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  1. doug brown

    Could you please do a video on abdominal gas and ectopic beats? As well, could you provide suggestions of foods, natural products or over the counter products that help dispell gas? Thanks.

  2. More Than Just Medicine

    Proton pump inhibiters (PPIs), such as omeprazole (Prilosec/Losec) lansoprazole (Zoton) are not per se “bad”. These drugs are generally effective at relieving symptoms of reflux (in about 8/10 patients), but as with all drugs they do come with some risk of both short and longterm side effects. We do know that most people who stop them without changing other things in their lifestyle will in time develop recurrent symptoms. Some patients who stop them suddenly also develop a rebound excess of acid secretion. The commonest side effects of PPIs are gastrointestinal, including diarrhoea, flatulence, bloating and occasionally nausea (these occur in a few in every hundred patients taking them). In the long term there is a slightly increased risk of acquiring infectious diarrhoea (such as CDAD-associated with antibiotic use) and a very slight increase in the risk of developing a low magnesium , which may be associated with osteoporosis. There is also a slight increase in the risk of a kidney disease known as interstitial nephritis for this reason patients on longterm daily PPIs should have their magnesium and renal function checked, every so often, once a year is usually enough, unless bloods are found to be abnormal.
    There is a long list of other side effects which are much less common and rarely seen in practice.
    In general these drugs are safe and effective. If there are lifestyle factors that can be addressed I would suggest taking a PPI at least until the correctable things have been corrected. If reflux recurs having addressed issues like obesity, excess caffeine, and alcohol excess then PPIs are probably the safest way of preventing further symptoms in those people in whom they are effective, but should be kept under review.

  3. Barbara Stephens

    Can you tell me how bad the meds are that I take for reflux like proslec, I've been on it for years can't seem to get off

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