Popular heartburn drugs raise risk of migraine attacks by 70 percent

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heartburn-drugs(NaturalHealth365)  Many people experience persistent throat issues after eating, such as the feeling of something stuck in the throat, excessive mucus, and a burning sensation in the chest.  While these are often attributed to acid reflux and lead people to reach for acid reflux medications, a new study published in Neurology Clinical Practice suggests these drugs may do more harm than good.

In fact, the research finds that the use of acid reflux drugs is linked to an increased risk of migraine headaches.

Battling a headache?  Your seemingly harmless heartburn drug might be to blame

The latest acid reflux drug study reveals heartburn drugs increase the risk of a migraine headache by 70%.  Migraine attacks are typically characterized by headaches, yet they also include additional symptoms such as sound and light sensitivity, numbness in the limbs, and stomach sickness.

The study also suggests heartburn drugs are prescribed more often than they should be.  Examples of such medications include Nexium, Prevacid, and Prilosec.  The little-known truth is the users of these drugs and even the users of Alka-Seltzer and Tums are putting their health in jeopardy.

As an example, Tums hikes the chances of a severe headache by 30% to 40%.  Though this percentage increase is merely half that of the heartburn medications listed above, it is still significant.

The study does not prove that antacids worsen migraines.  However, there is an indisputable link.  Moreover, research reveals those who suffer from migraines are much more likely to suffer gastrointestinal issues.  Those who discontinue the use of heartburn drugs really do stand a chance of experiencing fewer migraines and also enjoying a more calm and settled stomach.

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Digging into the details of the latest heartburn medication study

The study centered on data provided by 12,000 individuals living in the United States.  The study participants provided the details of their heartburn drug use, including whether they suffered a migraine in the preceding three months.

The data breakdown showed that those who took a proton pump inhibitor (PPI) to reduce chronic heartburn were 70% more susceptible to ensuing migraines compared to the control group that did not use such a medication.  PPIs reduce stomach acid generated within the stomach lining’s glands.  The study data also revealed that the risk for a headache was 40% higher among individuals who used H2 blocker medications, also known as H2 receptor antagonists.

Though the small print on some PPI medication bottles and previous studies make it clear that those who suffer from chronic headaches are likely to suffer even worse headaches or a greater number of headaches, most people continue to use those heartburn relievers without a second thought.  The truth that Big Pharma does not want the public to know is that upwards of 40% of those with chronic headaches who try PPIs end up cutting them out as they cause additional cranial pain.

Natural solutions for heartburn relief

Many people are unaware of the connection that exists between acid reflux and poor liver function.  The liver plays a central role in digestive health, and when it is not working optimally, it can contribute to conditions like acid reflux.  For those looking for natural relief, thankfully, there are several effective remedies to consider before reaching for over-the-counter medications.

If you currently use a heartburn medication, it is recommended that you reevaluate it under the guidance of a knowledgeable holistic healthcare provider.  Those plagued by heartburn are encouraged to try an all-natural, medication-free approach.

Examples of common natural at-home remedies for heartburn include:

  • Apple cider vinegar:  Drink 1-2 tablespoons mixed with water before meals to help improve digestive function and reduce acid reflux.
  • Chamomile tea:  This soothing tea can help relax the digestive muscles and reduce inflammation.
  • Ginger:  Fresh ginger has anti-inflammatory properties that can help soothe the digestive tract.  Try grating (and squeezing) a small amount into your tea or adding it to meals.
  • Baking soda:  When experiencing a bout of heartburn, mixing 1-2 teaspoons of baking soda with cold water can also provide relief.

In addition to natural remedies, lifestyle changes can help prevent acid reflux.  It is best to stand upright for at least an hour after eating.  Lying flat soon after a meal can worsen acid reflux.  Moreover, eating slowly (chew your food well) and avoiding overeating can also help reduce symptoms.

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