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Antacids - To Relieve Heartburn or Indigestion

Antacids - To Relieve Heartburn or Indigestion

Antacids refer to substances that are used to neutralize acid that is produced in the stomach, which causes indigestion, heartburn, sour stomach and stomach ulcers. Antacids are medications used to relieve symptoms of acidity and acid reflux. There are different types of antacids and most of them are permitted to be purchased over-the-counter. It is also important to note that antacids are usually symptomatic relief of an underlying issue and also have their own list of side effects. When there is too much hydrochloric acid in the stomach, an antacid neutralizes the acid through a chemical reaction where the pH is increased, which reduces the acidity in the stomach. Antacids are made of many different substances, but all forms contain magnesium, calcium or aluminum. They are most often in pill or tablet form but some are liquid.

Antacids are the right solution if you want rapid relief in diminishing your stomach acidity. Antacids are an effective and easy solution to problems like acidity, heartburn or acid reflux. Antacids that dissolve rapidly in the stomach bring the fastest relief while the ones that contain calcium carbonate dissolve slowly and hence begin working late.

Antacids and Laxatives

The primary use of an antacid is to relieve heartburn, which is a burning feeling in the chest. Heartburn occurs when gastric acid starts to back up in the esophagus. Victims of heartburn will find relief with antacids; however, heartburn may be an indicator of a larger problem, such as an ulcer. Heart attacks have similar symptoms to heartburn, so it is necessary to discuss all symptoms thoroughly with a doctor.

Uses of Antacids
Antacids are bases or basic salts that help in maintaining the proper balance of pH in the body. A person suffers from acidity or heartburn when the amounts of acid in his body increases. When he consumes an antacid, the acid-base level gets balanced and the person feels better. Antacids are found to give quick relief to those suffering from gastrointestinal problems related to acidity.

Although antacids are effective, they provide temporary or short-term relief. As these medications are available over-the-counter, they are not strong or effective enough to treat long-term or chronic conditions. Taking antacids frequently or on a daily basis is not advisable.

On a broader view, most of the antacids do not have any side effects. But then, in rare cases, diarrhea, headache, or upset stomach are experienced by some people. However, when taken in higher doses for a long time, antacids can lead to side effects.

When taken in limited amounts, they are safe and may not cause any severe side effects. But, it should be noted that antacids interfere with the activity of other medications and supplements. Long-term use of extremely high doses of antacids can lead to weakening of bones.

List of Antacids

• Alamag
• Duracid
• Foamicon
• Equilet
• Gaviscon
• Maalox
• Mylanta
• Rulox
• Titralac

Natural Antacids
Although antacids are relatively safer, if you wish to find a healthy alternative to it, then there are certain foods that function like antacids. These are known as natural antacids. Cold milk is considered as the best natural antacid. Having a glass of cool milk before going to bed can help in reducing acidity. Including fiber in the diet is also helpful as fibers help in binding acid in the body.

Besides these, there are also a few natural foods which act as antacids, that you can include in your diet.
• Yogurt
• Bananas
• Papayas
• Steamed Cabbage
Ice cream (although not very natural, this is one of the best things to consume to reduce heartburn!)
Mustard (an unusual and not often heard of remedy, but works)

Remember, although sold over-the-counter, antacids should not be taken frequently. They provide instant relief, but do not treat and prevent the underlying condition. Lastly, remember that apart from these medications, having a proper diet and following proper diet habits can help in the prevention of acid reflux and heartburn to a great extent.

A few other herbal remedies and antacids are:
• Fruitin (antacid)
• Barette (antacid)
• Ginger
• Chamomile
• Mint
• Gentian
• Licorice
• Slippery Elm

Antacids Safe to Take During Pregnancy
Heartburn is one of the most common complaints amongst pregnant women. It can be very discomforting, but whether taking antacids when you are pregnant is safe, is a question that troubles most first-timers. So, are antacids safe to take during pregnancy? The answer to that question would be, YES, if taken only as prescribed. If you take more than your doctor prescribes, it may have some negative effects on you and the baby, which has to be avoided.

Antacids and Laxatives

Pregnancy, Heartburn, and Antacids
Why is heartburn so common during pregnancy? Here is why - when you are pregnant, the level of progesterone in your body is higher than otherwise. Because of this high level of progesterone, the valve between the food pipe and the stomach is relaxed. Usually what this valve does is, it prevents the acids in the stomach from rising into the food pipe, but when this valve is relaxed, it cannot prevent this from happening. So there is a frequent feeling of bile rising in the throat. To get relief from heartburn, antacids are the best bet. Antacids reduce the acidic property of the acids in the stomach, by neutralizing them. They do so, by increasing the pH value of the acids. The acids in the stomach are necessary for proper absorption of certain nutrients, without which, our immunity to various petty diseases and infections reduces. So, an overdose of antacids will make you vulnerable to other health concerns, especially during pregnancy. Safety lies in taking the right dosage of antacids. Since it is clear that antacids do not cure heartburn; instead they just neutralize the effect of it, the best thing to do is to avoid getting heartburn, and that is not a very difficult thing to do.

