Proton Pump Inhibitors Side Effects

Proton pump inhibitors side effectsProton Pump Inhibitors Side Effects. Do you suffer from indigestion, heartburn or other digestive problems.  Perhaps you’ve been diagnosed with GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).  This used to be called heartburn but now it’s been allocated a fancy name and given the class of a ‘disease’.

It is a condition we’ve brought upon ourselves. Problem is, it’s often being wrongly diagnosed which leads to inappropriate medication which can be detrimental to your health!

Now an ‘over the counter’ drug

If you have been prescribed with a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) drug, no doubt it will be something like Nexium (esomeprazole). Or perhaps Prilosec (omeprazole), Protonix (pantoprazole), Prevacid (lansoprazole) or Zegerid (omeprazole) for example.  But now these drugs can be bought without a prescription, known as an over the counter drug.  This means you can buy them willy nilly. This allows you to poison yourself even quicker than if you’d gone to the doctor for some.

Nexium BabyFor baby too, from 1 month old!

The problem is, these drugs should only be used for a maximum of 2 weeks (if not at all), otherwise the side effects can be profound.  Without the control of a prescription you are more likely to overtreat yourself with these drugs. Over use will likely cause  permanent symptoms of heartburn, acid regurgitation and dyspepsia after stopping the drug. This is despite you being in good health before starting the medication.  This is according to a study of more than 40% of healthy volunteers. They had never had symptoms of the above digestive problems but succumbed to the side effects of PPIs after cessation of treatment.  What’s more, you can now get this drug for use with babies from 1 month old.  I can see many parents trying this drug out to see if it stops baby crying without consulting a medic!

HeartburnToo much acid? No, too little!

So for those who consult their doctor about their heartburn or indigestion, what’s the diagnosis. Well, you will probably be been told that you have too much acid in your stomach. Or perhaps your acid is too strong and this is the cause of your problem?  If so, you are just 1 in 100 that actually do suffer from too much acid. This is because too much acid is quite unusual.  The majority of us who have heartburn, reflux or other indigestion symptoms are suffering from too little acid in our stomach, despite being mis-diagnosed the opposite.

Some diseases associated with low HCl and Mg deficiency

The older population as well as those with arthritis, osteoporosis, asthma, diabetes, depression, gallbladder disease are often lacking in hydrochloric acid.  Also, all the above conditions are associated with Mg deficiency.

Acid and AlkalineProblems caused by low acidity.

Weakened or inefficient stomach acid can lead to many problems, not least Mg deficiency. This can be a vicious circle because when Mg is deficient, stomach acid production is compromised which makes Mg absorption even more difficult.  The digestive process is vital for chemically changing our mineral intake into an absorbable form ie. ionization.  When a mineral complex such as for instance Mg citrate reaches the stomach, it needs the acidic conditions that the stomach produces, to break apart the constituent parts of the complex.  This changes Mg into its ionic form which can then be used by the body.

Apart from this, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which is at the entrance to the stomach, normally opens to allow food into the stomach. Once enough acid is in the stomach to process the food, the LES closes tightly.  The digestive process then progresses.  If the acidity within the stomach is too low, the LES signal to close can be compromised, allowing the weaker acid back into the esophagus, causing heartburn.

junk foodWhy do we do it?

Our digestion is often compromised by the junk food and drink that we consume.  After eating and drinking rubbish to excess, the first thing we turn to are antacids.  These are one of the most popular over the counter drugs and using them will do nothing for us except give temporary relief for a problem that we inflict on ourselves with our dysfunctional eating and drinking habits.  Our digestive systems have to try and deal with the sugary, greasy, non nutrional fast foods that we insist on burdening our bodies with.

How do PPIs (proton pump inhibitors) work?

