Not only antibiotics, but even some drugs go a long way in disrupting the harmony of the intestinal tract and these are PPIs or proton pump inhibitors and NSAIDs or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. There are many people who take NSAIDs for reducing pain and easing inflammation. These medicines are sold as OTC drugs or over-the-counter drugs for reliving muscle pains, headaches and for offering temporary relief from minor sources of pain. On the other hand, PPIs help in relieving the overproduction of stomach acid and acid reflux and also for lessening the side effects of NSAIDs on the digestive system.
The Harmful Effects of NSAIDs
Recent research in the field of using NSAIDs has shown that NSAIDs which were once considered to be benign are associated with various side effects. Doctors recommend that the doses of NSAIDs can result in the complete damage of the mucosal lining of the stomach resulting in heavy bleeding. There is one fact about NSAIDs that is less recognized and it is that NSAIDs can also have a negative effect on the lining of the small intestine resulting in ulceration. Studies in this field show that around 50% to 70% who have been on NSAIDs for a very long time tend to experience injuries to their small intestinal tracts.
The Adverse Effects of PPIs
Doctors generally prescribe PPIs for counteracting the negative actions of NSAIDs on the stomach. PPI is a class of medicines that works effectively by blocking the manufacture of stomach acid. Hence a major problem is solved by PPIs and that is by blocking the production of stomach acid, they help in reducing the chances of stomach bleeding which is associated with the intake of NSAIDs. However, PPIs do nothing for mitigating the negative impacts that they have on the small intestinal tract. Perhaps, taking PPIs for a very long span of time can worsen this problem by changing gut bacteria that might provide some protection against the damage caused to the small intestinal tract.
NSAIDs and Probiotics- What are the Findings of Research?
It has been proved through research that the damage caused to the small intestine due to the intake of PPIs and NSAIDs can be reversed and prevented by reinstating healthy gut bacteria. It has also been proved through studies that the development of bacteria resulting in ulcer formations in the small intestinal tract as a response to NSAIDs can be blocked efficiently by using probiotics. Probiotics strains of Lactobacillus and Bifidobacterium can prove to be efficacious in protecting intestinal mucosa in people who have been taking PPIs and NSAIDs for a very long time. There are several reasons behind taking probiotic bacteria for restoring the health of the small intestine and for maintaining the balance of gut-friendly bacteria. Probiotic supplements provide various other health advantages that go beyond just protecting the digestive tract in people.