Omeprazole for heartburn which could lead to severe malabsorption issues

Just wondered if anyone else has problems with heartburn as I have over a period of 10 years and I was prescribed omeprazole. Dont get me wrong this drug really works but I have just found out it can lead to severe malabsorption eg. low iron, vit B12 etc. Just wondered if anyone else is in this situation as I am going to make sure I get off this drug as it can cause a whole host of problems for eg. low calcium absorption leading to fractures especially in the elderly.

Would appreciate any input Love and prayers xxx

22 Replies

  • You might be interested in this:

    And some very good articles on Chris Kresser's website, this is part I, follow the links at the end of each article to parts II, III, IV (part A) and IV (part B):


  • thank you hampster 1 very interesting articles

  • I have read these should be used short-term only.

    You may be interested in this too:-

  • Hi All those type of drugs do have quite a few side effects, basically ,like anything, depends how much you need them. I have taken max amount for years, I have lots of abdomen autoimmune diseases which, yes, effect my absorption. However, I see the top Hepatologist and he is happy with me taking these as I need them, The Cardio too. I hope that helps.


  • Hello Helvon

    I have a problem with heartburn and acid reflux but I do not take omeprazole as I do not like the side effects from it. I do take ranitiditine regularly to counteract the side effects of one of the blood pressure pills I take (calcium channel blocker) which makes the stomach produce more acid. Ranitidtine works in a different way from omeprazole and I find this one much better. I also take Gaviscon double action, which certainly helps too. I am sure you have tried both of these though.

    Heartburn can be very painful so you need something to help with this.

    Best wishes


  • Look into trial and error testing yourself with Betaine Hydrochloric acid supplements (keep plenty of antacids ready of course in case it doesn't work for you!), I know it sounds a bit of a leap of faith, sounds crazy maybe, but it serves only to prove that unfortunately Doctors are most definitely NOT always right and are only too keen to dish out what the drug company reps are pushing! :-(

    It has worked for two people I know and changed their lives, one in particular who was having severe palpitations and heart arrhythmia after just 3.5 years on a PPI and had become what you could only call malnourished.

    I have used them myself for shorter periods only (such as after a spell on antibiotics when I was suffering indigestion and bloating).

    Oh... some brands are differing strengths so check what you are buying... best value and strength I have come across is Swanson brand at Health Monthly, but they are a little slow in arriving.

    If you continue to take any acid blocking drugs, then at the very least you need to supplement to prevent the long term problems vit B12, probably vit D3, magnesium, maybe calcium (carefully!), Folate (rather than just folic acid as it's safer and absorbs better) maybe iron and possibly more.

  • Oh, forgot to mention... make sure that you have a test for Helicobacter pylori... it's not as rare as you might think. GP can arrange it, there are also home test kits to show antibodies, but which is most reliable I am not sure. One of the two I mentioned who uses the Betaine hydrochloride was also positive for that, and it took two series of treatments for H. pylori to get rid of it.

  • Hi Helvon, struggled with heartburn from childhood, had an endescopy in my early 20's told I had an overactive bile duct, was given antacid and told would need to take and would probably get a peptic ulcer. I kind of accepted it and took Rennies on a dialy basis, was the only over counter antacid that worked for me. I do not suffer from heartburn now thank goodness as had a food tolerance test done. I keep away from the foods that showed medium intolerance (didn't have any high) main culprits for me where sugar and chocolate. Ate both on a regular basis, so heartburn was common. Now it's so obvious to me, and instantly get heartburn if I eat them, yet for decades did not see the correlation!

  • I have a hiatus hernia and get acid reflux I was taking esamaprazole. However since being hypothyroid and researching all I can I decided to give up taking them. It was really bad for a couple of weeks but I found chewing a piece of stem ginger settled it down,My Doctor agreed that these type of drugs can over supress the stomach acid giving you further problems. hope this helps.

  • Thanks everyone for your input. love and prayers xxx

  • Anchlorohydria is something you may want to rule out. I had this and the treatment with antacids makes it worse:


  • Hi

    My friend ended up b12, iron and vit d deficient and it was all down to being on this medication for over two years. Her GP apologised to her. She is now on the road to recovery.

    She now uses over the counter indigestion remedies.

    Other people have told me that taking peppermint tea before eating helps.

    The symptoms of being hypothyroid, b12 deficiency and vit d deficiency are so similar, its unreal.

    I found some great support in who helped me get to the bottom of my fatigue, which was vit d deficiency, I also have b12 deficiency and an under active thyroid.

    Best wishes


  • I also stopped taking omeprazole after my immune system collapsed, I got every stomach bug there was and it also didn't really help the pain for me. I second Chris Kresser's articles - he is a very good source. Having said that, I've developed these problems after going low carb, so that strategy is not a complete cure although it does help a lot. It sounds silly but peppermint oil capsules, especially the IBS/Functional Dyspepsia capsules available in the largest UK drugstore chain, does absolute wonders for me when its really painful. Or any other bitters (I haven't been able to find HCL capsules over the counter in the UK and my doctors won't prescribe them).

  • I was on omeprazole myself about 10 yrs ago following diagnosis of gastritis. I continued taking it for over 2 yrs, and each time I tried to come off it the symptoms returned.

    I now understand that you can get a rebound effect apparently if you have been on this drug for a while, so that makes it even harder to discontinue it. Also I think it's a bad drug to be on continually because it doesn't make sense to keep cutting the acid in the body as it's there for a purpose. So if you do try to come off it you may have to do it slowly and ask the Dr for the lowest possible dosage of it as it comes in different strengths.

    I started to change my diet to cut out things that caused me problems (low carb, no sugar). I also tried unfiltered apple cider vinegar for a while as it helped a friend but it didn't help me. The best thing I found has also been mentioned above - this is Betaine HCL - I only take one capsule with each meal. You can buy it from various places in the UK including Health shops or online, but I get mine via a private Dr and have the Swanson sort which I think she imports.

    My husband also takes the Betaine HCL too now along with Digestive Enzymes that we also need and his stomach is much better too.

  • Thanks Agapanthus - I'm having the same problems with Omeprazole. I'm cutting it down to one every other day. I didn't know about the rebound effect. I'm seeing my doc tomorrow so I'll ask him. I do take sublingual B12 and my bloods have come back OK though not sure if anything specific was tested for.

  • Hi Arwen, My GP did not know about cutting down to every other day - I had to tell him. If you find out anything about tailing of PPI's, please share it on this site as I don't know past this stage how you actually come off them. Do you then leave a bigger gap in between and/or lower the dosage as well? Would really love to know if you can find out. Janet.

  • Hi j-bee. I just took one every other day but I will check with my Dr. I haven't come off them altogether - just trying to reduce them....will let you know if I find anything more out.

  • thanks for your replies guys xxx

  • I have been taking omeprazole for about 3 months for heartburn and yes it's cured it but the last couple of I weeks have been feeling really off it I could sleep the clock round my heart bumps that hard no appetite more dizzy than I normally feel, feel really rough, would just being on the pils for 3 months deplete your iron levels?

  • They deplete a lot of vitamins and minerals. I am in the process of supplementing as best I can at the moment after having diarrhoea for the past 2 weeks from trying to stop them. Have now gone back on them, but the d. is still persisting. Am now trying every other day at the moment. Janet.

  • yeah janet I am the same on 10 mgms every 3 days now and coping on that. hope it works out for you

  • It takes year for these things to maybe happen and if you are big boned and not tiny and skinny and frail the possibility of breaking a bone is remote. As for the poor absorption just take a multi vitamin, or two, each day to replace that.

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