Proton pump inhibitors, actually stop the acid producing pumps in the stomach and this can be positively harmful.  Normal stomach acid (hydrochloric acid or HCl) is stronger than battery acid.  It has this strength for a reason.  Neutralizing the normal stomach acid, makes it impossible for our bodies to absorb vitamins and minerals or digest our food efficiently.Lower acid with age

What reducing acid does

Reducing the stomach acid also compromises your defences against stomach infections and food poisoning.  Pathogens can get hold if not destroyed by the acidity.  Some bacteria such as Candida albicans and more seriously, H. pylori (Helicobactor pylori) can migrate from the intestines where they normally live without causing problems.  The reduced acidity will allow them to flourish within the stomach.  H. pylori has been proven to actually cause ulcers and if not eradicated can progress to induce stomach cancer.

These drugs, while giving temporary relief to sufferers, by slamming on the brakes of the acid-producing pumps, play havoc with these essential producers of acid.  When you stop taking the drug, acid is produced with a vengeance causing “rebound acid hypersecretion”. This rebound or withdrawal symptom is so intolerable that most patients go straight back onto taking the PPI again.  In other words they become reliant on the drug.  Never go ‘cold turkey’ with these drugs.  You have to withdraw from them very slowly to have any chance of getting off them for good.

Tums antacidAntacids

I would like to give a warning to those of you that take the antacid known as ‘Tums’. Antacids such as Tums actually advertise that they aid against osteoporosis.  This is despite antacids exacerbating osteoporosis and other calcifying type diseases.  Antacids that have a large quantity of Ca in them (mostly Calcium Carbonate CaCO3 which is in fact just chalk) will only make matters worse.  They will overload the system with Ca, subsequently this overload will not be controlled properly.  The excess Ca will migrate around the body, calcifying in places where it shouldn’t be.

Tums calcium contentAs I am always advocating, your Mg:Ca ratio should be as near to 1:1 as possible.  Despite advertising that they are ‘osteoporosis friendly’ these antacids are positively harmful.  The label information states “Each tablet contains: elemental calcium 200mg.” and on the same label: “Do not take more than 15 tablets in 24 hours.”  So, if you take the maximum dose of 15 tablets in a day, you will be consuming 3000mg of Ca.  This is a stupid amount of Ca to take which will exacerbate any calcification problemsTums tablets per day that you have and if you haven’t got them yet, you soon will! Taking these antacids will actually produce a magnesium deficiency by default. There is little chance of you upping your magnesium levels to match your calcium intake if you use antacids such as these.


Another worry is the advertisement image which shows what looks like a bag of sweets.  “Soft & Delicious” they advertise, “Chewy Delights”, and “Very Cherry”.  I can imagine many youngsters thinking these are sweets and most adults summizing that 15 tablets a day means they can’t be harmful.  Wrong.  This overdose of Ca is very harmful and I would suggest that you use real caution if you wish to consume these “Soft Delicious Chewy Delights”.  Beware!calcium overload

So, if you have too little acid in your stomach, why are you being prescribed a drug which actually turns off or reduces the production of acid?  What makes us think that from now on, our bodies can do without producing the correct concentration of acid to digest our food.  Why do we think that it will be healthy to stop the nutrients, vitimins and minerals from what we consume, being absorbed by way of our stomach acid.  How is it we’re daft enough to think we can get along without our stomach acid. How can our bodies protect us from toxins and bacterial overgrowth such as H. pylori and Candida albicans without the correct acidity to do the job?

Ironic isn’t it!

So here we have it.  You go to the doctor because of heartburn and other digestive symptoms.  You are diagnosed with having too much acid in your stomach.  You’re put on a drug which reduces the ‘too much acid’.  The PPI drug stops the production of stomach acid.  You think you’re cured and come off the drug.

Rebound acid hypersecretiion

Then ‘rebound acid hypersecretion’ or the build-up of acid that has not been released, is then unleashed with a vengeance.  What an irony.  You have too little acid and are diagnosed with too much acid, then the drug you take reduces your acid further. You stop using the drug, then the acid that has been suppressed is released. This gives you too much acid which you didn’t have in the first place! Now you’re on a spiral of having to take the drug to stop the rebound acid hypersecretion. Don’t do it!

