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Antacids Taken For Acid Reflux Can Cause Health Problems

07.26.2009 · Posted in Health Articles

Studies have shown that the use of antacids over a long period of time does lead to long term side effects.nnAcid reflux is the flow of stomach acid back into the esophagus, which is the tube which connects the stomach and throat. When you are afflicted with acid reflux, you can suffer heartburn or perhaps a bitter taste in your mouth. If your only symptom is occasional heartburn there may be no cause for concern as many people suffer from it occasionally after eating or drinking to excess. nnIf intermittent heartburn is all you have, it can be managed by lifestyle changes or the occasional antacid tablet.nnMedical practitioners suggest that you use antacids for only short periods as they have been shown to create health problems following long term use. Magnesium hydroxide, calcium carbonate, and aluminum hydroxide which are common ingredients in antacid tablets have been linked to issues including diarrhea, kidney problems and even bone weakness. If your heartburn persists when use of antacids is stopped, it may be an indicator of a more serious problem, so a visit to your doctor is essential as you may have chronic reflux (GERD). nnTo find the problem, an endoscopy will be carried out. A flexible tube is inserted into the esophagus and stomach through the mouth, so your doctor can examine the esophageal lining. Examinations like this use a camera and can show whether you have Barrett’s esophagus which can be identified by a change in the color and composition of the cells in the lower esophagus. Barrett’s esophagus often leads to esophageal cancer. nnlets hope that the examination of your esophagus does not indicate a condition such as Barrett’s esophagus and you may be able to treat your reflux naturally. Proton pump inhibitors which can be used to block acid production are another option worth considering as a way of avoiding antacid tablets and their associated problems. nnremember to closely follow the advice of you doctor to determine the best alternative treatments for this complaint.

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