Antacids: The Truth About Antacids

When you experience heartburn, what do you usually do?  Take an antacid?  Suffer through it?  Drink some milk?  What do you do?

I’m willing to bet that most people out there would answer, “Reach for a few antacids to find some relief”.  I know I used to, and I can tell you that my husband definitely still does!  But if this isn’t you, then I am sure you know of someone who suffers from heartburn on a regular basis and ingests antacids like their candy. 

Most people think that the answer to all their heartburn problems can be resolved by taking over the counter antacids…but nothing could be further from the truth! 

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, and 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.  It is amazing that, especially if taken in large doses, antacids can be harmful to your health!

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 sales 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...the most 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 of treating heartburn naturally...and your body will thank you for it!


Nothing on this site is a recommendation as to how to treat any particular disease or health-related condition. You should not use this site as a substitute for professional medical advice. For serious ailments, or if symptoms persist, you must see a medical professional. You should not stop taking prescribed medication without consulting your doctor.

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