H2-Blocker Antacid Use

Evaluating Risk Factors: H2-Blocker Antacid Use

Evaluating your likely current (and near future) state of health means taking into account the risk factors — such as H2-blocker antacid use — that affect you.   Our medical diagnosis tool, The Analyst™, identifies major risk factors by asking the right questions.

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If you indicate history of antacid use or currently using antacid, The Analyst™ will ask further questions including this one:
Have you used H2 blockers such as Tagamet, Pepcid or Zantac?
Possible responses:
→ No / don't know
→ Minor use in the past
→ Significant use in the past
→ Currently using, for up to 6 months
→ Currently using, for over 6 months

The Diagnostic Process

Based on your response to this question, which may indicate either past H2-blocker antacid use or H2-blocker antacid use, The Analyst™ will use differential diagnosis to consider possibilities such as:
Folic Acid Deficiency

There is some evidence that H2 blockers may slightly reduce the absorption of folate.  Folate is an important nutrient and one that is commonly deficient in the diet, so if you are taking H2 blockers you should probably take folate supplements as well.

Iron Requirement

By reducing stomach acid levels, H2 blockers might interfere with the absorption of iron, zinc, and perhaps other minerals.

Vitamin B12 Requirement

H2-receptor blockers appear to impair the absorption of vitamin B12 from food.  This is thought to occur because the vitamin B12 in food is attached to proteins.  Stomach acid separates them and allows the B12 to be absorbed.

Zinc Requirement

By reducing stomach acid levels, H2 blockers might interfere with the absorption of iron, zinc and perhaps other minerals.  Gastric acid secretion plays an important role in the regulation of zinc absorption in men.  Drugs that keep stomach pH values of 3 or greater for at least 24 hours may predispose individuals to zinc deficiency.

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