Proton Pump Inhibitors or PPIs are drugs that are prescribed for reducing acid indigestion, preventing stomach ulcers, and remedying heartburn. However, a recent study has shown that using these drugs might be a major reason for infertility among men as they have adverse effects upon semen parameters.
While PPIs are prescribed for and are safe to consume for a maximum of four weeks at a time without adverse effects, many patients continue to take them for months and even years. Research has concluded that men in their 20s and 30s consuming PPIs such as Prilosec, Prevacid and Zanprol for more than six months are three times more susceptible to infertility due to reduced sperm count.
How Do PPIs Affect Sperm Quality?
Vitamin B is one of the nutrients that are vital in the formation of healthy sperms. Professor of Genetics at the Kings College, London asserts that PPI medications mess up the Vitamin B producing gut microbiome. Your body can adapt to these medications if you take them for a few days. However, prolonged use of this drug can reconstruct your gut make-up.
Specialists at the Erasmus University Medical Centre, Rotterdam, have deduced that PPI medications make the stomach environment less acidic. This reduces the absorption capacity levels of various nutrients including Vitamin B which is essential in promoting healthy sperms.
Better Alternatives to Proton Pump Meds
The best way to evade the adverse impact caused by PPI medications is to try and avoid them in the first place. There are various ways that significantly reduce long-term gastric problems without using PPIs. Here’s a list –
Eat A GERD-Free Diet –
- Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder that causes acid indigestion and heartburn.
- Identifying what foods trigger your GERD symptoms is the first step in planning an effective “GERD-free meal”.
- Prevention is better than cure. Hence, avoid eating these foods rather than consuming them and then turning to PPIs
Maintain A Healthy Lifestyle –
- Smoking and consumption of alcohol are a big no-no if you want to avoid acid reflux.
- If you are obese, enrol yourself in a weight-loss program and cut down a few pounds. Wear loose-fitting clothes over your abdomen area. Putting too much pressure on stomach can trigger GERD
- Do not sleep for at least 3 hours after your last meal. Avoid midnight snacks
- Eat 5 or 6 small meals rather than 2 big ones. This promotes faster digestion
Get Enough Rest –
- Stressing out leads to slower digestion and accumulation of more stomach acids. Get enough rest to avoid triggering your GERD symptoms
- Practise meditation or yoga as both forms calm your body and sharpen your mind.
Consume Melatonin Supplements –
- The hormone Melatonin is produced by the pineal gland in the brain. While it is commonly used for aiding sleep, users have reported reduced acid reflux symptoms.
- Melatonin is easily available at pharmacies but it is important to consult with your doctor before self-medicating
Gentlemen, if you are planning a baby, you might want to steer clear of PPIs. Let us know more tips to overcome acid reflux and GERD without using PPIs in the comments section.