What Type of Antacids are Safe During Pregnancy?
There are many classes of medicines, based upon the effect they have on the fetus. Consumption in appropriate dosage is critical to avoid any side effects of antacids. The classification is as follows:

• Class A: This class of medicines will cause no harm to your fetus, and are perfectly safe to take when you are pregnant.
• Class B: These are a little dodgy. They do not cause any harm according to what has been observed so far, but there are no studies supporting this.
• Class C: These medicines, when taken more than the prescribed dosage, may cause trouble to the fetus, so they should be taken only if absolutely necessary.
• Class D: These are really strong medicines, and should be strictly avoided, unless prescribed by the doctor. They have been known to cause birth defects in children.
• Class X: Class X is not for pregnant women. The harm that these medicines can cause to the fetus is much more than any other class, and it totally overpowers the benefits these medicines can have on the mother.

Pregnant women can opt for herbal antacids instead of the normal ones. These are absolutely safe, and won't harm the fetus, so they can be consumed without worry. Moderation is necessary though, since an overdose of anything is never good. An overdose of antacids may tend to be the cause of constipation in pregnant women, but does not really adversely affect the fetus.

Avoiding Heartburn During Pregnancy
Treating heartburn is not a very tough task, and can be very safe if you follow the instructions of your doctor. But it is always better to stay on a natural and herbal diet anytime, and more so when you are pregnant. So, here are a few ways in which you can avoid getting heartburn, so that the question of treating it doesn't arise.

• Avoid eating greasy, spicy, oily, and fatty food altogether, or as much as possible.
• Follow your meals with some yogurt/ a glass of cold milk/ a glass of buttermilk/ a glass of warm milk with a spoonful of honey, etc.
• Do not sleep immediately after a meal. Keep a gap of at least 1 hour before lying down.
• Avoid large gaps between meals. This causes the acids in the stomach to build up, since they are not being used up for digesting/ absorbing. Get into the habit of eating small meals frequently, rather than three big meals a day.
• While sleeping, make sure that your head is at an elevated level as compared to the rest of your body. Also, avoid other things that may cause acid reflux, like bending over, stooping, propping up your legs and back while sleeping to relieve backache, etc.
• Avoid consumption of foods and fruits that are acidic/ citric in nature. Also, avoid caffeine.

Choose the Best Antacid
Choosing the best antacid isn't only a matter of which type works to control symptoms such as heartburn and indigestion, but also the speed of the relief. The ingredients are a critical consideration when choosing the best antacid for you because they differ greatly among products. Not all antacid medication ingredients are safe for people with certain health conditions, so if you're in doubt, it's best to ask your doctor for his or her recommendation. Different minerals are used in the various types of antacids and they tend to affect the body, including the digestive system, uniquely.

If you're easily susceptible to diarrhea, you're likely to find that antacid products containing magnesium, such as "milk of magnesia," may cause you to have more of this type of digestive upset. If constipation is more your problem, the best antacid for you probably isn't going to be a product containing aluminum. Aluminum hydroxide found in some antacids may cause the side effect of constipation in some people, especially those prone to it already. It's always wise to read antacid ingredient labels before purchasing a product.

Calcium carbonate is a common antacid ingredient that may cause severe constipation in some people; it's also known to be a causal factor in the production of kidney stones. Although the addition of calcium to an antacid does provide a good source of the essential mineral, it should only be used occasionally. Calcium carbonate-rich varieties are the best antacid products to take on a full stomach before indigestion and heartburn start. Kidney patients on dialysis may not be permitted to take these antacids. Antacids containing calcium or sodium may also cause reactions when mixed with some drugs, including aspirin and iron supplements.

Antacids and Laxatives

Sodium bicarbonate antacids should not be taken by those with kidney or liver disease, heart failure or high blood pressure. Sodium-rich antacids contain too much salt for those on low sodium diets. Unlike calcium carbonate antacids, sodium bicarbonate versions work best on an empty or partially full stomach. Sodium bicarbonate is usually the best antacid ingredient for fast acting and strong relief of acid reflux.

Too many antacid products may also aggravate an ulcer or other condition. Even if you have no medical conditions or digestive problems, the best antacid is usually one taken only occasionally. Not every antacid is going to work to solve all heartburn and acid reflux symptoms.

Myotcstore Related Categories:

Acid Reducers and Heartburn Relievers

Antacid Granules and Tablets

Antacid Liquids

Anti-Diarrheal Preparations

Bloating and Gas Relief Medicine

Children Stomach Remedies

Manage Lactose Intolerance

Nausea and Motion Sickness

Probiotics, Digestive Supplements

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