Plop. Plop. Fizz. Fizz. Oh, what a relief it is…The jingle for Alka-Seltzer brings back memories of “Relief never sounded better…” for many of us. Other antacids have become popular household names we have come to recognize and are freely available at the pharmacy: Pepto-Bismol, Rolaids, Mylanta, Maalax, among others. But, do we recognize the common side-effects and dangers of these branded antacids that doctors recommend to relieve heartburn, acid reflux and other mild GERD symptoms?
Side-Effect Dangers of Antacids
Antacids are thought to have no serious side-effects, based on the symptom chasing mentality of conventional medicine. But, the common protocol for treating stomach acid with antacids only mask the problem and can be harmful to your health. These common ingredients in antacids can affect your body:
- Magnesium– Can lead to diarrhea and act as a laxative, produces belching.
- Aluminum –Interferes with the absorption of phosphates, leading to constipation, loss of appetite, weakness, and bone damage.
- Calcium –Can also lead to constipation, urinary tract disorders, headaches, mood changes, muscles weakness, nausea, and excessive thirst from an electrolyte imbalance.
- Sodium Bicarbonate – Has a laxative effect and can affect blood pressure and cause swollen feet and legs.
Common Problems with Antacids
Doctors are already aware of restrictions on the use of acid-suppressants. Of the antacids:
- Sodium bicarbonate shouldn’t be taken by people on a salt-restricted diet.
- Aluminum-containing antacids should be avoided by those with low blood phosphate and patients with Alzheimer’s, kidney disease and bone disorders.
- Those antacids containing magnesium shouldn’t be taken by people with kidney problems.
In addition, antacids can interfere with the absorption of vitamins and medication, especially antibiotics. They can also be dangerous for those who suffer from dehydration. Some antacids block the vitamin B12…the most vital vitamin for the human brain.
Antacids are a quick fix for those are trying to relieve their heartburn, acid reflux or other digestive problems. However, the possible side-effects of the magnesium, calcium, aluminum and sodium bicarbonate ingredients can lead to constipation and laxative effects, among other dangers. Even if you aren’t taking enough to overdose, too many antacids can disturb the natural balance in your digestive tract. There is acid in your stomach for a reason. It helps properly digest food and also kills dangerous organisms that attack your stomach lining, protecting us from infection. If you neutralize too much stomach acid, you are hurting your body’s ability to digest and protect your stomach, provoking immune responses throughout the body leading to food sensitivities and autoimmune diseases. To keep healthy acid levels, it’s best to control them naturally.