In recent years, pneumonia and Clostrudium difficile (C. diff) are becoming increasingly prevalent, largely due to overuse of antibiotics and the resulting antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria that are evolving.
Between 5 and 10 million people get pneumonia in the US every year, more than 1 million are hospitalized, and about 57,000 people die each year from it.
Especially vulnerable are the elderly who may have underlying chronic conditions such as heart disease.
In addition, 14,000 Americans die every year from C. difficile infections and 337,000 people are hospitalized.
Although pneumonia is mainly community-acquired and C. diff is a common hospital infection, there is a sneaky force behind the scenes that is increasing the susceptibility for pneumonia and C. diff for millions of people.
Proton pump inhibitors (PPI medications for acid reflux).
Here’s why pneumonia and C. diff are being added to the ever-growing rap sheet of PPIs:
Why in the world?
Proton pump inhibitors “work” by impairing your stomach’s ability to produce acid.
The reasoning is that less acid produced by the stomach means less acid around to come sliding up your throat and setting your chest on fire.
No problem, right?
Shutting down your stomach’s ability to produce acid cripples your digestion, since acid is needed for the initial breakdown of proteins.
Disabling your stomach’s acid producing function can also lead to:
- Vitamin B12 deficiency (acid is needed for your body to assimilate B12)
- Food borne illness–stomach acid helps kill dangerous microbes in your food
- Imbalanced gut flora—due to poor digestion and its impact on the intestinal tract
- Increased susceptibility to fractures–due to poor digestion and nutrient absorption
- Increased risk of heart attack—because PPIs can damage the inner lining of blood vessels, causing inflammation and eventually plaque buildup
- Increased risk of chronic kidney disease—when arterial damage from PPIs affects the arteries servicing the kidneys
The latest addition to the rap sheet
Since your stomach acid kills dangerous infection-causing bacteria that you take in through your skin, nose and mouth, taking away that protective barrier allows the bacteria to instead sail unscathed into your gut…
And heaven help you at that point, especially if your intestinal flora balance isn’t what it should be.
You can become the perfect home for pneumonia or C. diff.
Probably one of the most ridiculous comments that I read regarding this scary situation shockingly came from a physician and researcher who was quoted as saying:
“The drugs are generally safe, and very effective for treating ulcers and inflammation caused by excessive stomach acid, and the benefit of PPIs for these patients would outweigh the risk of harms posed by infections.”
What’s safe about nutrient deficiencies, heart attacks, kidney disease and potentially fatal infections?
Reduce your risk!
The best way to avoid the ever-increasing dangers of PPIs is to naturally help your body accomplish digestion (so heartburn is not an issue) and help your gut flora recover so it can protect you from dangerous bacteria!
Food combining has been shown to be very helpful in promoting better digestion. It simply involves avoiding eating animal proteins and starches in the same meal. The animal protein-starch combination is a tough one for your body to break down, and can often lead to overproduction of stomach acid.
(If you need guidance on food combining, check out Great Taste No Pain. Be sure to read some of our reviews and see all the people we’ve helped!)
Digestive enzymes can also help, especially if enzyme deficiencies are playing a part in your poor digestion and heartburn.
And lastly, a quality probiotic formula can help whip your gut flora into shape so it can better protect you against dangerous bacteria and viruses, as well as support sound digestion!
Remember, dangerous medications are not the only solution for issues like heartburn and acid reflux.
It can make all the difference in the world for you when you take safe, natural measures to support your body and help it work the way Nature intended it to!