Common medications that increase migraine risk by 70%

First, you might feel pain in your chest and try burping to relieve it. Then, a burning sensation rises in your throat, only to deposit a sour taste in your mouth. It’s so bad you can’t even lie down to go to sleep.

That’s acid reflux.

If you live with these symptoms, you’re not alone. It’s estimated that anywhere from 20 percent to more than a third of adults in the United States may suffer from the condition.

So it’s no wonder that acid reflux drugs are not only commonly prescribed But as with many medications, these drugs are not necessarily what they seem and actually could cause far more problems than they solve.

That’s because research has connected acid reflux drugs to:

But would you believe that’s not all?

Now, a study published in Neurology Clinical Practice, an official journal of the American Academy of Neurology, says your acid reflux prescription could even be behind your migraines.

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An undeniable connection

For the study, the researchers delved into the health data of almost 12,000 people who provided information on the use of acid-reducing drugs and whether they had migraines or severe headaches in the past three months.

Specifically, the team looked at how likely someone was to have migraines while taking prescription-strength acid reflux drugs, including proton pump inhibitors (such as omeprazole and esomeprazole ) and H2 blockers (like cimetidine and famotidine). And they even looked at that old standby, Tums.

And here’s how the results broke down…

According to the research:

  • A total of 25 percent of people taking proton pump inhibitors suffered migraines or severe headaches, compared to 19 percent of those not taking the drugs.
  • Similarly, 25 percent of people on H2 blockers had severe headaches, compared to 20 percent for people who did not take the medications.
  •  Additionally, 22 percent of people who used antacid supplements, like Tums, had severe headaches, versus 20 percent of those not taking antacids.

Overall, the researchers found that people using proton pump inhibitors to reduce stomach acid had a startling 70 percent greater chance of migraines.

H2 blockers led to a 40 percent higher risk. And antacids, such as Tums, increased the chances of migraines by 30 percent.

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A safer way to battle acid reflux

According to Margaret Slavin, the study’s lead author and an Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Maryland, these types of drugs are often overprescribed.

So before you think they’re your last chance to reduce the burn, consider alternatives that won’t increase your risk of migraines or the other health dangers linked to them.

Here are a few natural solutions that can make a big difference:

When you look at that list, it’s easy to see why going natural is a much better way to battle acid reflux than taking medications with a laundry list of dangerous and debilitating side effects.

The most important thing, though is to relieve acid reflux, don’t ignore it. You do not want it to progress to Barrett’s esophagus, which can occur when stomach acid frequently irritates the lining of the esophagus to the point that it causes changes in the tissue.

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A new paper from Dr. Slavin’s research team finds 30-70 percent greater chance of migraines in people who take prescription drugs to reduce stomach acid. — University of Maryland Department of Nutrition and Food Science

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease — NIH

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

By Dr. Adria Schmedthorst

Dr. Adria Schmedthorst is a board-certified Doctor of Chiropractic, with more than 20 years of experience. She has dedicated herself to helping others enjoy life at every age through the use of alternative medicine and natural wellness options. Dr. Schmedthorst enjoys sharing her knowledge with the alternative healthcare community, providing solutions for men and women who are ready to take control of their health the natural way.