Natural Health Journals

Omeprazole – Buyer Beware

By Marc Courtiol

Omeprazole is better known by its brand name of Prilosec. It is used in the treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, as well as duodenal and gastric ulcers.

Omeprazole is a type of proton pump inhibitor that has been widely prescribed since the late 1980s. While they have generally been thought to be safe drugs, some health concerns have developed over the past few years. It is now believed that the long-term use of omeprazole, or any other proton pump inhibitor, is linked to the development of cancer, gastric atrophy, and infection. Despite this link, these drugs continue to be widely prescribed and used by patients, including children of varying ages.

Beware of the Side Effects

The most common side effects that routinely occur in patients who take omeprazole include headache, nausea, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and rash. Interestingly, these side effects are not mentioned in the over the counter version of this drug, though they are mentioned in the prescription version.

Omeprazole can also cause joint, leg, or muscle pains, which can turn into a serious problem when doctors decide that these “symptoms” are a separate issue and then treat them with yet more prescription medication. There have actually been cases where people have developed arthritis as a result of taking omeprazole, so these side effects that can result from the use of this drug should be considered carefully before patients begin taking them.

After all, it certainly isn’t helpful to take a medication that is supposed to help with one problem only to wind up with additional health problems.

Finding Natural Alternatives

Many of us want to avoid the potentially dangerous side effects that are commonly associated with prescription medications, but often times it is difficult to find safe, healthy alternatives that will alleviate our symptoms.

If you are looking for a natural alternative for your acid reflux problem, you might want to try ginger. Ginger has been shown to naturally aid the digestive process, and it is great for settling upset stomachs. Ginger helps the stomach to produce greater quantities of mucus, which then acts as a natural soothing agent.

Papaya might also be a great option for you, as this enzyme helps the body to digest foods more quickly, thus eliminating the likelihood that you will develop acid reflux after eating.

Other natural remedies for treating acid reflux include:

  • Chamomile – An excellent herbal supplement for treating a variety of digestive disorders, chamomile is tolerated well by most people and generally produces no side effects.
  • Licorice capsules – Licorice extract increases the production of mucus in the stomach. This helps to protect the lining of both the stomach and the esophagus. Licorice extract has also been shown to aid in the healing of ulcers.
  • Marshmallow – This herb contains mucilage. It is believed that mucilage helps to soothe and coat the lining of the esophagus. It is not safe for everyone to take marshmallow, particularly women who are pregnant or nursing, or people who are diabetic.
  • Meadowsweet – This is an herbal supplement that works wonderfully as an anti-inflammatory as well as an antacid. It protects the lining of the digestive tract and also helps to relieve pain that is commonly experienced with GERD.

5 thoughts on “Omeprazole – Buyer Beware

  1. Jenn

    While chamomile may be great at helping some stomach problems, those with GERD may want to be careful. Chamomile can promote relaxation of the esophageal sphincter and it may actually lead to an increase in symptoms. Same goes for peppermint and other members of the mint family.

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  3. Mike

    I have been able to link digestive issues to my chronic headache situation. For years I have battling what I thought to have been Migraine headaches. Have been taking Imitrex regularly for years, several times per week. It got the point where they were ineffective. Started to learn about rebound headaches and that I need to detox from them. Tried several of the preventatives . Nothing seemed to agree with me much at all. Keeping the Migraine log was the key. I eventually learned the trend that my headaches would come shortly after meals, especially big meals. Of course I thought of Migraine trigger foods. But it seemed the more I tried to ID certain foods the more elusive it would be. It seemed like it was a more common problem. Not just when I would eat certain foods but when I would at all in general. Started to seem like it didn’t matter what I ate. The heavier harder to digest foods would be more suspect. If I drank Coke or Dr Pepper with my meals it wouldn’t be as bad. So I started to research the relationship between digestion and migraines. Through many web sites learned that ineffective digestion can cause toxins to be released into your body. One of the main causes of ineffective digestion was the lack of stomach acid to break down food in a productive manner. It then dawned on me that I had also been taking Omeprazole – the prescription equivalent to Prilosec for many years on a daily basis to control acid reflux. Which also explained the Pop, it was helping to break down the food so I could digest it easier. So that was my next path to explore. So I cut back on the acid blockers from everyday to a few times a week, started up on a Probiotic / acidophilus supplement as well as an enzyme supplement to take with meals. My headaches have almost completely gone away. Ive started to open my diet up a bit more – trying to keep it healthy of course. My goals are to start backing off the pop more too and eventually do away with the preventative meds as well. This month Ive had over15 headache free days so far – the best I’ve seen in years. Nice to start getting free of that daily headache pain and the constant reliance on the Imitrex and Omeprazole. Nice to be getting my life back!!!!

  4. Mike

    Thanks for this insight … Suggest to tell this story in as many places and to as many people as possible!

  5. Jamshaid

    I have to take omeprazole / Penaperazole every other day to relieve my acidity. I have been taking it for 30 years or more (Before it was rentedine or zintec)

    Now I realize that am suffering from joint pain in my hand. shoulder and now in thumbs so occasionally, that does not respond to pain killers and physiotherapy. I am also been diagnosed liver problem / fatty liver. Even though the doctor never mentioned I believe it is because of continuous use of Omerprazole / pentaperzole

    I am looking for any alternate, herbal alternate to get rid of pentaperzole / omeprazole

    Any advice?

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