Gut Health

12 Ways Reflux Drugs Damage Your Health

If you’ve ever suffered from acid reflux, you know how painful it can be. It feels like a raging fire is burning in your chest.

You feel awful when you’re standing or sitting, and even worse if you try to lie down. Your mouth fills with a bitter, acidic taste.

And you just want it to go away.

So you go for the most popular heartburn “solution” you can get without a prescription… an over-the-counter PPI (proton pump inhibitor) drug. And it works. Fast.

So you turn to a PPI every time you get indigestion, which starts happening more and more. And the drugs keep working, helping you feel better… but at a great cost to your overall health.

In fact, the more often you take a PPI, the more damage it does to your body… starting with your gut.  

Are Reflux, Heartburn, and GERD the Same?

People talk about acid reflux, heartburn, and GERD like they’re all the same. They’re not… but they’re close. 

Heartburn describes the symptoms you feel – that burning pain in your chest.

Acid reflux happens when stomach acid flows the wrong way and moves up into your esophagus (the tube that connects your throat to your stomach). This causes heartburn.

GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, refers to a long-term condition, where acid reflux happens more than two times a week.

And if you’re suffering from any of the above, chances are you’ve tried PPIs to make it stop. And since they work so well for blocking acid, you likely felt relief. That’s why PPIs land in the top ten best-selling drugs in the world, racking up billions of dollars every year in sales.

Problem is… PPIs can do significant damage to your health.

Which Drugs Are PPIs?

You can find several different kinds of PPIs at the drugstore, including:

  • esomeprazole, sold as Nexium
  • lansoprazole, sold as Prevacid
  • omeprazole, sold as Prilosec and Zegerid  



12 Ways PPIs Sabotage Your Health

The real issue with PPIs and other acid blocking drugs has to do with time.

These drugs are meant to be used occasionally, for short periods of time: no longer than 14 days, up to 3 times a year.

But millions of people around the world use PPIs far more than that… for months, years, even decades. And blocking stomach acid, especially over the long term, endangers your health much more than you’d think. 

Here are 12 of scientifically proven ways that long-term use of PPIs could hurt you:

  1. Increase your risk of developing C. difficile, a potentially deadly bacterial infection, by up to 200% 
  2. Create conditions that lead to SIBO, small intestinal bacterial overgrowth 
  3. Increase your risk of heart attack, stroke, and other major cardiac events 
  4. Weaken bones, increasing your risk of hip fractures by 35% 
  5. Triple your risk of iron deficiency, which can lead to anemia and other health issues 
  6. Increase your risk of chronic kidney disease by up to 50% 
  7. Cause a dangerous electrolyte imbalance (called hypomagnesemia) that can trigger convulsions, muscle weakness, and vomiting 
  8. Increase your risk of pneumonia by 150% (link:
  9. Lead to severe vitamin B12 deficiency, which can leave you feeling weak and tired all the time (link:
  10. Lead to inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), especially in children 
  11. Increase your risk of bacterial infection, including Salmonella and Shigella, by up to 1,200% 
  12. Cause an imbalance in your gut bacteria, which can have dozens of severe health consequences 

PPIs and Your Gut Microbiome

Your gut microbiome contains trillions of bacteria, both helpful (probiotic) and harmful (pathogenic). In a healthy gut microbiome, you’ll find a wide variety of different types of probiotic bacteria that greatly outnumber pathogens. Those beneficial probiotic bacteria act as the centerpiece of your digestive, immune and overall health.

When your gut microbiome is in good balance, probiotic bacteria: 

  • Help you absorb and use essential nutrients
  • Boost natural energy production
  • Support healthy inflammatory responses
  • Defend against pathogens
  • P (could link to one of the mucosal pieces here) 

But if you add PPIs into the mix, they upset the delicate bacterial balance and create dysbiosis – a condition where pathogens outnumber probiotics.  In fact, according to research, PPIs can alter your gut microbiome even more than antibiotics do! 

One of the great things about your stomach acid is that it can kill off a lot of pathogens. When you keep your acid levels low via PPIs, you allow potential pathogens to grow and multiply.

To boot, studies show that PPIs can drastically change the makeup of the gut microbiome, as well as decrease the number of different types of bacteria found in the gut.  That can lead to a vast number of health problems far beyond your gut... 

Spore Probiotics Keep the Gut Microbiome in Balance

Keeping your gut microbiome in healthy balance is one of the most beneficial things you can do for your body. And spore probiotics can help with that by:

  • Arriving 100% alive in the gut
  • Eliminating pathogens
  • Encouraging many varieties of beneficial bacteria

As an added bonus, studies show that probiotics can help with the nausea, gas, burping, and indigestion that are often the chief reasons for PPI overuse.   (totally not sure if it’s ok to include this line)

Support a Healthy Gut Microbiome with Just Thrive

A healthy gut microbiome counts on Just Thrive for daily support.

Just Thrive Probiotic contain four clinically studied strains of spore probiotics, including

  • Bacillus subtilis HU58
  • Bacillus indicus HU36
  • Bacillus coagulans
  • Bacillus clausii

These powerful probiotics work individually and together to help keep your gut microbiome in healthy balance. 

Try Just Thrive Probiotic today… You and your gut will be happy you did.