Heartburn Meds Linked to Cancer: Addressing PPI Risks & Embracing Natural Alternatives

health heartburn ppi wellness May 01, 2024

Do you suffer from heartburn and indigestion?

For years, proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) like Prilosec and Nexium have been the trusted solution, quickly calming symptoms by reducing stomach acid. Doctors practically prescribe them on autopilot, with the global PPI market soaring to over 11 billion dollars in 2023. However, recent studies suggest a major downside to PPI use.

In this blog, I’m breaking down the research information so you can fully inform yourself about the dangers of PPIs. I’m also sharing 3 natural ways to address heartburn and indigestion so you can finally feel empowered to reclaim your digestive health.

Digestive issues are usually a red flag for other imbalances within your body, mind, and soul. Stay tuned! At the end of the blog, I have a free gift to help you start your journey to digestive balance.



Studies Link PPIs to Gastric Cancer

A 2022 study investigated whether prolonged PPI use might increase the risk of gastric cancer. Researchers reviewed relevant studies published between January 2000 and July 2021. They analyzed 13 studies involving over 10,000 participants with gastric cancer.

The results indicated that individuals using PPIs had a significantly higher risk of developing gastric cancer compared to those not using PPIs. This risk remained elevated even after adjusting for factors like gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and H. pylori treatment. The findings were consistent across different analyses. (1)

A 2023 meta-analysis included 12 studies on proton pump inhibitors and the risk of gastric cancer and found that PPI was associated with an 82% increased risk of gastric cancer. More extensive randomized controlled trials are needed, but the evidence available certainly makes it worth considering PPI use with extreme caution, especially for those with a higher risk of gastric cancer. (2)



Shocking Side Effects of PPI Use

Millions of people rely on PPIs to alleviate the discomfort of heartburn and indigestion without a clue about the long-term consequences. Besides the shocking link to gastric cancer, a host of other side effects accompany this class of drugs.

Let’s start with the short-term side effects that can manifest from even a single use:

  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal pain
  • Flatulence
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Rash or itching

If that’s not enough to have you searching for a natural alternative, you’ll be alarmed to find out about the long-term side effects, such as brittle bones, osteoporosis, and osteopenia. Prolonged use of PPIs is associated with an increased risk of fractures due to compromised bone density—a sobering realization for those who depend on these medications for daily relief.

PPIs contribute to nutrient deficiencies, particularly iron and vitamin B12. By altering the pH balance in the stomach, PPIs can interfere with essential nutrient absorption, potentially leading to various health complications over time.

Consumers also face heightened susceptibility to infections, including pneumonia and Clostridium difficile (C. diff). These risks highlight the intricate balance within the gut microbiome, which can be disrupted by prolonged suppression of stomach acid.

As the scope of potential side effects associated with PPI use expands, it becomes increasingly crucial for individuals and healthcare providers alike to weigh the risks against the benefits. So, before you reach for that next purple pill, maybe it’s time to consider the bigger picture. Are the short-term benefits worth the long-term risks? Let’s explore some gentler alternatives for soothing gastrointestinal discomfort and keeping your gut—and your whole body—healthy and balanced.



3 Natural Ways to Address Heartburn & Indigestion 

The internal ecosystem in your gut plays an important role in digestion, nutrient absorption, energy levels, mood, hormone balance, and more. When something is “off” in the gut, your body informs you through nagging symptoms like bloating, heartburn, indigestion, constipation, diarrhea, weight gain, or even depression. Long-term lifestyle changes are necessary to repair and maintain gut health.

Diet, stress management, and a healthy lifestyle all play a critical role! Learning how to properly care for the microorganisms in your gut by feeding your body nourishing foods, drinking pure water, incorporating daily stress relief practices, and staying active will help you feel more physically and emotionally balanced.

