An antacid is a substance which neutralizes stomach acidity, which in turn relieves heartburn, indigestion or stomach upset. Antacids are available over the counter and are taken by mouth to quickly relieve occasional heartburn, which is the major symptom of gastro-esophageal reflux disease and also indigestion. Treatment with antacids alone is symptomatic and can only be justified for minor symptoms. Antacids are dissimilar from acid-reducing drugs like H2-receptor antagonists or proton pump inhibitors and they do not kill the bacteria Helicobocter pylori, which causes most ulcers. When excessive amounts of acids are produced in the stomach the natural mucous barrier that protects the lining of the stomach can damage the esophagus in people with acid reflux.
Antacids contain alkaline ions that chemically neutralize stomach gastric acid, reducing damage and relieving pain. Versions with magnesium may cause diarrhea, and brands with calcium or aluminum may cause constipation and rarely, long-term use may cause kidney stones. term use of versions with aluminum may increase the risk for getting osteoporosis. important to note the following:
- A patient should note that while taking antacids may appear to solve the problem of acid reflux, this might only be masking the symptoms of an underlying problem. It’s advisable to treat the root cause problems to avoid being bothered another time.
- While antacids give temporary relief, they can actually make the problem worse in the long run. Antacids neutralize the acid in the stomach, but this acid is necessary to deal with food and break it down. If there is not enough acid to do this, the stomach tends to :F produce even more but not the result wanted.
- When the stomach acid is neutralized, food is not properly digested. This not only leads to more indigestion, but it means that one will not be getting the nutrients needed from the food. So long-term use of antacids may cause malnutrition, or lack of certain nutrients needed for optimum health. One may feel tired and lacking in stamina and not know the cause of such.
- Antacids often have unpleasant side effects such as constipation or diarrhea. If they are the types that contain magnesium salts, this can build up in the body and effect kidney function. Negligible side effects that are less likely to be as irritating are thirst with high intensity, a chalky taste in the mouth and stomach cramps.
- Antacids frequently interact with other medications such as antibiotics, altering their effect in the body. It’s advisable to take the drug under the supervision of a doctor. Your health-care professional should also be conversant with the use of antacid if he wishes to carry out any medical tests, as antacids can vary or interfere with the accuracy of certain tests.
- If you have severe symptoms of acid reflux, using antacids may not provide any help. Individuals with the symptoms of mild GERD (gastro-esophageal reflux disease) may find taking antacids temporarily helpful, but if their symptoms are more unbearable, there will repeatedly be no visible ease and as such they are only ingesting ingredients that can harm rather than help.
- If people engage in self diagnosis and take antacids to cure what could be thought of as acid reflux, they could be propelling a more serious condition known as a peptic ulcer. It is far better to get a professional diagnosis for the problem to ensure a permanent cure and not just a band-aid treatment that may mask a more severe problem.
- Antacids will probably work for a person who experiences GERD symptoms once every couple of weeks. However, most chronic sufferers experience it daily.
- Antacids have a warning label to stop taking after 2 weeks. This is because a hormone, gastrin, starts to develop in the body after the 2 weeks period of time. The production of Gastrin has been linked to causing digestive tract cancer.
- Antacids work by treating the symptoms of the disease. Antacids do nothing to treat the cause of the disease (repairing the lower esophageal sphincter).
If antacids is taken on a consistent basis (more than twice a week), then, there is a serious problem. First, antacid labels warn the consumer about taking product for more than 2 weeks because of related health problems. Secondly, antacids work by neutralizing the reflux stomach acid. Unfortunately, esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter do not benefit from antacids. It is likely that a person suffers from heartburn or acid reflux because of a damaged or weakened esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter (LES). It is important to note that the esophagus is the tube that carries food to the stomach. Over time, many people’s esophagus gets scratched or weakens because of bad food/beverage choices and refluxed stomach acid. The LES is a muscle flap that sits atop the stomach. It is responsible for allowing food to get into the stomach and also for keeping the food and stomach acid inside the stomach. Unfortunately, most of the 21st century diets pay a toll on our LES. However, if you know how to keep your LES strengthened and healthy, one may never have to deal with acid reflux again.
These are recommended for home treatments:
You can begin home treatment for reflux by allowing esophagus and LES to heal by avoiding crunchy foods that may scratch the tissue, and avoiding acidic and spicy foods for at least 2-3 days. Avoid smoking for a couple days which can also be helpful to the tissue.
