Proton Pump Inhibitors Now Linked to Additional Major Health Concern

Proton Pump Inhibitors

Proton Pump Inhibitors have long been associated with stomach cancer and esophageal cancer. However, it is showing now that those with long term use of acid reflux drugs relying on proton pump inhibitors now have a much higher risk of developing diabetes. Studies from the University of Colorado Denver have shown that PPI user’s risk of developing type 2 diabetes is 24% higher than non-PPI users.

Common forms of proton pump inhibitors include Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, and Nexium. All of these have generic alternatives, and all of them are over the counter. They were initially meant to treat severe cases of gastroesophageal reflux disease, GERD, as well as addressed stress ulcers or peptic ulcer disease.  These drugs skyrocketed into popularity after becoming over-the-counter. They were widely thought to be extremely safe and effective. Now, many people use them for simple cases of heartburn or for heartburn brought on by diet choice rather than GERD.

British medical journal, Gut, assessed how the regular use of PPIs linked to the development of type 2 diabetes. They relied on three entities within the US to track over 2 million PPI users.

Essentially anyone who has been using a proton pump inhibitor for over two years has about a quarter percent higher chance of developing diabetes. Among those involved within the United States was the University of California Davis. They identified that part of the struggle between PPI use and diabetes is the increase in glucose tolerance. There may be additional problems with gastrin level suppression affecting beta cell production.

Researchers had initially analyzed information from approximately 200,000 patients with an average tracking time ranging between 9 and 12 years. They identified that diabetes was not linked to gender, family history, smoking, alcohol intake, or age. 

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