Do you take Proton Pump Inhibitors: Lansoprazole (Prevacid), Omeprazole (Losec, Prilosec), Rabeprazole (Aciphex), Pantoprazole (Pantoloc, Protonix)?
Did your prescriber or pharmacist inform you that these medications cause deficiencies of many vitamins and minerals?
Here are some of the deficiencies they may cause:
§ Beta-Carotene, Vitamin A
§ Folic Acid
§ Vitamin B12
§ Vitamin C
Vitamin A is a fat-soluble micronutrient that your body uses to support the functions of your skin, immune system and lining tissues. You obtain vitamin A from animal-derived foods. Brightly colored vegetables and some types of fruit supply you with beta carotene and other precursor chemicals that your body converts to vitamin A. Vitamin A deficiency can impair your vision and may cause other signs of impaired organ and tissue function.
§ Poor Night Vision – Your body requires vitamin A to produce the light-sensitive protein rhodopsin, which enables your eyes to detect low light. If you do not consume adequate amounts of vitamin A or beta carotene, rhodopsin production decreases and your ability to see in low light diminishes. Driving at night may become difficult and dangerous. Reduced night vision is typically the earliest sign of a vitamin A deficiency.
§ Cloudy, Dry Eyes – Epithelia are tissues that cover your body or line your organs. Vitamin A supports the normal growth and maintenance of epithelial tissues throughout your body, including those of your eyes. Specialized epithelial cells cover the surface of your eyeball and line your eyelids. These tissues do not function properly if you have a vitamin A deficiency, causing severe eye dryness, or xerophthalmia. The normally clear, moist eye tissue becomes cloudy and erodes, potentially leading to blindness unless you receive treatment.
§ Thick Skin and Rashes – Your skin requires vitamin A to maintain the normal cycle of sloughing old cells and replacing them with new skin cells. Vitamin A deficiency disturbs this process, leading to increased skin thickness. Your skin typically appears rough and dry; it may itch. Rashes may also develop.
§ Paleness and Shortness of Breath – Vitamin A is one of several vitamins and minerals needed to produce red blood cells. Lack of vitamin A and beta carotene in your diet can lead to a low red blood cell count, or anemia. Common signs and symptoms include paleness, shortness of breath, lack of energy and becoming easily fatigued when you exert yourself.
§ Frequent, Prolonged Infections – The epithelial linings of your airways, digestive tract and urinary system do not function normally when you lack vitamin A. This can lead to frequent head colds and infections of your lungs, intestines, kidneys and bladder. Your immune system also suffers with vitamin A deficiency, reducing your ability to fight infections when they occur. The time required to recover from an infection, therefore, may be longer than expected.
Calcium deficiency is a condition in which the body has an inadequate amount of calcium. Calcium is a mineral that is essential for many aspects of health, including the health of bones and teeth, and a normal heart rhythm. This mineral is also required for muscle contractions and relaxation, nerve and hormone function, and blood pressure regulation.
Normal amounts of calcium in the blood are so critical to many vital body functions of the nerves, muscles, brain and heart, that your body will pull calcium from the bones as needed to maintain normal blood calcium levels. This enables important processes in the body to continue. However, ongoing dietary calcium deficiency can eventually lead to thinning of the bones and osteoporosis because calcium stores in the bones are not replaced as they are used by the body. Untreated calcium deficiency can lead to serious complications, such as osteoporosis, hypertension (high blood pressure), and cardiac arrhythmias.
Chromium levels in your body are naturally low but this mineral is very important for its role in digesting food and transporting sugars to your cells where they, in turn, produce energy. People who suffer from a chromium deficiency are at a higher risk for developing diabetes and coronary artery disease.
Folic Acid is one of the B vitamins, and it helps your body make new cells, including new red blood cells. Your body needs red blood cells to carry oxygen. If you don’t have enough red blood cells, you have anemia, which can make you feel weak and tired. Folic Acid deficiency may cause you to feel weak and tired, feel lightheaded, be forgetful, feel grouchy, lose your appetite, and have trouble concentrating.
Iron deficiency anemia is a common type of anemia — a condition in which blood lacks adequate healthy red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen to the body’s tissues. Mild iron deficiency anemia usually doesn’t cause complications. However, left untreated, iron deficiency anemia can become severe and lead to health problems, including the following:
- Heart problems. Iron deficiency anemia may lead to a rapid or irregular heartbeat. Your heart must pump more blood to compensate for the lack of oxygen carried in your blood when you’re anemic. This can lead to an enlarged heart or heart failure.
- Problems during pregnancy. In pregnant women, severe iron deficiency anemia has been linked to premature births and low birth weight babies. But the condition is easily preventable in pregnant women who receive iron supplements as part of their prenatal care.
- Growth problems. In infants and children, severe iron deficiency can lead to anemia as well as delayed growth and development. Additionally, iron deficiency anemia is associated with an increased susceptibility to infections
Vitamin B12 deficiency – A mild deficiency may cause only mild, if any, symptoms. But as the deficiency worsens it may causes symptoms such as:
§ weakness, tiredness or light-headedness
§ rapid heartbeat and breathing
§ pale skin
§ sore tongue
§ easy bruising or bleeding, including bleeding gums
§ stomach upset and weight loss
§ diarrhea or constipation
If the deficiency is not corrected, it can damage the nerve cells. If this happens, vitamin B12 deficiency effects may include:
§ tingling or numbness in fingers and toes
§ difficulty walking
§ mood changes or depression
§ memory loss, disorientation, and dementia
B12 deficiency in infants, if not detected and treated, can lead to severe and permanent damage to the nervous system. New mothers who follow a vegetarian diet should have their babies’ B12 levels checked by a doctor.
Vitamin C, or ascorbic acid, is an essential nutrient that the body cannot produce on its own. When the body is deficient in vitamin C, many different systems can be affected. Ascorbic acid is responsible for the proper formation and maintenance of bones, skin, teeth, gums and connective tissue. It also acts as an antioxidant, scavenging free radicals before they can damage cells. Vitamin C also has a role in wound healing and in helping the body absorb iron, another important nutrient. Someone with a vitamin C deficiency may first notice symptoms of tiredness and weakness. As the deficiency gets worse, the individual may develop muscle or joint aches and the immune system may become less efficient, leading to more frequent infections. If the deficiency goes untreated for a few months or longer, signs of scurvy may develop, including loose teeth, bleeding gums, skin discoloration, dry hair and skin and anemia
Zinc is an important mineral required for a number of bodily functions involving energy and metabolism. One of its most important roles is in supporting our immune system. Zinc also plays a role in carbohydrate breakdown, as well as growth, division, and reproduction of our cells. People with zinc deficiency can experience vision and hearing loss, susceptibility to infections, delayed sexual maturation (in men), stunted growth, hair loss, appetite and weight loss, dry skin, and anemia. Proper zinc intake is especially important to the development of growing children. Extreme zinc deficiency can be dangerous to the health and wellness of growing children.
These are just the known deficiencies so far. If you are on these medications it would be wise to supplement with all 90 known essential nutrients at dosages based on your body weight. If you would like more information contact Pharmacist Keith. Also I encourage you to visit http://TheRx4Health.com and listen to the audio track of Dead Doctors Don’t Lie that discusses Salt and High Blood Pressure. It appears that the medical establishment’s advice to reduce our salt intake to reduce the risk of high blood pressure may be what is causing the epidemic of Acid Reflux. Also check out the archives on my blog Healthy Living with Pharmacist Keith at http://Blog.TheRx4Health.com
Keith Abell, RPh CIP MI
Pharmacist – Marketing Director
Youngevity Essential Life Sciences