The Problem with Antacids


We spend $1.7 billion on indigestion remedies each year! Taking acid blocking drugs can mean that important B vitamins (especially B-12), minerals and trace minerals aren’t assimilated well. One survey shows that 15 million Americans have heartburn every day! Antacids offer temporary relief, but excessive use can wreak havoc on digestive health. They themselves can be a health problem because they radically change digestive chemistry. Do Any Of These Antacid Problems Pertain To You? 1. The tolerance effect: The more you use antacids, the more you need them. Antacids either neutralize stomach HCl (hydrochloric acid), that you need for digestion, or they block it, confuse the body and disrupt its normal processes. If you take a lot of antacids, your body overcompensates, producing excess stomach acid.

2. Antacids disrupt pH balance: Optimum pH is between 7.35 and 7.45. If you take lots of antacids, your GI tract fluctuates between over alkaline and over acid, leading to problems like diarrhea or constipation, gallbladder problems, hiatal hernia, even malnutrition. A friend thought his heartburn symptoms would improve if he doubled up on his acid blocker dosage. He ended up in the bathroom all night, passing completely undigested food. Disrupting body pH alters bowel ecology, too, potentially causing dramatic overgrowth of candida yeasts.

3. Pernicious ingredients: Many antacids contain aluminum which causes constipation and bone pain. Others overdose you on magnesium, causing diarrhea. Some contain both aluminum and magnesium, confusing your body with alternating constipation and diarrhea. Antacids full of sodium may cause water retention. Most have chemical coloring agents that can cause allergic reactions in some people, or lead to mood changes if taken regularly…… the way many people take them.

4. Some drugs interact with antacids: Antacids can decrease HIV drug absorption by up to 23%. Oral contraceptives may lose their effectiveness if taken with antacids. People using NSAIDS drugs for arthritis along with antacids suffer 2½ times more serious gastrointestinal complications than those taking a placebo! Antacids not only block drug absorption, they also block your food absorption of nutrients, especially B12, necessary for virtually all immune responses.

5. Some antacids build up in the body, impeding body processes: I know a woman who was hospitalized three times for kidney stones until her physician finally advised her to stop taking her over-the-counter antacids because the unabsorbed calcium in them was causing the kidney stone formation.

If you’re one of the millions of people who use have used antacids regularly for years you may be wondering, what can you do? Is it too late?  It’s never too late to rebalance the body and rebuild healthy digestion. This month I'll be sharing numerous, simple natural ways to bring the body back into balance.

To Life-long health,

Linda Page