|Street art, Williamsburg, Brooklyn|
Other doctors question the findings -- all of the people on PPIs may not have GERD. The may be treated for GERD symptoms but PPIs are not helping because that's not the underlying cause: "Lack of a symptomatic response to PPIs suggests either poor compliance with the correct dosing or timing of the medication [or] volume reflux, such as in those with regurgitation or non-GERD causes."
A quick search around the Internet demonstrates my own concerns about PPIs -- that, often, they are just an easy "fix" for GI doctors. Medication is doled out as if that is the only option, and patients and doctors love the convenience -- the"science" -- of it. Taking a pill or three is a lot easier than adjusting your eating pace and portion size, avoiding or reducing certain foods, and re-training yourself to be more mindful of how things affect your body. My own GI doctor was quick to write out a slew of prescriptions (which I tried, but to no avail).
Look at this MedicineNet entry for GERD, in which the expert answers the question, "What is a reasonable approach to the management of GERD?":
Higher and higher. And a Google search results in numerous threads from GERD sufferers agonizing about their continuing symptoms despite an arsenal of revolving meds. Insanity! [Disclaimer: I'm not a frequent medication taker -- I'll avoid all congestion medication, most painkillers, and don't get a flu shot. So I'm coming into this discussion skeptical of PPIs…]
I'm not saying PPIs aren't valuable -- or critical -- for some people. I know people who have had GERD resolved after short-term medication courses, and my mom is destined for long-term PPI-driven management due to a hernia complication. This is just a reminder to "listen to your body," continue to ask your doctor questions, don't second-guess your gut, and STAY MINDFUL of the sometimes subtle things that work /don't work.