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Friday, March 24, 2017

The surprising cause of gut infections and how to avoid them by Dr. Shallenberger

The surprising cause of gut infections and how to avoid them

Volume 14 | Issue 36
March 24, 2017
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One of my biggest frustrations with conventional medicine is the tendency to prescribe drugs to cover up symptoms without ever addressing the root cause of the symptoms. This often sets off a chain reaction of negative health effects, with side effects from the drugs simply compounding the problem that's causing the symptoms in the first place. Acid-suppression drugs, such as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), are one of the biggest offenders. I've written before about the problems PPIs can cause, including kidney disease. Now a study out of Scotland reveals yet another issue these medications may contribute to.

According to this population-based study, there's a connection between using acid-suppression medications and an increased risk of developing a C. difficile or a Campylobacter intestinal infection, both of which can make you very sick. The researchers found that people taking acid suppression medications had 1.7 times and 3.7 times the risk of developing these infections, respectively, compared to people who did not take the medications. They believe that the drugs are removing too much of the stomach acid responsible for killing these bacteria, which are often food-borne.
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It's true that excess stomach acid can lead to heartburn and acid reflux. But I think these drugs go too far in minimizing the acid. After all, we have stomach acid for a reason. Rather than adding a drug, I think it's better to try removing the culprit behind the excess stomach acid. So give this a try if you're on a PPI.
For three weeks, keep taking your PPI, but take 3-20 mg a day of melatonin and a good probiotic along with it. You also need to cut out coffee, tea, NSAID medications, alcohol, sugar, fruit, and carbonated beverages. After three weeks of this, begin phasing out the PPI. You'll likely find that your stomach acid issues stay under control without it — but you'll still have plenty left to help you kill off dangerous bugs.
Yours for better health,
Frank Shallenberger, MD

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