Proton Inhibitors

Imagine pricking your finger. Now imagine treating yourself for it and ending up having to amputate your finger instead. Surely you would tell yourself “heck I thought a band-aid would do.” If you had acid-reflux and were on medication only to realize you developed stomach cancer instead, you would probably be justified to feel the same way. Millions of people around the world suffer from acid reflux. I was on medication for it for over ten years. Repeated visits to Doctors reinforced the view that I had very few options but to keep taking the drug. Ulcers in the stomach, I was told.

The standard advice for medication for acid-reflux is no more than a week to ten days. I was on them for a decade. If you are on such a remedy, the purpose is to reduce the acids being formed in your stomach. The objective was to reduce the formation of ulcers which are developed when the acids begin to peel the lining in your stomach. Typically, your stomach naturally prevents the acids from affecting the stomach lining. When it is unable to do so, you need external intervention. Often this is a drug called a Proton Pump Inhibitor.

People who take such drugs, especially those who use it daily, are increasingly being linked to an increase in the risk of stomach cancer. The risk increases by up to four hundred to eight hundred percent. Let me say that again. If you are on a daily acid-reflux tablet, you have just increased your risk of cancer by four hundred to eight hundred percent. Talk a pinprick leading to amputation.

The reasons for increased risk could include other factors including overall poor health. However, wouldn’t you instead treat the acid-reflux and at least not take the medications. Here is the good news. Many forms of acid-reflux can be addressed by improving your diet. At least mine was.


Ritesh is a born again health enthusiast and holds a Certificate in Physiology from Harvard Medical School and a Certificate in Nutrition from Tufts University.