Why Overuse of Antacids Can Be Dangerous
Antacids are common medication for fast heartburn and acid reflux relief. Unfortunately these medications do not provide long lasting remedy and can even make the whole situation worse and harm the body’s natural healthy balance.
First of all, it is necessary to understand how popular antacids work.
Antacids are usually pills and contain alkaline compounds. Alkaline is fast in neutralizing stomach acid and typically does not affect the release of the new acid. Different antacids have different active ingredients, depending on the purpose of the drug. One type of antacids works to neutralize stomach acids, while other type is used for protection of inside lining of swallowing tube or esophagus. Active ingredients depending on the type of antacid include calcium carbonate, aluminum hydroxide, magnesium hydroxide and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda).
What are the Side Effects of Antacids
Stomach acids are needed for body to be able to digest food. When antacids neutralize stomach acid, it has an effect on important enzyme that is critical for protein absorption – Pepsin. Pepsin cannot work properly when stomach acids are suppressed and as a result body cannot digest proteins well. This explains why many side effects of antacids are related to digestive system, like constipation.
While antacids are considered relatively safe, there are more and more side effects that emerge when taking these medications in the longer term.
Overuse of Calcium carbonate containing antacids:
Most common antacids side effect is constipation. Other reported effects are headache, muscle pain, fatigue and painful urination.
Occasionally calcium based antacids may increase the risk of development of kidney stones.
Overuse of Aluminum containing antacids:
Constipation is the most common side effect. Because aluminum is neurotoxic, side effects include muscle weakness, also swelling sensation of joints. It is not recommended to use aluminum containing antacids during pregnancy.
Overuse of Magnesium containing antacids:
Patients may experience diarrhea, irregularities in heart rate, dizziness, appetite loss and frequent changes in mood.
Overuse of Sodium Bicarbonate containing antacids:
The most dangerous about overuse of sodium bicarbonate is its effects on the whole body, not just for suppressing stomach acids. Harmful side effects are high blood pressure and too much fluid retention or edema. Similar to effects of calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate may increase risk of kidney stones. Among other common side effect is frequent urination, swelling sensation in legs and nausea.
Millions of people every year use antacids to suppress the symptoms of heartburn. Luckily, there is a better approach that will give permanent results and address not just symptoms, but the root cause of acid reflux and heartburn.
Heartburn No More is based on natural and holistic approach to address the core reasons of acid reflux and GERD without destabilizing the whole body system.