Antacid Abuse & Implications

More and more people are suffering from Gut issues across the Globe and the most widely used drug for any digestive problems is Antacids. Every second prescription has Antacid in it or may be more than that at least in India. You go to a Neurologist, Psychiatrist, Gastroenterologist, Cardiologist or Family physician one antacid is there.

Antacid is used to block the acid production which is required in certain conditions and that too for limited period of time. Initially it was recommended for Stomach ulcers, bacterial infections (H.pylori), gastritis,  and dyspepsia and was not meant for regular use.

In almost all the countries its available without prescription and long tern use can have serious side effects. Optimal Acid levels (HCL) is required for proper breakdown of food and also acts as a line of defence against microbes and pathogens entering via food and water. The stomach pH is around 2 or lesser which means highly acidic but if its suppressed for long time it blocks the breakdown of food particles and absorption of nutrients leading to more severe indigestion and multiple nutrient deficiencies

The stomach flora has the highest concentration of one of the most important bacteria called a Lactobacillus acidophilus and lack of acid reduce their population for optimal digestion and health benefits.

If your are suffering from digestive issues like bloating, gas, acidity or indigestion the antacids are not the solution rather finding the root cause at first hand is the priority.

There can be multiple reasons to it like

  • Pathogens specially bacteria and fungal infections 

  • Lack of HCL production

  • Lack of digestive enzymes

  • Dysbiosis

  • Food sensitivities

  • Food intolerances

  •  Toxins 

  • Lifestyle 

  • Stress 

  • High consumption of processed foods, trans fats and saturated fats

  • Excess Caffeine 

  • Sleep disorders 

  • Untimely meals 

Work with a Healthcare practitioner to find the actual cause of your health problems. To my experience  with real time clients weaning of them from antacids have helped them a lot.

Few Common Side effects associated with Antacid abuse are:

  • Rebound Hyperacidity 

  • Constipation 

  • Reduced Kidney function

  • High Calcium formation 

  • Kidney stones 

  • Low levels of Phosphate

  • Weak and Fragile bones 

  • They also interact with certain drugs either blocking their action and increasing the toxicity like phenytoin, digoxin, tetracylines, chlorpromazine 

  • B12 and mineral deficiencies 

  • Loss of energy and appetite 

  • Burping and belching 

  • Headaches 

  • Brain Fog

  • Fatty acid deficiency 

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