First Do No Harm

kindnessWhy does this happen?  Because we have faith in those put into a position of trust such as medical professionals and supposedly moral drug manufacturers who we, the public, trust will ‘first do no harm‘.  We trust our doctors to know exactly what they are prescribing and that what they do prescribe is in our best interests and will not make our condition worse, and/or make us reliant on that drug, a drug such as Nexium.  Those of you who are taking Nexium and are trying to come off it, will know exactly what I mean.

Jonathan Wright, MD, states, “In 24 years of nutritionally oriented practice, I’ve worked with thousands of individuals who’ve found the cause of their heartburn and indigestion to be low stomach acidity. In nearly all of these folks, symptoms have been relieved andJonathan Wright MD digestion improved when they’ve taken supplemental hydrochloric acid and pepsin capsules. (Certainly it would be preferable that our stomach production of hydrochloric acid and pepsin be restored on its own, but a reliable way to do this hasn’t been found.)”

We are just ‘sheeples’

I’m afraid we are just a load of ‘sheeples’ being led by the nose into a cocophany of illnesses and diseases which are being caused by prescription and over the counter, drugs. But it is unforgivable to convince the general population with heartburn or GERD or other digestive problems, that we have ‘too much acid’, when the majority of us have the exact opposite.  Of course, we could all be in that group of 1 out of 100 that actually do produce too much acid but I don’t think so.  IMHO most of us who suffer ‘acid indigestion’ have brought it on ourselves and we need to take control of our own health and take preventative measures to stop these conditions before they start.

How about a change of lifestyle and a daily dose of Mg Chloride (MgCl2). The clue here is in the ‘chloride’ ie. hydrochloric acid which those with low acid will be deficient in (as well as Mg)!

Ches Power Author

Any comments or experiences regarding the subject of antacids or PPIs would be welcome.  Give us your views and tell us if you have suffered with this complaint and how/if you are now cured.  Good health to you always, Ches


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Proton Pump Inhibitors Side Effects
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31 thoughts on “Proton Pump Inhibitors Side Effects

  1. The way we ignore some specific details in getting treatment for a “simple” heart burn can go a long way in lots of side effects and this post have confirmed that. I am a preacher of proper diagnosis and proper prescription for the smallest form of ailment. It might look simple or you might think you know exactly whats wrong so you can just go get drugs over the counter but by doing so you are even putting your body in more harm than good. Thanks a lot, Ches, for this awesome post.

    1. You are so right Samson and how many people would know what they could do for themselves if they just did a little research. At least then, when consulting a doctor, they would have knowledge of their own problem and collaborate intelligently with him about treatment. They could even make suggestions about vitamins, minerals and other nutrients that could be tried before going down the drug route!  

      1. My cousin died a couple of years ago after suffering for decades of too little stomach acid rather than the too much his wife and thus he thought was his problem. He used antiacid, then a prescription that could have been nothingt else than the subject of this article. They believed, and believe in, their doctor, though I sent them articles. I’m heart-broken.

        1. Hi again Mary. I’m so sorry to learn of your cousin’s death. That’s the problem with heartburn and indigestion, doctors always consider it to be a sign of too much acid and that is not generally the case. The likes of ‘Nexium’ which is now over the counter, is definitely a very short term solution to problem acid. But with low acid, which generally happens as we age, a change of lifestyle is the answer for most. Kick out artificial sweeteners, stop eating processed foods, use organic and none GMO ingredients as much as you can afford and keep off the sugary foods. Start cooking your own meals, at least you may have some idea what’s in them. Get plenty of exercise, don’t overdo the alcohol (1 glass of red per day is enough). Do your own research. How about trying ‘intermittent fasting’. It’s a great way of giving the body a rest from continually eating, as we tend to do in this day and age. It will also stave off diabetes and will even reverse it if you are unfortunate enough to suffer from this horrid condition.

  2. Very interesting post! Proton pump inhibitors aren’t something I’ve actually heard of but it’s useful to know of its potential side effects. I’m very interested in everything health and fitness related.

    I think you’re especially right when you say that our digestion is compromised by all the junk we eat. I used to have lots of problems with this but since then intermittent fasting changed my life and my health entirely. I’m partial to certain types of junk (chocolate in particular) and fasting has allowed me to enjoy this in moderation during my eating window while feeling great for the 18 hours of the day I don’t eat.

