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How Do Antacids Work To Stop Heartburn

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What Foods And Drinks Cause Heartburn

Antacids and Why They Work | TUMS
  • Alcohol: Alcohol can relax the lower esophageal sphincter.
  • Coffee and orange or other acidic juices are some of the beverages that can worse or trigger heartburn.
  • Fatty foods, fried foods, and some acidic foods as well as spicy foods can cause heartburn.
  • Additional foods that make heartburn worse.

Every person reacts somewhat differently to specific food groups. To track what foods worsen your symptoms, keep a food journal. In this journal, you should keep track of what you eat, the time you ate, any activity that worsened or made the heartburn better, and indicate which days you have heartburn symptoms. Over time, you will be able to correlate the offending foods with heartburn events. Print this and take this with you to your next doctors appointment to discuss possible causes of heartburn you may be experiencing.

Heartburn Journal Week of________________

Pregnancy tends to aggravate heartburn because the lower esophageal sphincter is weakened during pregnancy. This weakened resolves after delivery of the baby. Pregnancy also distorts the organs in the abdomen and the increased abdominal pressure from the growing fetus causes heartburn. These changes promote the reflux of acid and heartburn.

Approximately 17% to 45% of women who become pregnant will suffer from heartburn.

Management of heartburn during pregnancy consists of many of the same home remedies and lifestyle changes for a person with heartburn who is not pregnant .

Warnings Precautions And Drug Interactions

Stop taking antacids and contact your doctor if you’ve been using antacids for 2 weeks with no improvement in your symptoms.

Ask your doctor before taking antacids if you:

  • Have kidney or liver problems
  • Are on a low-sodium diet
  • Are taking thyroid medication such as Levoxyl or Synthroid or the blood thinner Coumadin or Jantoven , since antacids may interfere with these drugs

If you’re pregnant, take care to avoid antacids that contain sodium bicarbonate like Alka-Seltzer or are otherwise high in sodium.

If you want a calcium-based antacid but are worried about gas, you may prefer Citrical because Tums tends to cause gas.

You can take antacids 30 minutes before you eat, but most people find longer-lasting relief from their symptoms if they take antacids an hour after eating or when their symptoms first appear.

The Truth About Antacids: How To Stop Heartburn Naturally

Heartburn after a meal is no fun. But did you know that its a completely avoidable experience with a conventional treatment that actually makes it worse?

Usually when we get heartburn, the known strategy is to reach for a bottle of antacids and keep chewing those chalky tablets until its gone. For chronic heartburn, you might even be prescribed an acid blocker for long-term use.

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Get Some Form Of Exercise At Least For Half An Hour In A Day

Exercise is the answer to almost all our ailments. Its no different when it comes to acidity, and we tell you exactly how. Lack of exercise leads to excessive deposition of fats, especially in the abdominal area. Excess abdominal fat pushes stomach acids up into the oesophagus which can further lead to frequent heartburns. Do those crunches and runs regularly to prevent acidity and shed those extra pounds.

Make Time For Exercise

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We all know that exercising regularly is an important part of maintaining a healthy weight, and you may also know that it benefits your heart. But exercise also benefits your brain supporting cognitive function, improving mood and reducing stress and anxiety. Itâs why the CDC recommends regularly being physically active.

Physical activity stimulates the release of endorphins, which relieve stress. It also stimulates the release of dopamine, serotonin and norepinephrine which help regulate your mood. For instance, the serotonin boost you get from exercise can help improve your sense of well-being. In addition, exercise helps balance adrenaline levels in your body, which can reduce stress.

This means that regular exercise, even if itâs just a 20 minutes a day, can help you cope with stress and improve your overall mental health. Itâs also a great way to feel a sense of accomplishment, as well as a healthy way to take control of your life during a time of uncertainty.

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Does Water Help Heartburn

Drinking water during the later stages of digestion can reduce acidity and GERD symptoms. Often, there are pockets of high acidity, between a pH or 1 and 2, just below the esophagus. By drinking tap or filtered water a little while after a meal, you can dilute the acid there, which can result in less heartburn.

Can I Take An Antacid If Im Pregnant Or Thinking Of Becoming Pregnant

Its usually safe to take antacids if you are pregnant or thinking about becoming pregnant. But, you should always check with your healthcare provider first. It is also important to check the ingredients in the antacid you plan on taking. Ingredients like aluminum salts and calcium are safe to consume if you are pregnant but dont take more than the daily recommended dosage.

Do antacids pass into breast milk?

Some ingredients, like calcium, that are found in antacids can pass into breastmilk. It is safe to take antacids if you are breastfeeding as long as you dont exceed the daily recommended dosage for antacids.

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Upper Gastrointestinal Tract And Acid

Your stomach normally produces acid to help with the digestion of food and to kill germs . This acid is corrosive so your body produces a natural mucous barrier which protects the lining of the stomach from being worn away .

In some people this barrier may have broken down allowing the acid to damage the stomach, causing an ulcer. In others there may be a problem with the muscular band at the top of the stomach that keeps the stomach tightly closed. This may allow the acid to escape and irritate the gullet . This is called acid reflux, which can cause heartburn and/or inflammation of the gullet .

