Managing blood sugar seems easy from a theoretical standpoint: eating less of it and things should level out.
But it’s not that easy. New research suggests another possible risk factor for high blood sugar and type-2 diabetes: popular antacids.
In a large-scale review featuring over 200,000 participants, researchers found that regular use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) was associated with a 24% risk increase for type-2 diabetes. They also noticed a correlation between risk and how long people used the drugs.
PPIs, used to treat heartburn or acid reflux, are some of the world’s most popular medications. They are available by both prescription and over-the-counter. Popular types include:
The results were published in the journal Gut.
Interestingly, diabetes risk associated with PPI risk was highest in people with normal blood pressure and lower weight. Generally, higher weight is a risk factor for type-2 diabetes.
The link between PPIs, blood sugar, and diabetes risk may have something to do with the effect of gut bacteria. More work on this is required.
At first glance, the link between acid reflux medication and diabetes risk seems elementary. If someone’s regularly eating foods that cause acid reflux, it’s likely those foods are also contributing to diabetes.
Finding the elevated link in people that had low blood pressure and weight shows there is more than meets the eye. In fact, after controlling for blood pressure, activity, and weight, they still found a higher diabetes risk in people who used PPIs.
They did find, however, that diabetes risk dropped when people stopped taking them. The risk continued to fall the longer people stayed off them, as well.
Your best defense at controlling acid reflux, thus lessening the risk for diabetes, is avoiding foods that trigger a reaction. Further, some natural remedies that may help include:
- Slippery elm
- Eating smaller meals
- Chewing gum