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Author: Libby the 1 last update 08 Aug 2020 Mitchell Author: Libby Mitchell

Medications come with risks, and for years doctors have known people taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) for heartburn and acid reflux may be at risk for kidney damage. It was previously thought that the decline in kidney function is acute and transient. However, a new study raises concerns that this may not be the case. In some patients, kidney problems can develop slowly over time and result in chronic kidney disease.

“In most cases kidney damage is completely asymptomatic,” says Laith Al-Rabadi, MBBS, a nephrologist with University of Utah Health Care. “Patients may only show symptoms at very advanced stages. These symptoms can be vague and include fatigue, low appetite, and nausea, or more florid like shortness of breath lower extremity swelling and confusion.”

The kidney has small filters “glomeruli” that filter the toxins from the blood. PPIs cause inflammation of the tissue between those filters with subsequent damage and scarring over time. The impacts of the damage depend on how early it’s caught. “The acute inflammatory component can be usually revered with stopping the medication,” says Al-Rabadi. “Unfortunately, we can''a-list a-list--divider''a-link--borderless''//''u-color-grey''a-link--borderless''//''u-color-grey''a-link--borderless''//''u-color-grey''a-link--borderless''//''u-color-grey''a-link--borderless''//''u-color-grey'>June 26, 2019
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