• Over the Counter Antacids

    It’s a familiar scene for most Americans. Maybe you have some added stress in your life, maybe some days you drink way too much coffee to get yourself going in the morning … and after lunch. Perhaps you overdid the spice on your burrito.

    Something has set off your reflux acid stomach.

    But hey, it’s no problem! Everywhere you go these days it’s pretty easy to just pick up some Prilosec, or any of the other generic antacids, the omeprazole and other -azoles now available without a prescription or evaluation by a doctor.

    Problem solved.

    Or maybe not.

    Maybe you just created a whole new set of problems for yourself.

    What Stomach Acids Do

    Blocking stomach acid is not always a good idea. You need stomach acid. It is there for a reason. Several reasons actually:

    • Breaking down your food into small enough bits so you can absorb nutrients.
    • Protecting you from absorbing proteins that are highly complex and possibly triggering an immune response that you don’t want.
    • Breaking down bacteria present in the environment – specifically C. diff which can give you massive diarrhea.

    As reported by the FDA, “FDA notified the public that the use of stomach acid drugs known as proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) may be associated with an increased risk of Clostridium difficile–associated diarrhea (CDAD).”

    That’s right, your stomach acid helps you avoid a nasty, uncomfortable situation by reducing the chances that you’ll contract something like C.diff. And if you “kill” your stomach acid everyday with antacids, they won’t be able to help you out. If you contract C.diff you can always undergo a fecal transplant, but really who wants to do that?

    What To Do About Acid Reflux

    Of course you don’t want to suffer the symptoms of reflux all the time, either. If you have acid reflux symptoms more than a couple of times a month, you should see a doctor because something else can be going on.

    Remember, your acid reflux isn’t just an annoyance to “deal with” by taking a pill – it’s usually an indicator that something is going on in your body that you should pay attention to.

     

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