Diabetes risk and PPI Use


Since November is diabetes awareness month we are dedicating this month’s blog posts to information about diabetes, and how naturopathic medicine can help.  For today’s post, before we start talking about diabetes, we need to first discuss a very common condition that our clinic deals with a lot.  That is, acid reflux or GERD.  Many people experience a burning sensation which is also referred to as heartburn, or the sensation that food is travelling up their throat from their stomach.  This burning sensation is stomach acid that travels up the esophagus and causes discomfort.  One of the ways doctors treat patients with acid reflux is to prescribe something called a PPI, or proton pump inhibitor, which reduces stomach acid production and eases the symptoms.  But new research is bringing to light that this often prescribed medication may be putting you at risk for diabetes.

PPI Risk Factor

In a recently published study entitled “Regular use of proton pump inhibitors and risk of type 2 diabetes: results from three prospective cohort studies”, there is now evidence to suggest that regular and prolonged  use (for 2 years or more) of PPIs can increase a person’s risk for type 2 diabetes by 24%.  The study further indicated that the risk for developing type 2 diabetes increased as the duration of use of PPIs increased.  The good news is that the risk reduced as time elapsed since the individual stopped using the PPI.  While more research is being done to determine how PPI use can increase one’s risk for type 2 diabetes, there is mounting research to show that PPI use can change the type and volume of bacteria in the gut.  What is important to know is that anyone can be at an increased risk for type 2 diabetes who uses PPIs for a prolonged period of time, even if you are currently not at risk for the disease.

So, how do you deal with acid reflux without putting yourself at risk for type 2 diabetes?  Digestive complaints such as acid reflux are something we deal with a lot at our clinic.  Our Toronto naturopaths have developed a successful digestive protocol to help address the root cause of your acid reflux to help the symptoms disappear for the long-term.  There are many reasons why a person may experience acid reflux, and with a thorough initial assessment by one of our naturopathic doctors, they will be able to zero in on your root cause to help you live a healthy and symptom-free life without the use of a PPI.

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