Heartburn drugs increase the chances of CKD: Docs

ST Correspondent
Monday, 19 February 2018

“Also, if a person is taking medicines for some other diseases which may be making the body acidic and causing heartburn, the person should consult a medical practitioner and get the right medicines,” advised Dr Ambike.

PUNE: City-based doctors said that acid reflux can cause kidney disorders in the long term. Research also highlights that over consumption of heartburn drugs increases the chances of Chronic Kidney Disorder (CKD) by 20 to 50 per cent. 

Heartburn is usually due to regurgitation of gastric acid or gastric reflux into the esophagus and is the major symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The pain often rises in the chest and may radiate to the neck, throat, or angle of the jaw.  However, recent studies have shown that frequent dosage of medicines for heartburn can adversely affect the kidneys in the long term. 

Speaking to Sakal Times,  Dr Ganesh Mhetras, Consultant - Nephrology, Columbia Asia Hospital, Pune said that studies have shown a direct connection between increased consumption of heartburn medicines and chronic kidney diseases. “Most of these drugs contain proton pump inhibitors, and consumers are 20 to 50 per cent more likely to develop CKD. The fact that people don’t consult doctors for health concerns and tend to self-medicate creates conditions which are far more critical and difficult to manage,” added Mhetras.

He further mentioned that recently, a 38-year-old patient who has visited the doctor noted that despite the complaints of heartburn, the patient also had symptoms of being anemic, hypertension, insomnia, unexplained headaches, and most importantly dark urine. “We performed kidney function tests and urine tests among others to discover that the patient was suffering from chronic kidney disease. Fortunately, it was timely detected reducing down the further complications. Owing to non-availability of a cure for the disease, the patient was put on the medication and therapy to prevent the advancement of the disease. 

However, during the investigation, we realised that frequent intake of heartburn medication had impacted the kidneys adversely,” said Mehtras. Speaking to Sakal Times, Dr Shriniwas Ambike, another city-based nephrologist said that self-medication is not advisable.   “The patient should visit a doctor if they are having frequent sessions. Having proper food, avoiding junk food and sleeping on time are primary efforts that a person can take. 

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