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  • Why take PPIs?

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    Old 09-15-2014, 06:33 AM   #1
    LPR1978
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    Why take PPIs?

    I have LPR for a few years. I got off PPIs early on, and try to maintain diet. LPR comes and goes, but it's manageable.

    I keep reading that acid reflux is caused by weak sphincter or hiatal hernia. Why do doctors keep prescribing PPI to reduce acid if reflux if it's just a side effect of physical problem?

     
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    Old 09-15-2014, 02:51 PM   #2
    kacyc
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    Re: Why take PPIs?

    It is true that acid reflux can be caused by hiatus hernia or weak sphincter muscle. PPIs will not cure these problems, however if you reduce the amount of acid in the stomach by using PPIs then you will also reduce the amount of acid that can come up the oesophagus because of these physical problems and hence reduce pain and inflammation.

    That said, they are hugely over prescribed, and are mostly prescribed without any proper diagnosis of the conditions you mention. They are an easy and cheap solution, and if it works it avoids sending you for expensive tests and possible surgery.

    What is not taken into consideration is the damage they can cause, especially for people who really didn't need them!

     
    Old 09-15-2014, 06:19 PM   #3
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    Re: Why take PPIs?

    When possible, I always try to focus on treating the underlying causes rather than just the symptoms. Sometimes, it becomes important to focus more on the symptoms though. It really is an individual thing.

    kacyc had a good post. Most people really don't need PPI's as there are other effective treatments out there for 'heartburn' or more minor sporadic acid reflux. Lifestyle and diet changes are always a first line approach that we should be taking. There are some more naturopathic options that can be tried. There are also some non-PPI OTC meds that can be very effective for breakthrough minor symptoms too. Most people who are prescribed PPI's should only be on them about 6-8 weeks. That is how long it usually takes to heal damage/inflammation .

    For me, the choice of PPI's long-term wasn't an easy one. I originally tried other options, but about 6-7 years ago, higher dose PPI's became necessary with how my acid reflux symptoms manifested. In addition to the LPR, the acid was making its way into my lungs causing me life-threatening asthma problems. I take PPI's in addition to having had surgery. I'm starting to see the effects of having been on the PPI's for so many years, but my alternative was not being able to breathe despite many other treatments. I still have reflux, but I'm now dealing more with the non-acid reflux issues than the full damage from the acid.
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