Antacids work by counteracting the acid in your stomach. They do this because the chemicals in antacids are bases which are the opposite of acids. A reaction between an acid and base is called neutralisation. This neutralisation makes the stomach contents less corrosive. This can help to relieve the pain associated with ulcers and the burning sensation in acid reflux.

When antacids work on stomach acid, they can produce gas which may cause wind . Simeticone helps to stop this foaming effect and may sometimes be included within antacid medications.

Many of the common antacids also include alginates. Most alginates work by forming a gel which floats on top of the stomach contents. The gel acts as a protective barrier, preventing stomach acid from irritating the oesophagus.

Why People Use Antacids

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There are many different reasons why people use antacids, but all of them relate to relieving the symptoms associated with excess acid in the stomach.

Common symptoms of excess stomach acid include:

  • Heartburn, a condition in which excess stomach acid enters the esophagus, creating a burning sensation in the chest or throat
  • Acid reflux, a general term used to describe symptoms of excess acid production such as pain when lying down, difficulty swallowing, bitter taste in the mouth, regurgitation, nausea, and persistent dry cough
  • Indigestion, which includes symptoms like gas and bloating that affect the upper portion of the digestive tracts

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What Are Some Alternatives To Antacids For Treating Heartburn And Acid Indigestion Caused By Acid Reflux

Linstedt: If your symptoms are frequent or severe, your doctor may also recommend other medicine besides antacids. For example, OTC medicines called histamine-2 blockers may work better for you. These include cimetidine and famotidine .

Proton pump inhibitors are another option. These reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes, and theyre available over the counter and by prescription. Some doctors prescribe PPIs for long-term treatment.

How Much Of An Antacid Is Okay To Take

Linstedt: It might seem as though you can use antacids as often as you want because theyre sold over the counter. But theyre not intended for long-term therapy.

The dose size varies from one product to another, so you should read the label to be sure youre taking the medication as directed. You dont want to exceed the maximum dosage. And if youre taking it daily for 2 weeks straight, its time to see a doctor. You may have a medical condition that requires different treatment.

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You Don’t Have Acid Reflux

One reason PPIs aren’t curing your heartburn could be because you were misdiagnosed, Joel Richter, MD, director of the University of South Florida School of Medicine Division of Digestive Diseases and Nutrition, told Health.

PPIs treat gastroesophageal reflux disease , a condition where people have persistent acid reflux that damages their esophagus. However, many conditions can cause symptoms similar to GERD. Muscle contractions, stretching, and non-acidic reflux in the esophagus can all lead to heartburn, and heart disease can feel similar to heartburn. “There is a big group of people who get put on these medications and don’t get better, and most of the time, it’s because they don’t have an acid-related problem,” Dr. Richter said.

If you want to test whether your symptoms are due to reflux or another condition, follow up with your healthcare provider. They may recommend a 24-hour pH impedance test. This test measures the stomach acid levels in your esophagus and monitors the movement of fluid and gas along your esophagus. This combination can help determine whether you have acid reflux, non-acidic reflux, or another condition.

Precautions For Antacid Use

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Antacids are available over the counter without a prescription, which means that they are generally considered safe for most people when used as directed. However, some people may not be able to use certain types of antacids safely, including individuals with certain medical conditions. Antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide and magnesium carbonate are known to cause dangerous side effects in people with certain medical conditions.

Individuals experiencing kidney failure should not use antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide, as their kidneys may not be able to filter out the aluminum properly. As a result, they may develop a buildup of aluminum, which can cause aluminum toxicity. People with kidney disease or kidney failure also may have difficulty regulating their electrolyte levels, which can cause dangerous side effects. All antacids contain some type of electrolyte, so use of antacids may contribute to electrolyte imbalances in people with impaired kidney function.

Individuals experiencing heart failure may also not be able to use antacids safely due to the amount of sodium that is present in many antacids. Heart patients typically have sodium restrictions in place that are intended to minimize the buildup of fluid around the heart, so the addition of more sodium can be dangerous.

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The Hidden Dangers Of Antacids:

Many sufferers try to get relief from the problem by using antacids however, what most people donât know is that long term use of these can lead to a range of health problems such as malabsorbtion of nutrients constipation or diarrhoea headaches, increased risk of food allergies, nausea, and according to the FDA, they are even linked to bone fractures!

In particular, antacids are linked to a health problem called pernicious anaemia. This condition can lead to severe fatigue and muscle and nerve problems, leaving sufferers crippled and lacking control of their bowels, bladders and sense of balance in many cases. The reason for this condition is simpleâa lack of vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 is essential for producing red blood cells and maintaining a healthy nervous system, and a lack of it can lead to this autoimmune condition, which causes the body to attack the cells in the stomach needed for absorbing this vitamin.

What have antacids got to do with vitamin B12 deficiency? Well one of the most common causes of a vitamin B12 deficiency is taking acid reflux drugs. In fact, a recent Austrian study demonstrated that after only 4 or 5 months of taking such drugs, the levels of this vitamin began to drop in otherwise healthy men.

