Antacids can seem like a godsend when you’re suffering from heartburn or indigestion. In reality, however, they may be doing more harm than good.
There are many well-known side effects that come with taking too many antacids. Depending on the type of drug or supplement you’re taking (aluminum, magnesium, calcium carbonate, or sodium bicarbonate-based), they can cause issues ranging from diarrhea or constipation to kidney problems. Some, oddly enough, can even cause increased acid production.
So, when they don’t work the way you hope, the solution is just to take more, right? Wrong! The real solution, of course, is to take a more natural approach. Keep reading to learn more about how antacids can adversely affect your health and what you can do instead.
How do antacids affect biochemistry?
While one or two antacids are relatively harmless, many people take them on a daily basis. As I’ve already discussed, the overuse of these medications can have dire effects. Why?
Because antacids work to change the gastric PH and, in the long run, can drastically alter the way your digestive system works. Some of the possible consequences include:
- Decreased gut health (overgrowth of ‘bad’ bacteria)
- Impaired nutrient absorption
- Decreased resistance to infection
- Increased risk of diseases such as pneumonia, tuberculosis, and dysentery
Why does it happen?
It’s now common knowledge that your gut is full of bacteria–some good and some bad. When you take an antacid, it lowers the amount of acid in your stomach. Low stomach acid causes bacterial overgrowth throughout the digestive tract.
Bacterial overgrowth, in turn, can lead to a number of issues. One of the most common is the inability to properly process certain foods, which causes gas. In addition, bacterial overgrowth can also lead to increased inflammation, inadequate breakdown of nutrients, and the reduced absorption of key vitamins and minerals such as iron and B12.
What’s the solution?
The best thing you can do is get off of prescription and over the counter antacids. That may seem like a daunting prospect if you suffer from frequent heartburn or acid reflux, but there are several healthier options including:
- Digestive enzymes: Digestive enzymes occur naturally in the body and help speed up the digestion process. Unfortunately, some people don’t produce enough digestive enzymes on their own, which can lead to indigestion. In these cases, you can take a supplement with each meal.
- Probiotics: Taking a probiotic supplement or eating probiotic-rich foods (like kefir or sauerkraut) can help increase the ‘good’ bacteria in your gut and eliminate indigestion.
- Chamomile tea: Just like chamomile helps calm your mind, it can also help calm your stomach!
- Natural acid reducing supplements: There are some great natural supplements that are available and can help balance your gastric PH, without the harmful and unintended consequences.
- Rest and relaxation: Sometimes the best cure for anything is just to take it easy. Stress and anxiety can lead to many health problems, including indigestion and heartburn.
- Emotional clearing: Unresolved negative emotions like grief, regret, disappointment, sadness, and anxiety can affect your mind and physical health. Emotional clearing is a way to dive deep into the roots of those negative feelings and heal them.
- Genetic testing: Certain tests can look for genetic mutations that leave you predisposed to toxicity in the system and inflammatory responses.
Schedule your comprehensive evaluation today and take the first step toward living your best, healthiest life!