THE TRUTH BEHIND 10-SECOND ACIDITY PILLS:
Most of us find it really easy to pop acidity pills whenever we get a vomit-like feeling after having a big or spicy meal. Though there are many types of antacids but all of them function in a similar way. Antacids include ingredients like calcium, aluminium, magnesium and sodium bicarbonate all of which work as neutralizing ingredients.
HOW DO ANTACIDS WORK?
Antacids work by changing the gastric pH and making it less acidic. This helps in decreasing the irritation in esophagus, stomach and duodenum (a part of the small intestine which connects with the stomach).
ARE THESE SAFE?
Though most of us think that acidity pills are completely safe but just like most other medicines, they also can have some unwanted side effects. If you are someone who doesn’t think before popping an antacid, then you must consult your physician to confirm that you are not popping more number of pills than what your body can handle.
The basic concept is not to use antacids as a permanent fixture for problems like indigestion and acid reflux. Antacids should only be a temporary fix.
Here we bring to you eight problems that can be a signal that you are overusing those antacid tablets.
CONSTIPATION: The most common symptom of antacid overuse is constipation. Antacids that have calcium and aluminium are responsible for the problem of constipation. The problem can continue till the time you keep having the antacids. If this is happening with you, switch to different medicines with your doctor’s advice.
MUSCLE PROBLEMS: The change in the electrolyte level due to antacids can adversely impact muscle and nerve function.
Muscle weakness, muscle twitching, muscle tenderness and muscle pain are the common complaints of the people who use regular antacids. The effect of magnesium, phosphorous and calcium in the bloodstream can be responsible for the same.
RESPIRATORY PROBLEMS: Antacids containing sodium bicarbonate and calcium carbonate can cause slower breathing. This may happen because too much of these elements can elevate the pH level in your bloodstream.
Breathing slowly in turn can lead to fatigue due to deposition of carbon dioxide in the body.
INFECTIONS: The gastric acids in the body help in digesting the foods and protecting the body by destroying the bacteria in food and drinks. Too much of antacids can be problematic as the neutralisation of the stomach acid allows the food bacteria to survive which can harm us later.
The bacteria can contribute to diarrhoea and even gastroenteritis. This also weakens your body’s defense mechanism.
HYPERCALCEMIA: Due to antacids containing calcium carbonate, excessive use of them can lead to hypercalcemia, which is also called milk-alkali syndrome. If not treated, it can become a worrisome condition.
The condition leads to the deposition of calcium in the kidneys and other organs which may lead to organ failure. The syndrome is curable by stopping the use of antacids.
KIDNEY PROBLEMS: Too much calcium intake (antacids) can increase the excretion of calcium in the urine. This can lead to the formation of stones in the kidneys. Kidney stones can lead to blood in urine and pain in the lower back. They can be really painful and can cause a spasm of the uterus that can block the urine passage.
People who have kidney disease should avoid taking antacids and especially the pills that have aluminium in them. This is advised because the impaired renal function can lead to a toxic level of aluminium build up in the bloodstream, which can be risky.
OSTEOPOROSIS: Excessive aluminium intake can weaken your bones as it flushes the important salts like calcium and phosphate from the body. People with the history of osteoporosis in their family should especially take care.