Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are types of medications that block the production of stomach acid for prolong periods. Think about that. These drugs are taken to reduce the amount of acid your stomach’s producing. What a dumb idea. Why would you want to block the production of stomach acid?
Stomach acid helps to break the food down. It is vital to one of the first stages of digestion. If you reduce stomach acid, you impair the body’s ability to digest food and release nutrients for absorption. Impaired digestion can lead to a whole lot of problems over time, including fatigue. Can Candida be caused by PPI-induced low stomach acid? I wouldn’t say directly caused by it, but there is undoubtedly an indirect link.
When you block the stomach’s ability to produce sufficient acid, it alters the pH further on down the gut. It also impacts the pancreas, which reduces its production of digestive enzymes. The impaired pancreatic function can lead to bloating, gas, constipation, and diarrhea.
When the pH of the intestine becomes less acidic, it becomes a more favorable environment for Candida and potentially harmful bacteria like Klebsiella. As a result, people on proton pump inhibitors are more prone to SIBO, they’re more prone to Candida, they’re more prone to parasites. They’re more prone to a whole lot of stuff.
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If you’re on PPIs, you need to get to the bottom of your gut problem. There’s a big chance you’ve got Helicobacter pylori. Most people who take PPIs have got a bacterial problem in their gut. Ask your doctor for a breath test (C-14 or Carbon Urea Breath Test) to determine if you have H. pylori. You can also do a stool test for H. pylori. Since the ’80s it’s been commonly known that over 90% of stomach ulceration, or heartburn, comes from bacteria. Do the right investigations before embarking upon years of PPIs.
Just remember, many people who test negative for H. pylori still respond beautifully to natural H. pylori treatment. This is true because there are a high number of false-negative tests when it comes to H. pylori. Don’t let a false-negative test sentence you to a life of PPIs.
If you have heartburn, you need to identify the underlying cause rather than using PPIs to suppress the symptoms. PPIs generate billions of dollars in sales each year, but in my opinion, the misery they cause is in the trillions. If you’re on a PPI at this moment, find out what’s causing your GI problems, and you might be able to get off the drugs. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27840364