    Also, it’s madness that stomach acid is stronger than battery acid! Couldn’t believe it when I read this. Keep up the great content! 🙂

    1. Hi there Stephen and thanks for your comments. It is surprising, how many people could alleviate their digestive issues by just doing intermittent fasting. Like you, this way of eating has changed me. At first I did it as an experiement to see what all the fuss was about, but now I also do an 18 hour window of fasting. Once or twice a week I also do a 24 hour fast. 

      Chocolate is my downfall too, but a good quality, at least 70% chocolate, is actually of benefit as long as you don’t over indulge. I just wish people would give it a try, it is the easiest ‘diet’ that will become a way of life to many, if only they’d give it a go!

  3. What an amazing site! I just got highly educated on a subject I really didn’t know much about. Thank you for all the work you have done. It sounds like we have all fallen for another slick marketing campaign in which the cure is causing more problems than the illness. I will be paying much closer attention to the use of these types of proton pumps!

    1. Thanks Ian for your positive comments about the site. You’re so right about ‘slick marketing campaigns’ which Big Pharma are so experienced at. As for PPI’s they actually stop the production of acid so that your stomach can’t do its job. What an irresponsible way to try and control a condition. We have strong stomach acid for a reason and it’s fundamental to our health. This is another example of Big Pharma producing and selling a drug of which the side effects cause more problems than the so called illness itself! It makes me so MAD!! Ches

  4. This post is exactly meant for me, and I had no idea I always thought that I had too much acid hence the heartburn but now that you mention it I realize that I will be 40 in a few years and have not added the needed vitamins to my diets and Magnesium is the one thing that I pass when I go to the pharmacy.

    I am suffering from heartburn so badly that it burns right through to the back, and it makes sleeping and eating impossible unless I take a prescription drug, and now that has me thinking because you say that we are poisoning our bodies which of course is true, and since I am always open to suggestions I will definitely go buy myself some mg chloride.

    Thanks for sharing Chessie

    1. Hi there Filichiat and thanks for reading the post. You really need to address your problem of heartburn at the source. Mg Chloride did it for me and I sincerely hope you will supplement with a good quality Mg Chloride solution such as ReMag from Dr Carolyn Dean (US), or Ionic Mg (US or UK), which is slightly cheaper but just as efficient. If you have constipation problems which many have with this condition, then Mg citrate powder is a gentle laxative which can be adjusted so you can get the exact dose to suit your body. As for bioavailability Mg Chloride is totally available to the body. I myself take 600mg of Mg Chloride per day in a litre of water which I consume slowly throughout the day. Always split your dose to at least twice a day, 3-4 times is better. You can also use ‘ancient minerals’ which is a Mg Chloride for topical use. This is a good way of bumping up your Mg levels. See my sidebar for the supplements I recommend. Kick the junk food and sodas to the kerb, at least until you have this condition under control! Here’s to a new you. Ches

    1. Hi Karim, I would try taking the Mg supplement first and see if that clears up your digestive problems. Betaine HCL can be taken in tablet form but it would be advisable to run it past your naturopathic medical practitioner first, (or an allopathic doctor who is au fait with Mg deficiency and low stomach acid problems). I have never had to take HCL and my digestive problems were quite severe. Just supplementing with Mg sorted it out. By the way, I take 600mg of Mg Chloride solution daily (10ml) which I put into a litre of water and drink throughout the day. Ches

  5. But Larry the cable guy does it? He seems like an example of excellent health lmao. Okay so great article, it is so true. I always see people popping tums and they think they have to do that, like they were born with this “illness” but then you watch what they eat and it’s basically just refined carbs. Diet will cure this. I could say that a thousand times. These antacids treat the symptoms but make the overall problem worse. Too bad doctors can’t figure that out right?

