Proton Pump Inhibitors: What you don’t know about your medication

For those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease make sure your prescription medications don’t contain gluten. It may be disguised under a different name so be sure read labels well and ask your pharmacist. Also be aware that taking certain medications may make these ailments worse – in particular, proton pump inhibitors.

Proton pump inhibitors are long-lasting gastric acid suppressors. These medications suppress the production of important digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid, which can lead to the body absorbing even less vitamins and minerals. Celiacs and gluten sensitive individuals already have issues with malabsorption and if they inhibit digestive enzymes from being produced or doing their job they will get less B vitamins, less vitamin C and less calcium from foods.

Unfortunately, proton pump inhibitors can begin a downward spiral. Those with celiac disease already have trouble absorbing nutrients, which is further suppressed with this type of medication, which may cause problems with methylation, which can lead to a decrease in the amount of neurotransmitters your body produces, which can lead to a variety of different mental problems such as ADHD or depression. Phew! Not to mention the medications that people get prescribed to treat mental illnesses, which open up a whole new lot of negative side effects.

One of the important nutrients that proton pump inhibitors suppress the absorption of is magnesium – which leads to a decrease of calcium absorption (negatively affecting bones) as well as a handful of heart problems. Because of this, patients who are taking this sort of medication should take supplemental digestive enzymes and/or betaine HCL that won’t be destroyed by the gastric acid suppressor.

What drugs should you be wary of? Prevacid, Nexium, Prilosec, Aciphex, and Naproxol are all popular proton pump inhibitors. There are natural remedies that can help return vital nutrients to your body, as well as help sooth your gut and reduce unwanted side effects. Some of the herbs for soothing the gut are bitters, slippery elm, marshmallow extract, even manuka honey, mastic gum and chamomile. These are especially helpful for those with gluten sensitivity or celiac disease and work to help put a protective coating on inflamed areas within the body. Speak with a qualified health practitioner to help you sort out which nutrients would be appropriate for your individual situation.