Could Your Heartburn Pills Contribute to Kidney Disease?

When proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) were first approved in the 1980s, they seemed like a safe way to help people with chronic heartburn, acid reflux and ulcers. Known by brand names such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Nexium, they weren’t associated with any serious side effects, so doctors began prescribing them to millions of patients. What doctors didn’t anticipate were the long-term effects of these drugs. They’ve recently been linked to increased risk of bone fracture, pneumonia, C. difficile infections, low levels of …

Some Heartburn Drugs Could Up Heart Attack Risk

Could some heartburn drugs be risky for your heart? A new Stanford University study, which used data mining to look at health information from nearly 3 million patients, found that the hugely popular proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) — including Prilosec, Nexium and Prevacid — were associated with a 16 to 21 percent increase in heart attack risk. This higher heart attack frequency could be seen in otherwise healthy PPI users of all ages, including under age 45, researchers reported. Get …

11 Things We Didn’t Know Last Week

News, discoveries and … fun. 1. The 24th 007 movie will feature the first 50-year-old “Bond Girl.” (Learn more at AARP) 2. President Obama has acid reflux. (Learn more at AARP) 3. Your flu shot might not protect you from half the varieties of this season’s bugs. (Learn more at AARP) 4. When the president of Ukraine seeks advice, he sometimes turns to a doll. (Learn more at Buzzfeed) 5. Smoking is unhealthy for anyone, but it’s worse for men. …

7 Ways to Reduce Acid Reflux (Even if You’re the President)

A nagging sore throat had President Obama checking in for an exam recently with his doctors. The diagnosis was one that’s familiar to millions of Americans: acid reflux. Acid reflux — aka heartburn — occurs when stomach acid sloshes up into your esophagus, irritating and inflaming the tissue, including the back of the throat. If it happens several times a week and becomes severe, it’s called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. It’s estimated that 60 percent of U.S. adults will experience …

Should Spanx Come With a Health Warning?

Back in the day, it was called a corset or a girdle. Now it’s called shapewear, with the hugely popular Spanx line and other brands helping women smooth their lumps and bumps under clothes. But actress Jennifer Coolidge, 52, expressed many women’s feelings when she told the New York Post, “I hate Spanx because even though they look so good under your clothes, sometimes mid-wedding I’ll be like, ‘I feel so nauseous.’ They’re so tight, who knows what you’re cutting …

Gas Emissions: Is Flatulence a Firing Offense?

OK, let’s be honest. We all fart. But what happens when it occurs nine times a day in an office shared by other coworkers? Should it be handled as a health problem that needs remedying? Or a deliberate nuisance worthy of reprimand? Washington Post writer Josh Hicks recently wrote about a Social Security Administration employee accused of continuously “passing gas and releasing an unpleasant odor” that created a “hostile work environment.” The story prompted more than 800 online comments from …