    1. Hi Dan and thanks for your input. You’re so right. If only people would take notice of the food they ate, half of their problems wouldn’t exist. I really don’t know what’s going on with the medical profession prescribing these drugs. I can only think that money is at the root of it all! Ches

  6. I have had GERD about my whole life, from when I was an infant until now. As a teenager I was hospitalized because I had stopped eating and drinking because it helped the pain to just not mess with food… I was prescribed meds and it was better for a time. I am not someone who likes to be on any medicine that is not natural so that did not last long. I have had relapses ( I have a weak valve like you wrote about). I have found that I can steer clear of ALL pain and discomfort by eating whole foods and I drink apple cider vinegar diluted with water if I ever start having symptoms. It clears up right away. I have a sister who clears up her hearburn by drinking baking soda in water. It surprised her the first time she tried it because it worked so well! I had not realized that magnesium would have to do anything with it. That is really interesting.

    1. Hi Elisa and thanks for reading the post. I’m sorry to hear you have suffered with GERD for such a long time and I sincerely hope that your efforts in treating yourself are paying off. Apple cider vinegar is a very good standby for when your symptoms surface. My daughter swears by lemon juice in water. If acidic remedies seem to work for you, then it would suggest that your stomach acid is too weak. Magnesium is more of a long term remedy and I can speak from experience. I had a number of digestive issues including IBS type problems. I also had tics around my eyes and terrible muscle cramps and spasms. To cap it all arrhythmia set in and I was grumpy, tense and anxious most of the time. That’s in the past now, all due to repleting my magnesium to optimum levels. If you also have any symptoms like I had, you will relieve those too. Give magnesium a go. Did I mention your energy levels will go up and you will sleep better! Ches

  7. Wow. Learning here on earth never ends! Thanks for that wonderful article on GERD. I’ve learnt that today. I also never knew that heartburn that is so common to so many of us has now been categorized as a disease.
    Thanks for the eye opener also on causes. I’ll ensure to cut on junk carbs unless very very necessary. Thanks again

  8. You are right on with what you have explained here. I have suffered from severe IBS and malabsorption all of my life.
    Instead of taking antacids anymore, I now use betaine hcl, digestive enzymes and bile salts. I have been doing this for the last year and I feel much better, with no reflux.
    At one point I weighed 85 lbs and had severe anemia. Now I am doing much better and weigh 125 lbs. I do have osteoporosis already, though. I’m hoping this regime and exercise will help.
    I’m sure that a bad diet in early years and using antacids didn’t help, but this does appear to be genetic in my mother’s family. Many of us have the same issues.
    Have you seen this condition running in families? I know several families like ours.
    Thanks! Stella 🙂

    1. Hi Stella and thanks for reading the article and sharing your story. You seem to have turned your health around by taking control. Although I think it is likely that genetics plays a role, I do also think that family ‘paradigms’ or habits are handed down from parents to children. Your parents lifestyle and diet are often going to be similar to their parents and your parents will hand down those traits to you. So conditions running in families could be just that ie. habits and traits that are learnt by children from their parents.

      I do hope that you try supplementing with magnesium as however your good health is progressing, it will improve with magnesium to energise, nourish and protect you. Please be aware of the dangers of too much calcium as you do have osteoporosis. Excess calcium will exacerbate your symptoms. Magnesium will definitely help lessen your symptoms. Good luck to you and good health. Ches

  9. Hi Ches, I left a comment on your web site. Your site was very good. I did not find any issues or problems. Every thing worked well. Your lay out is great. Your information is awesome. Its great that you were able to get well and also come up with so much information. I wish you the best. Vera

    1. Hi Vera and thank you so much for the positive comment about the site. Yes, I’m a new woman, despite being the wrong side of 60. I have abundant energy, no pain anywhere and all my symptoms have disappeared. I’m just about to go out in the garden and do some digging! I want everyone to feel as good as I do and it’s all because of the miracle mineral Mg!