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You May Not Need A Ppi

More than half of the people who take PPIs probably do not need them. Simple heartburn can be treated with antacids or other drugs, plus diet and lifestyle changes.

You may only have heartburn every now and thensuch as after a big, spicy meal. This may be uncomfortable, but it is not serious. You can usually get relief from an antacid, like Rolaids or Tums, or an H2 blocker, such as Pepcid AC or Zantac.

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Acid Reducers For Heartburn

There are two types of drugs that cut down on the production of acid in the stomach: histamine antagonists and proton pump inhibitors .

Examples of H2 blockers available over the counter include:

Note: The H2 blocker ranitidine, which was in older Zantac products, was removed from the market in 2020 after it was found to contain a cancer-causing agent.

The proton-pump inhibitors esomeprazole , lansoprazole , and omeprazole are sold over-the-counter to treat frequent heartburn for 14 days. These types of medicines are also available as higher-strength prescriptions. Take them according to the directions on the package or as advised by your doctor.

If these medications don’t relieve your symptoms, or if your heartburn symptoms get worse or last for longer than 2 weeks, you should see your doctor.

How To Take Antacids

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Most commercial antacids come with some instructions. It is important to heed the contraindications and not exceed the recommended daily dose.

The need for these antacids is highly individual and regular use should only be as directed by a physician. A common recommendation is to take the antacids after meals and at bedtime. In practice, most users learn to take the antacid when they have symptoms, e.g., heartburn. A useful technique is to anticipate the timing of symptoms, such as after spicy foods or at bedtime, and take the antacid before.

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Maintain A Healthy Weight

As we briefly mentioned, being overweight can cause added pressure to build up near the stomach and abdomen. This pressure can ultimately manifest as heartburn and may pose other more serious issues later on down the road. For some, losing weight is an effective and natural remedy for heartburn.

Note: Make sure to discuss weight loss with your physician in order to find the best plan for your health.

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Antacids And Acid Reducers: Otc Relief For Heartburn And Acid Reflux

Last Updated August 2022 | This article was created by familydoctor.org editorial staff and reviewed by Leisa Bailey, MD

Over-the-counter medicines are drugs you can buy without a doctors prescription. There are 3 types of OTC medicines that treat heartburn and acid reflux.

  • Antacids reduce the effects of acid in your stomach. They do this by neutralizing the acid. Antacids can provide fast, short-term relief. There are many different brands of antacids. They come in the forms of chewable tablets, dissolving tablets, and liquid.
  • H2 blockers reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes. While they dont relieve symptoms as quick as antacids, they do last longer. H2 blockers usually start to work within an hour. An OTC example is famotidine .
  • Proton pump inhibitors reduce your bodys production of acid. They work well for heartburn that isnt resolved by antacids or H2 blockers. It may take a little longer for a PPI to help your symptoms, but relief will last longer. Most forms start working in a few days. PPIs are most helpful for people who have chronic heartburn . Omeprazole and lansoprazole are examples of OTC PPIs.

Dont assume youre fine if something doesnt seem quite right. The earlier your family doctor can address health problems, the better the outcomes usually are! Read More

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Some Important Things To Know To Get Rid Of Heartburn

As they say, prevention is better than cure. There are certain foods that trigger heartburn- and these differ from person to person. If you find that eating a certain food causes you to have heartburn or acid reflux, then stay away from these as much as possible . Also, most doctors note that people who are relatively healthy are more immune to heartburn than people who do unhealthy lifestyle choices. Maintain a healthy weight, avoid smoking and binge drinking, and you lessen your chances of suffering from acid reflux and heartburn.

If you find yourself suffering from heartburn for a prolonged period of time, then consult a doctor immediately.

Tags: Digestive Health & Disorders ,

That unpleasant feeling of your last meal coming back into your throat. That uncomfortable, even painful, burning sensation in your chest. Heartburn has returned.

Heartburn is the feeling you get when the contents of your stomach back up into the esophagus toward the mouth. Its common to experience it from time to time.

When Can I Expect Heartburn To End

The Best Heartburn Relief Tablets

Someday, scientists may very well invent a miracle medication that promises permanent pregnancy heartburn relief. Unfortunately, that hasnt happened yet.

So, if youre wondering how long you can expect to deal with heartburn while youre pregnant, it will probably be throughout your entire pregnancy.

However, just because theres no cure, that doesnt mean you cant find some relief in the meantime.

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Simple Home Remedies To Get Rid Of Heartburn Without Medications

If you suffer from heartburn, then you are aware of the discomfort and the burning sensation that goes along with it. The burning sensation in your throat and chest from the heartburn is unpleasant and can be triggered by many types of foods especially spicy, acidic or fatty foods. Even people who suffer from GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is a chronic condition that causes heartburn, know well the crushing chest pain followed by the burning sensation in their throats. Many people often resort to taking medication to get relief from heartburn. However, the fact is that while these drugs can provide you with temporary relief, they can cause potential harm in the long run. Instead of resorting to taking medications, you can actually turn to some natural home remedies to deal with heartburn. So how to get rid of heartburn without medications? Lets find out.

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