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
High consumption of processed foods, trans fats and saturated fats
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:
Reduced Kidney function
High Calcium formation
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