      As for your comment on tums and calcium, I’m not surprised your doctor thinks large amounts of calcium is good for you. Doctors and other medics are not taught about the benefits of vitamins and minerals and the well body. Their knowledge is of control of sickness by drug use, which has been influenced by Big Pharma, who is in control of much of the education of our medical professionals. I would advise everyone, unless they are on a very restricted calcium diet, to stop supplementing with it. We only need around 500-600mg of calcium per day. We get plenty from our food, much of which is fortified with calcium by the food manufacturers. Ches

  10. Hi Ches, I just reviewed your site. It is a very good and informative site. I never knew about the stomach acid. In fact I had a doctor tell me to take tums for calcium. I knew they were like chalk so I took calcium instead. But I know a lot of people who take Nexium and other medicine. I really appreciate this information. It was very helpful.
    Best wishes, Vera

  11. This post was so enlightening. I learned so much.

    I never knew that reducing the acid in your stomach can be harmful and can also be the cause of heartburn. It does make sense when you think about it, though. As you pointed out, our stomach produces acid for a reason. Interrupting our body’s natural chemistry is bound to have adverse effects.

    My father takes tums quite a bit. Next time I see him I am going to instruct him not to.

    Wonderful work. Thank you for sharing this information.

    1. Hi Brandy and thanks for the comment on PPIs. Yes, it would seem strange that acid indigestion is caused by too much acid. Our doctors must know this though, so my feeling is they are encouraged by Big Pharma to prescribe these PPIs and most often they are dished out inappropriately with adverse effects. Please try and stop your Dad from taking any PPIs or antacids. A little trick for indigestion; my daughter takes lemon juice if she has digestion problems and she says it works like a charm. Lemon juice is around 2 on the pH scale whereas stomach acid is around 1. It stands to reason that a little help with lemon juice could be useful.

      Not controlling acid reflux can be harmful to the esophagus and can encourage cancer, so it must be stopped. Also the H. Pylori bacteria causes ulcers and that’s proven. (see my next post). Stopping ulcers forming in the first place is the way to go. Keep that acid up and keep the bacteria out of the stomach! If you are taking Mg Chloride as a supplement, you will rarely get indigestion and don’t forget low stomach acid will stop magnesium being absorbed! Ches

    1. Hi there Daniella, yes magnesium deficiency has a profound affect on the body and can actually be the route cause of many diseases, including diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, dementias and osteoporosis. Low acid levels will hinder absorption of magnesium and other nutrients and taking calcium based antacids is positively harmful. Thanks for your comment. Ches

  12. This was very interesting I am guilty of taking TUMS for my heartburn. I thought it was working because I have studied that the body should be less acidic or it will cause some sort of reflux. I took it a lot while I was pregnant. This was a little scary to know because I was popping them often not knowing any of this. I’ve also read some where that Alka-seltzer is really good too, but I’m just glad I’ve never had it bad enough to get on medication. Once I cut down on the junk food and remember to stop eating after certain time I’m usually good. Thanks for the info!

    1. Hi Kisha and thanks for reading the post. Please don’t take Tums, they really will make matters worse in the long run. Calcium overload is so dangerous and causes many problems not least calcification anywhere in the body, not least the cardiovascular system. How To Keep Your Heart Healthy and How To Keep Your Heart Healthy – Part 2 will explain why calcium excess is so serious. Women in particular are at risk because they often take calcium supplements on the advise of medics. I don’t Understand why the medical professionals hardly ever mention magnesium and its vital importance. Good health to you, Ches

  13. Hello,Chessie. I had the honor of reviewing your website and it is definitely unique. You are addressing a real pain in the butt problem if I can say.I really want to thank you for this great website on indigestion, heartburn or other digestive problems.It lets you know what is the cause and the real treatment.This could lead to many other problem if not corrected.Your content is excellence and also caring.I see all the hard work you put in.

    Warm Regards,
    Iris&Sam; Richardson

    1. Hi there Iris and Sam and thanks for reading the article. Your kind comments are much appreciated and I just hope that those with digestion problems will first look at their lifestyle and do their own research into the common reasons for heartburn and indigestion. Mg depletion is so common now and can cause so much havoc, including digestive problems. Many nutrition experts are now advocating that we take in at least 1:1 Mg:Ca and more Mg than Ca would be the optimimum. Ches

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