Is your reflux med causing bone loss?

Is your reflux med causing bone loss?

Let’s talk about reflux.

SO MANY of our patients come to us on PPI’s (prilosec, protonix, nexium etc.) and many have been on them for years!!! This is an absolute disaster for proper absorption of nutrients, vitamins and digestion of proteins.

When you take a PPI, it lowers the amount of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in the stomach. Patients with reflux are told that their HCl levels are problematic. BUT, did you know that having high HCl levels is extremely RARE?? There is only one condition (Zollinger-Ellison syndrome) that is a congenital condition that causes overproduction of HCl. The REAL PROBLEM could be multifactorial {which we will talk about in the next post}.

For now, lets talk about what happens when you take a PPI.

When you take a PPI, your hydrochloric acid is lowered. This prevents you from absorbing Calcium, Magnesium, B12 and other nutrients that are imperative for bone health.

LOW MAGNESIUM ALONE will decrease osteoblast (bone builder cells) activity and INCREASE osteoclast (bone remodeling/resorption cells) activity.

A recently published review investigated longitudinal studies published in the last five years and found that 14 of the 18 studies reported a positive relationship between PPI use and increase fracture risk. {AKA the majority of patients who took PPIs had bone loss and many of them resulted in fractures}.

SO…. What does this mean? What should we do about this?

FIND THE ROOT CAUSE of the need for the PPI in the first place. Address this, improve digestion and absorption, discuss weaning from meds with a provider who knows your medical history {after identifying and addressing the root cause}.

Stay tuned for common causes of reflux and what to do about it!


Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2019 May; 16(9): 1571. Published online 2019 May 5. doi: 10.3390/ijerph16091571 Proton Pump Inhibitors and Fracture Risk: A Review of Current Evidence and Mechanisms Involved

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