Heartburn and broken bones may go hand in hand

"Drugs are better than nutrition"

We live in a heavily medicated society.  Prescription drugs are touted as the solution to all life’s problems, from a bad mood to heart disease and everything in between.  Millions of people swallow multiple medications every single day, and unfortunately the long term consequences of this are unknown.  Drugs are tested for short-term side effects.  Even if side effects are noted drugs are still prescribed.  Just look at drug ads in magazines – they come with an entire 2nd page devoted to warnings.  Does nutrition come with warnings?

So it’s no surprise that some researchers uncovered a link between use of heartburn medication and bone fractures. The reason is pretty obvious: those medications stifle stomach acid, which is critically important for absorption of numerous nutrients, especially minerals like calcium and iron.  So if you wipe out your stomach acid with a drug, you inhibit calcium absorption, and your body has to look elsewhere for daily calcium needs.  For example, without calcium, your muscles don’t work.  Your bones are the source of that spare calcium.

When bones thin out, doctors also put people on osteoporosis drugs, like Fosamax.  The true irony here is that Fosamax can cause stomach upset, such as pain and nausea.   And some people might interpret those symptoms as reason to take even more heartburn drugs.  Vicious cycle anyone?

Thanks to ads for osteoporosis drugs, people think the way to enhance bone strength is with drugs.  But strangely, the ads always say somewhere in the fine print “follow a diet high in calcium and vitamin D while taking this drug.”   Then if your bones improve after a year of drugs, the doctors conclude that the drug was responsible, not the higher calcium and vitamin D intakes.   Just one more way nutrition is dissed by the medical establishment.

 

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