While the tissue of both the esophagus and LES are recovering, it is important to aid the healing process by preparing a honey therapy. Honey is an old natural remedy believed to be one of the first medicines. It is no wonder because honey has been shown to fight bacteria and inflammation, reduce pain, block infection and improve circulation. Three teaspoons of honey should be taken daily especially before going to bed at night. It will aid in restoring the tissue of the esophagus and LES.
Eat more fiber (this can be gotten from red apple): From interactions with many customers, a red apple is a preferred remedy because it is convenient and works almost instantly. It is recommended to carry a baggie full of apple slices and whenever an attack is perceived, eat up!
Staying away from foods that are hard and crunchy: These foods have a tendency to scrape the sphincter while being digested. And a weak or damaged sphincter is one of the main causes of acid reflux. Avoid cereals, chips, crackers, cereal bars, toast, etc.
Drinking plenty of water after every meal or snack: Water washes off the sphincter from debris and creates a tight seal over the stomach after a snack or meal.
Aloe vera juice can speed up the recovery of sphincter and help cure this disease quickly.
A natural remedy for acid reflux can also be in the form of herbal teas for help in relieving nausea and heartburn symptoms. Naturopathic doctor may additionally recommend acupuncture and massage therapies to help with digestive support and strength.
Antacids include Alka-seltzer, Mytanta, Maalox, Rolaids and Riopan, and are normally the first drugs that a doctor will recommend for the relief of heartburn, as well as other mild symptoms of GERD. Most of the antacid brands in the market tend to have a combination of three basic salts: magnesium, calcium and aluminum, as well as hydroxide or bicarbonate ions which aid in the neutralization of stomach acids. An antacid is known as a drug or dietary substance that buffers, neutralizes or absorbs hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Using Baking Soda as both an alkalizing agent and antacid can be very dangerous. Antacid can easily be overdosed and the resultant effect could be hypertension and stroke because it affects the electrolytes.
Various brands include:
- Aluminum and Magnesium Hydroxide Oral Suspension (Alamag Suspension, Maalox Suspension, Magnalox Suspension, Magnox Suspension, Mintox Suspension)
- Aluminum and Magnesium Hydroxide (Alarnag Aludror DiGel, Maalox, Magnalox, Mylan ta, Rulox)
- Aluminum Hydroxide Oral Liquid (AlternaGEl Liquid, AmphojelSuspension)
- Calcium Carbonate Tablets (Anritone, Caltrate 500, Dicarbosil, Equilet, Mallamint, Titralac, Tums), Lansoprazole (Prevacid6, Zotono Zantac, Priloseg Losec) is also a ‘Proton pump inhibitor which works in a very similar way to Omeprazole. Lansoprazole is only available on a doctor’s prescription. Side effects include: headache, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach pain, cough, dizziness or mild rash. Losec side effects include: headache, diarrhea constipation, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach pain, cough, dizziness or mild rash.
- Magnesium Hydroxide (Milk of Magnesia, Milk of Magnesia-Concentrated, Phillips Milk of Magnesia)
- Maalox and Maalox Suspension
- Magaldrate (losopan, Riopan)
- Magnesium Gluconate
- Mintox Suspension
- Omeprazole (Prilosec®, Losec®) also restricts the production of stomach acid but in a slightly different way. Omeprazole is a ‘Proton pump inhibitor’. It decreases the amount of acid in the stomach by binding to the gastric pump to block secretion of acid into the stomach. Omeprazole is only available on a doctor’s prescription. Side effects include: headache, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, vomiting stomach pain, cough, dizziness or mild rash. Prilosec side effects include: headache, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, vomiting stomach pain, cough, dizziness or mild rash.
- Pepcid Complete
- Prepcid AC
- Prevacid Side effects include: headache, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach pain, cough, dizziness or mild rash.
- Ranitidine Side effects include headache, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach pain, cough, dizziness or mild rash.
- Reglan Side effects include the onset of Parkinson’s disease symptoms including trembling, stiffness facial paralysis, and twisting movements of the body.
- Sodium Bicarbonate Powder (Baking Soda, Otrocarbonate)
- Sodium Bicarbonate (Bell-Ans, Soda Mint)
- Tritalac Plus
- Zantac side effects include: headache, diarrhea, constipation, upset stomach, vomiting, stomach pain, cough, dizziness or mild rash
- Zoton side effects include: headache, diarrhea constipation, upset stomach, vomiting stomach pair, cough, dizziness or mild rash.