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Taking a Sledgehammer to Heartburn

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You may be surprised to learn that medicine is subject to prescribing fads. For example, I’ve been astonished at the dramatic increase of patients that are taking drugs that turn off the acid production in your stomach, a trend well evidenced in the medical literature.  These drugs are called “Proton Pump Inhibitors”. In fact, drugs with names such as Nexium, Tecta, Prilosec, Losec, Prevacid, Periot, are now prescribed for a wide range of stomach problems and related esophageal and throat symptoms, across a remarkable range of ages. I’ve seen several cases of children and teenagers on acid inhibiting medications. In fact, there has been an astonishing rise in the prescription of these medications for children under the age of one for gastric irritation and to prevent infant reflux. As of 2010, there were 114 million prescriptions of acid suppressing medications per year in the United States. Over the last ten years, the...
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