Antacids For Acidity: A Saving Grace Or A Double-Edged Sword? Experts Clarify

Antacids for acidity: Antacids are known to provide instant relief to people who get acidity way too often. But did you know that abuse of antacids can interfere with absorption of nutrients from food? Read here to know more.

Antacids For Acidity: A Saving Grace Or A Double-Edged Sword? Experts Clarify

Poor gut health can be the reason behind constant acidity

Highlights

  • Antacids can harm absorption of nutrients like Vitamin B12 and calcium
  • Regular intake of antacids can cause bowel irregularities
  • Losing weight and quitting smoking and alcohol can prevent acidity

If you are someone who regularly experiences acidity, then this article can specifically be of great help to you. Antacids are like a saving grace for acidity as it provides quick and almost instant relief. But did you know that popping these antacids like candies can do more harm than good? Many people develop the habit of taking these antacids the moment they experience heart burn and other symptoms of acidity. Celeb nutritionist Pooja Makhija, in an IGTV, talks about the health risks associated with regular use of antacids. In the video, she mentions how mindlessly consuming them can cause nutritional deficiencies and inhibit normal digestion in the body.

Risks associated with regular use of antacids

Abuse of antacids can affect the body's ability to absorb nutrition from the food you eat. Studies have shown that long-term and regular use of acid blocking medication can interfere with absorption of Vitamin B12 in the body.

They can also interfere with calcium absorption, informs Makhija while adding that regular use of antacids can increase risk of osteoporosis and hip fractures.

Also read: Acidity Remedies: These 3 Indian Superfoods That Won't Disappoint

Dr Deepak Gupta, Consultant, Medical Gastroenterology, Apollo Hospitals, adds that some of these antacids contain magnesium or aluminium, which can cause bowel irregularities and diarrhoea. "Some antacids also contain sodium bicarbonate, which can increase the risk of high blood pressure due to high sodium intake. Keeping the consumption of antacids to a minimum is good, but regular consumption of antacids like proton pump inhibitors can increase risk of chronic kidney disease, bone fracture and Vitamin B12 deficiency in the long run," he tells DoctorNDTV.

If a person suffers from acidity for a prolonged time, then they should get it checked for peptic ulcers, adds Dr Gupta.

Home remedies for acidity

Firstly, know that constant acidity is indicative of an underlying health issue and you must work on improving your gut health and overall digestion to get rid of it. Having said that, trying the following home remedies to reduce acidity or deal with heartburn it causes is definitely safe.

Dr Gupta suggests that one can turn to home remedies like cold milk, or buttermilk when suffering from acidity.

Makhija, talking about ways to avoid acidity in the first place, says that one should reduce intake of alcohol, caffeine, extremely spicy food and smoking. Take less stress and lose weight if are overweight, she recommends. 

Also read: What Happens When You Quit Smoking? Tips To Deal With Withdrawal Symptoms

To get rid of acidity permanently, do the following:

  • Eat home-cooked healthy meals.
  • Adjust the spiciness according to what suits you.
  • Use healthy cooking oils and not the ones that cause discomfort.
  • Avoid eating junk and processed foods.
  • Drink sufficient water and keep yourself hydrated to facilitate the food you eat to move in the right direction.
  • Eat small and frequent meals, preferably in every two hours.
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Avoid eating junk food to prevent constant acidity
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: Why You Must Eat After Every 2 Hours: No, It Won't Make You Gain Weight!

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.