How PPIs can leave you deficient in critical nutrients

They're common drugs that can leave you absent-minded, sad, tired, weak and suffering from the indignity of muscle spasms -- and odds are, you know someone who's taking them right now.

That someone might even be you.

The drugs are stomach acid meds, especially proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) such as Nexium, Prilosec and Prevacid. New research confirms these drugs can rob you of vitamin B12, boosting your risk of a deficiency of this critical nutrient by 65 percent.

Running low in B12 can damage the brain, leading to mood problems and that memory loss I just mentioned. Low B12 can even cause dementia or dementia-like symptoms.

Since you need B12 to make red blood cells, running short can cause anemia -- leaving you exhausted and weak. You even need B12 for your nerves, with low levels leading to spasms, tingling, numbness and more.

This isn't just a random link. It's a real one -- one I've seen before -- and it exists because it's in the very nature of how these drugs work: they reduce levels of stomach acid.

But far from being your enemy -- or even the cause of your reflux, when all is said and done -- that stomach acid is actually essential. You NEED it to digest food and absorb nutrients. Cut those levels with a drug, and you could suffer from serious deficiencies.

And low B12 is just the beginning.

PPIs can pull the calcium from your bones, boosting your risk of breaks and fractures. They can choke off your magnesium supply, leading to heart problems and even death.

And if that's not enough, PPIs can alter the bacterial load in your stomach and expose you to the risk of infection with C. diff, a bug that can literally cause you to poop yourself to death.

There are bad ways to go... worse ways to go... and then there's C. diff.

There's a much easier way to deal with heartburn, reflux, GERD and more: Fresh cabbage juice. Drink 8 ounces at a time until you feel better.