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Antacids

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

 

Do antacids work by making your stomach a buffer solution?

Antacids work by counteracting (neutralising) the acid in your stomach. They do this because the chemicals in antacids are bases (alkalis) which are the opposite of acids. Essentially, yes.

 

I enjoy the taste of antacid, is it healthy to continue drinking it regularly?

The pH level maintained in the stomach is necessary to kill ingested bacteria and help digestion. Continuous use of anti-acids can make you prone to infections and result in indigestion as well as deficiency of vitamins and minerals.

 

Does vitamin C affect the absorption of aluminum in antacids?

Aluminum is found in most antacids. Vitamin C can increase how much aluminum the body absorbs. But it isn't clear if this interaction is a big concern. Take vitamin C two hours before or four hours after antacids - and speak to your health care practitioner if you are consuming antacids on a regular basis. There are ways to address the the reason you are consuming antacids regularly.

 

Does a multivitamin affect the absorption of antacids that have aluminum?

No, with one exception. Aluminum is poorly absorbed no matter what. Which is good, since once in the blood it is toxic if not excreted by the kidneys.

One of the commentors found evidence that vitamin C in orange juice amounts (and presumably multivitamin amounts) increases aluminum absorption from aluminum antacids enough to actually increase urine aluminum. So I have to admit that caveat and my error. The significance of this remains to be determined, but I'm grateful for the correction.

 

Does antacid impact mechanical or chemical digestion in your body?

Antacids influence chemical digestion by adjusting pH in the stomach. Antacids will inhibit digestion, but help, of course, with heartburn.

Mechanical digestion involves mastication of food as it enters the mouth and subsequent smooth muscle contraction which mechanically moves the food around to increase chemical digestion.

 

Heartburn: How do you improve the effect of antacids?

Most of the acid is within your stomach, but only the acid that comes out, above and around your lower esophageal sphincter is actually causing pain. You can try the following and see if they help: 1. Increase the surface area of the antacids by chewing them.

2. Chew them with honey or some other highly viscous fluid to allow the antacid to coat your esophagus after you swallow.

The honey will increase the viscosity of the mixture and thus prolong the amount of time the antacid particles will take to reach your stomach.

 

Are there any natural antacids for acid reflux and hiatal hernia issues?

I don't know about hiatal hernias but I suffered for decades from reflux (gastro esophageal reflux disease) and irritable bowel syndrome and eventually diverticulitis. I took massive doses of Prilosec and Nexxium until a friend told me that her friend told her that Braggs cider vinegar relieved her husband's reflux. The idea sounded ridiculous to me, but my reflux was making me so miserable that I was willing to try anything. Besides, I already drank the stuff every time I felt the approach of a cold or sore throat and it certainly worked to stop those from developing into full on illness. Mix one tablespoon of Braggs cider vinegar with one tablespoon of honey and one cup of water and drink it fast because it tastes kinda awful.

The next step is figuring out what's causing the reflux. For me it was gluten and dairy. I gave up my two favorite foods, there's nothing better than warm crusty bread and a thick slab of butter, and I miss it so much. But I don't miss the reflux and IBS. I feel so much better, even my seasonal allergies and constant headaches have disappeared, it's just not worth going back to that misery no matter how good the fresh baguettes smell.