Many people suffer regularly from heartburn - a burning feeling in the chest caused by stomach acid travelling up the food pipe (oesophagus) after eating. This causes inflammation and irritation of the lower oesophagus, and also ulcers. The most commonly prescribed medications to treat what is known as gastro-oesphageal reflux disease, are “proton pump inhibitors”.
Proton pump inhibitors (known in Australia by names such as Nexium, Pariet, Losec, Somac and Zoton) work by preventing key pumps in the cells of the stomach that produce stomach acid from working. In stopping the production of stomach acid they help to reduce the inflammation and heal ulcers caused by the stomach acid.
Often people on these medications will take them for years. But recent reports of dangerous side effects and even early death have led some to question whether this is the right medication for them.
Vincent Ho, Lecturer and clinical academic gastroenterologist, Western Sydney University, examines how effective and safe these medications are and how they should be used: theconversation.com/how-saf...
For those of us with anaemia, particularly if we have trouble maintaining adequate vitamin B12 serum levels, note particularly that 'Proton pump inhibitor use can also lead to vitamin B12 deficiency. This is unlikely to affect your health provided the detected low vitamin B12 levels are corrected.' Some of us lacking Intrinsic Factor en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intri... may need vitamin B12 injections, as a B12 supplement will not be absorbed.