALL of these processes.  Can trigger: gas, bloat, lowered and compromised immune system, low bone density, heart issues, low B12, low iron, low minerals, hair loss, constipation, candida, SIBO, etc.  The list goes on.

If you currently are on a stomach acid suppressing medication, please give us a call, this is no benign prescription.  It is a symptom that must be corrected, in order to experience long term health and a superhuman immune system. Proton pump inhibitors (PPI’s) are usually prescribed when there are factors that a patient has not yet addressed:   poor diet, high stress, improper sleep, poor lifestyle factors. And a band-aid of stomach suppressing meds is given. It is not an innocent fix. Trust me, you want to do the work to correct why digestion is disrupted. It is far too important.

If you, or someone you know have been on these meds for longer than 4 months; encourage them to seek help.  This is something we at Brio can help absolutely help with! This is the gateway to our immune system. It is far too important.

In health,
Dr. Neetu