Could You Be Weakening Your Immune System?

Playing Drs. Rx: What Surprising Thing Could Make Your Immune System Weaker?

Learn how certain types of over-the-counter medication can hurt your immune function – are you at risk?

Watch: Heartburn Surgery

Proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs), a common class of antacid medication, may affect the balance of a patient’s gut bacteria, ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork explains. This could lead to a greater risk for infections, or even vitamin deficiencies or bone fractures.

“If you’re taking over-the-counter antacids indiscriminately,” says Dr. Stork, “You need to talk to your doctor. Address the underlying causes.” He notes that evidence is building up that taking antacids long-term can have unwanted side effects.

Watch: Which Foods Can Help Heartburn?

“Watch those trigger foods and check with your doctor,” he concludes.