Reflux drugs can increase hip fracture risk

If you suffer from stomach upsets and are taking reflux drugs on a regular basis, you might want to rethink your options. A very large Canadian study has confirmed that taking such drugs for several years will enormously increase your chances of having a hip fracture – by nearly five times – and can lead directly to osteoporosis.

Why are these drugs having such an effect? The problem is that you need acid to absorb calcium and if you reduce the amount of available stomach acid after you’ve eaten by taking reflux drugs then the calcium you can’t absorb, but need, has to be taken directly out of your bones. The study shows that over just a few years this can more than double your risk of fracture, and the odds keep climbing steeply the longer you take them. Some patients have been taking them for many, many years and ironically one of the results of a lack of calcium is acid reflux – for which the drugs were prescribed in the first place.

Calcium is essential for many functions in the body, one of which is to increase gut mobility, and that’s important because medical researchers say that reflux is primarily a motor disorder. This means that if you aren’t absorbing much calcium due to the reflux drugs you’re taking, and don’t have calcium to spare, you’re back to reflux and that means you take more of the drug, or a stronger dose. That may be fine for the drug company, but it isn’t doing much for your bones. Even after you stop the drugs, it may be years before your body can restore a proper calcium balance so that your reflux vanishes on its own.

There are natural alternative treatments for reflux such as Apple Cider Vinegar, having a diet with plenty of greens and vegetables, and supplements such as spirulina and calcium and for me, a cup of peppermint tea after a meal can settle the stomach, rather than the more usual coffee, which is in itself acid.

What is probably even more important is to get your ‘body clock’ working properly. One of the most common symptoms of jet lag is reflux, because flying half-way around the world upsets your biological clock, just as staying up until the early hours and ‘fooling’ your body with artificial electric light does.


** Have a fixed time for going to bed as often as you can and is possible for you.

** Make sure your bedroom is totally dark, with no lights left on or even natural moonlight through the curtains.

** If you get up during the night to go to the bathroom, have a low watt red light bulb to show you the way.

** Try to increase your period of total darkness to an ideal nine or ten hours a night.

** A nightcap is often favoured before bed, but it won’t help you sleep, or your acid reflux, so drink earlier in the day, and if you smoke that will also increase your reflux symptoms so reduce or stop that habit if you can.