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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Suggest treatment for severe acid reflux while on Nexium

Answered by
Dr. Chobufo Ditah

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 6186 Questions

Posted on Fri, 31 Mar 2017 in Digestion and Bowels
Question: Hi, I am a 69 year old man in good general health.
I have used Health Care Magic before and I am very pleased with the service provided.
I do have acid reflex and have been taking Nexium 24, a proton pump inhibitor, for more than 10 years. My kidney function according to my bi-annual comprehensive blood work is completely normal.

A recent medical journal study using veterans reported that for those veterans using protein pump inhibitors for more than 5 years, there was a 28% incidence of kidney disease, (and if proton pump inhibitors are not discontinued at the first sign of kidney disease), there is a 96% incidence of kidney failure.

I cannot tolerate the constant heartburn I experience were I to discontinue the proton pump inhibitor medicine.

If there is a 28% incidence of kidney disease, then there is a 72% chance of not getting kidney disease. I can live with those odds.

My question is this: If my kidney function is monitored by bloodwork every six months, and if the 28% chance of kidney disease does occur with me, can I then discontinue the proton pump inhibitors and manage the chronic heartburn that will occur without the proton pump inhibitor. If I STOP the Nexium 24 proton pump inhibitor at the FIRST sign of kidney malfunction in the six month blood work, am I still at risk for serious kidney disease? Thank you very much. XXXXXXX M. Tilkin
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 2 hours later
Brief Answer:
Send the link to the study to me!

Detailed Answer:

Thanks for getting to us with your health worries. I understand your concerns and if these findings are true and represent what might happen to the entire population, then there is so much to be concerned about.

I have my reservation about the statement you have made. Research findings are sometimes presented in very complex ways that need a deeper sense of interpretation to understand what is going on. For example, what patients were recruited? How old were they? and so on.

I suggest you send the link or the title of that publication. I will read through and get back to you with what their findings are putting you in perspective and how they may apply to you. From there, I will be able to advise you further on how to deal with the need for PPI, chest pain and this additional research finding.

I look forward hearing back from you!
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Prasad
Follow up: Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Thank you Dr. Ditah for your answer to my question.

The specific studies that linked PPI's and kidney disease are as follows:

1. Published online XXXXXXX 11, 2016 in JAMA Internal Medicine.
2. Published online XXXXXXX 11, 2017 in JAMA Internal Medicine.

I hope you can access and review the studies cited above and get back to me.

Respectfully, should not a nephrologist MD be responding to this question?
Does Health Care Magic have any nephrologist MD's on their staff who respond to questions? Thank you very much.
Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Thanks for the links!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thanks for the links.

1. As family and general physicians, I do respond to questions in multiple fields if I think we are able to address the client’s concern fully. The only reason why I chose to answer this question is because reviewing research data on new findings is what am comfortable doing than a Nephrologist. However, if you want a question to be answered ONLY by a nephrologist, kindly direct the question to a nephrologist. I'm sorry if you feel disappointed despite the useful response (for this I'd request you to contact with the customer care team and they'll guide you further, alternatively you can select Ask a Specialist option and select "Nephrologist" from the specialist column so that the query will be answered by the Nephrologist only).

2. I have reviewed the research findings. Clearly, it shows that there seems to be budding evidence that there is a possible association between taking PPI and having renal disease. However, we don’t know for sure whether it is the PPI itself that causes this or it is some other disease condition present in persons with PPI that might explain this. This is emerging information and needs more research to confirm and maybe formulate guiding principles on how to address such areas. For now, this is not sufficient to change clinical practice.

3. I recommend you take PPI just enough to keep your symptoms controlled. Monitor your kidney function say every 6months and if there are any declines, then extra measures and caution should be employed using PPI just to be safe than sorry.

I hope this helps. I wish you well. I'm always available and happy to address any health concerns that you may have.

Kind regards.

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Arnab Banerjee

The User accepted the expert's answer

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