The Danger of Using Antacids

Summit Urgent Care

Heartburn affects an estimated 20% of people at least once a week. While an occasional heartburn episode may be common, some people have heartburn frequently.

How do most people treat this problem? Antacids. Due to America’s bad diet, people are popping antacids like candy, but this isn’t the best solution, it’s just a quick fix that hurts us in the long run.

What causes heartburn?

In reality, digestive problems like heartburn typically stem from low stomach acid, very few digestive enzymes and huge meals that were not chewed well enough. These big meals cause food to sit in the digestive tract longer than they should.

As a result, food ferments in the stomach causing gas and bloating when it is not properly digested.  As these gases rise and reach the esophagus, they cause pain in the chest that some say feels like a heart attack.

Too much gas causes the valve that keeps the stomach contents out of the esophagus to stretch. This spills acid into the esophagus, causing the stinging sensation otherwise known as heartburn. Taking an antacid medication may temporarily ease the burning sensation since it reduces stomach acid.

When an antacid is taken, improper food digestion occurs, the food then ferments, starting the whole problem all over again.  By using antacids to control stomach acid, the stomach compensates by providing more acid.

What exactly are in antacids?  

Below I have outlined common ingredients in antacids and their effects on our body.  Please read carefully through them.  Most people don’t realize that antacids actually hurt your stomach in the long run.

Aluminum salts: These salts interfere with the absorption of phosphates.  This can lead to constipation, loss of appetite, weakness, and bone damage.  Aluminum salts can aggravate patients with Alzheimer’s disease, kidney disease, those who are dehydrated, and those with certain bone disorders.

Calcium salts:  In excess, calcium salts can cause constipation, urinary tract disorders, headaches, mood changes, muscles weakness, and nausea.

Sodium bicarbonate: This has a laxative effect.  Sodium bicarbonate can also affect blood pressure and cause swollen feet and legs.

In addition, antacids can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and medication, especially antibiotics.  Antacids that contain magnesium can be dangerous when given to people who have a kidney disease.

It can also be dangerous for those who suffer from dehydration.  I have read that antacids block the vitamin B12…a vital vitamin for the human brain.  Researchers believe that the lack of vitamin B12 in the brain may be one cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

If indeed you have osteoporosis or are at risk, or if you are a child, you should never take antacids.

Lets face it: if you are going to settle for treating heartburn instead of curing it, you’ll be wasting your money. This method of treatment will bring absolutely no long-term effects and a possibility of esophagus cancer could occur.

Analyze what you’re eating, how you’re eating, and see what natural alternatives to heartburn relief work for you.  You’re better off treating heartburn naturally…and your body will thank you for it.

Here are some remedies people have found to work that you can try.

    • Mix 2 tbsp Apple Cider Vinegar in 8 oz water and drink. Take this any time you are suffering from heartburn.

 

    • Chew natural mint gum

 

    • Eat Dry Unsalted Roasted or Soaked Almonds

 

    • Eat cultured yogurt and fruit

 

    • Supplement with Acidophilus and other probiotics

 

    • Drink Aloe Vera Juice

 

  • Supplement with digestive enzymes (especially those difficult to digest high meat protein meals)

 

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