Kidney Problems Linked With Heartburn Drugs


Suffering from heartburn or acid reflux?  You may want to make changes in your diet or lifestyle rather than reaching for over-the-counter or prescription medications which may lead to an increased risk for chronic kidney disease.

According to a new study, published in the journal Kidney International, of nearly 125,600 adults who took proton pump inhibitors (Prevacid, Nexium and Priolsec) or H2 blocker (Zantac or Pepcid) on a regular basis, a significant number were at an increased risk for kidney problems.

By limiting alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, peppermint and spicy, acidic or greasy foods as well as avoiding eating before bed, adults who suffer heartburn can better control their symptoms.  Losing weight, quitting smoking and using a wedge pillow to elevate the upper body while sleeping can also help prevent stomach acid from causing heartburn and reflux.

Chronic kidney disease often does not show any symptoms until it’s too late for effective treatment.  Nearly 26 million American adults have chronic kidney disease;  those with diabetes, hypertension, a family history and seniors have an increased risk for CKD.  African Americans, Hispanics, Pacific Islanders and American Indians also have an increased risk.

In many cases, symptoms go unnoticed until the end stages of the disease.  But some of the warning signs include:

  • Having less energy
  • Trouble concentrating
  • Poor appetite
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Muscle cramps at night
  • Swollen feet or ankles
  • Puffiness around the eyes, particularly in the morning
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Increased need to urinate, especially at night

Source:  National Kidney Foundation

If you experience these symptoms or have an increased risk for CKD, contact your doctor to be tested for kidney disease.  Early detection can guide treatment to help slow or halt the progression of the disease.  To learn more about kidney disease prevention, visit the National Kidney Foundation at .

Read the full study by following this link.