Antacids are medications used to relieve symptoms of acidity and acid reflux. Here is information about the uses of antacids, along with a list of brand names.
When you suffer from acidity, heartburn, or acid reflux, the first thing you do is to pop a chalky pill (usually in an attractive color) in your mouth. You, usually, get relief in a short period. This chalky, colorful pill is an antacid. It is commonly available over-the-counter. Antacids are of different types: sodium antacids, magnesium antacids, calcium antacids, etc.
Uses of Antacids
Antacids are bases or basic salts that help in maintaining the proper balance of pH in the body. A person suffers from acidity or heartburn when the amounts of acid in his body increases. When he consumes an antacid, the acid-base level gets balanced and the person feels better. Antacids are found to give quick relief to those suffering from gastrointestinal problems related to acidity.
Although antacids are effective, they provide temporary or short-term relief. As these medications are available over-the-counter, they are not strong or effective enough to treat long-term or chronic conditions. Taking antacids frequently or on a daily basis is not advisable.
On a broader view, most of the antacids do not have any side effects. But then, in rare cases, diarrhea, headache, or upset stomach are experienced by some people. However, when taken in higher doses for a long time, antacids can lead to side effects.
When taken in limited amounts, they are safe and may not cause any severe side effects. But, it should be noted that antacids interfere with the activity of other medications and supplements. Long-term use of extremely high doses of antacids can lead to weakening of bones.
List of Antacids
Although antacids are relatively safer, if you wish to find a healthy alternative to it, then there are certain foods that function like antacids. These are known as natural antacids. Cold milk is considered as the best natural antacid. Having a glass of cool milk before going to bed can help in reducing acidity. Similarly, yogurt, banana, coconut water, etc., are some foods that provide relief. Including fiber in the diet is also helpful as fibers help in binding acid in the body.
Remember, although sold over-the-counter, antacids should not be taken frequently. They provide instant relief, but do not treat and prevent the underlying condition. Lastly, remember that apart from these medications, having a proper diet and following proper diet habits can help in the prevention of acid reflux and heartburn to a great extent. Take care!
Disclaimer: This article is meant only to provide information. It is not to be used as a substitute for doctor’s advice.