Here are 3 natural ways to start addressing heartburn and indigestion without medication today:

1. Walks to improve digestion: Schedule time for a walk every day, starting with 10 minutes and working your way up to 45 minutes per day. Daily walks can significantly improve digestive health by stimulating digestion, reducing stress levels, promoting regular bowel movements, maintaining a healthy weight, enhancing gut motility, and promoting mental health. Walking stimulates abdominal muscles, aiding digestion and preventing constipation. Bonus points if you walk with a friend for a healthy dose of laughter and get some sun exposure for a vitamin D boost!

2. Breathwork to reduce stress: Incorporating breathwork into your daily routine offers stress relief, detoxification, enhanced brain activation, whole-body oxygenation, immediate energy boost, muscle relaxation, and improved lung health. The breathing technique below is a simple yet impactful practice that will help create a more alkaline environment in your body. Too much acidity in the gut contributes to heartburn and indigestion. The gut environment, particularly the intestines, thrives in a slightly alkaline environment.

3. Elimination diet to reduce inflammation: Remove the following things from your diet to help reduce inflammation in your body, including your gut, which can contribute to heartburn and indigestion. After you complete one full week of eliminating these ingredients, you can reintroduce one every week and monitor how you feel.

  • Dairy
  • Processed sugar
  • Gluten
  • Caffeine
  • Alcohol
  • Yeast
  • Nightshades (tomato, potato, eggplant, peppers)
  • Nitrates/nitrites (in processed meats)
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Soy
  • BHT (butylated hydroxytoluene): an antioxidant used to preserve foods
  • Artificial sweeteners (alters your “good bacteria”)

One of the best things you can do to replace the “good bacteria” in your gut during an elimination diet, is take a quality probiotic. I personally use ProTren Probiotics. Use my discount code WQH11 for 10% off!

Want to learn how to self-test for other food sensitivities that could be causing digestive distress?

Begin your journey to optimal gut health with this free gift: The Ultimate Guide for Healthy Digestion! Learn how to thrive from within with natural techniques you can start benefiting from right now at home, including:

  • How to test your sensitivity to foods
  • How to clear leaky gut syndrome in 5 steps
  • Herbal remedies for yeast overgrowth

Download Free Guide



Book Your 1-Hour Wholistic Quantum Health Appointment

Are you ready to receive the customized support you need to improve your digestive health for a lifetime?

Book your 1-hour Wholistic Quantum Health appointment with me to discover the root causes of your health imbalances and receive personalized wellness recommendations that will change everything.

The best part about this amazing service is that you can transform your health from the comfort of home thanks to remote Wholistic Quantum Healer Testing. This remote testing method uses advanced, noninvasive muscle testing techniques. It is deeply rooted in applied kinesiology and quantum physics and makes it easy to test anyone, anywhere, for just about anything.

A Wholistic Quantum Health appointment makes transforming your health easy with 5 simple steps:

  1. Complete a health intake survey to inform Elena of your current and past health challenges.
  2. Meet with Elena for a 60-minute Zoom video call for applied kinesiology testing, which can be done at a distance.
  3. Receive customized recommendations based on the testing results, including food sensitivities, herbs/supplements, affirmations, and wellness recommendations tailored to your unique needs.
  4. Optimize your health by consistently following the recommended diet, supplements, herbs, and wellness regimen provided by Elena.
  5. Upgrade to a 3- or 6-month package for additional support, including follow-up sessions and remote scalar wave balancing sessions to maintain long-term results.

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1. Poly, Tahmina Nasrin, Ming-Chin Lin, Shabbir Syed-Abdul, Chih-Wei Huang, Hsuan-Chia Yang, and Yu-Chuan Jack Li. “Proton Pump Inhibitor Use and Risk of Gastric Cancer: Current Evidence from Epidemiological Studies and Critical Appraisal.” Cancers, June 21, 2022.

2. Guo, Huizhu, Ruiqiu Zhang, Pei Zhang, Zhaoyang Chen, Yuqing Hua, Xin Huang, and Xiao Li. “Association of Proton Pump Inhibitors With Gastric and Colorectal Cancer Risk: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.” Frontiers in pharmacology, March 16, 2023.


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