How Medications Make Your Auto Immune Symptoms Worse

How Medications Make Your Auto Immune Symptoms Worse

by Tom O'Bryan DC, CCN, DACCB

If you've experienced autoimmune illness and chosen the path of medications, be alert for possible changes to your health, maybe even for the worse. 

Some medications can actually accelerate the development of gluten sensitivity and the development of autoimmune diseases. The worst offenders are the category of drugs that suppress acids, ranging from simple, over-the-counter antacids like Maalox to H2 receptor antagonists, including Zantac, tagamet, and Pepcid, to the proton pump inhibitors like Prilosec, Prevacid, Nexium, acipHex, the long-lasting gastric acid suppressors. All of these medications raise our pH and reduce hydrochloric acid. this result increases the likelihood of developing food intolerances and food sensitivities more than one-hundredfold.

Hydrochloric acid is a critically important digestive enzyme. The production of acid in our stomach is supposed to break down foods and activate many signals farther down the intestinal tract. We're designed to house hydrochloric acid in the stomach. If you were to take hydrochloric acid produced in our stomach and put it on a wood table, it would start breaking down the wood. But that same acid can sit in your stomach all day without ever causing a problem.

When we interfere with the mucus-producing cells of the stomach (by food exposures, coffee consumption for those who are sensitive to it, phosphoric acid in soda pop, etc.), we start causing stomach damage (like ulcers, heartburn). Instead of treating the stomach with acid suppressors, we can bring balance to this tissue by eliminating the triggers causing the stomach inflammation and loss of mucus cell production and function. 

When we interfere with the body's production of digestive enzymes, and couple that with malabsorption from intestinal permeability, it is not possible to get the vitamins and minerals out of our foods in a high enough percentage. It is critical to speak with your doctor about how you are going to ensure good digestion when they recommend antacids, PPIs, or H2 receptor antagonists, to make sure your medications are actually working in your favor. 

Love Whole Foods has safe, natural digestive enzyme & pro-biotic products to ease your uncomfortable symptoms, with no side effects.

Peggy Van Cleef