Are you addicted to having chai/coffee on an empty stomach every morning? Does it make you feel nauseous or gives you a burning sensation in the chest? If yes, there are chances that you might be suffering from acidity.
The most common treatment for acidity in every household is to pop a few antacids, without even consulting a professional. And why not? Most of the time, it even does the job for you.
However, several experts believe irrational and long-term usage of antacids can do more harm than good.
“Antacids are medicines that neutralise the stomach acid to relieve heartburn and indigestion. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), the most widely used medication for gastric acid inhibition in the world, are used for the long-term treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and prevention of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID)-induced ulcers. PPIs are safe when taken at the recommended dosage, for short durations of time and without any contraindications,” says Dr. Anish Desai, MD, Director, Intellimed Healthcare Solutions.
Unlike antacids, PPIs are effective for long-term acid inhibition, especially during the daytime period. Hence, PPIs are generally considered to be marathon runners and not short-range track sprinters.
“Whereas the long-term use of antacid can cause an increased risk of infection, brittle bones and chronic kidney disease. The frequent consumption of strong antacids can reduce the absorption of vitamins and minerals in the body. Antacids that are consumed at too high a dose for too long a period can also cause a condition called acid rebound. This is when the stomach produces even more acid after food and drinks have been consumed. Also, a number of drugs have reduced oral bioavailability in the presence of antacids,” opines Desai.
A piece of advice for those struggling with acidity. “It is recommended to maintain a healthy lifestyle, avoid spicy foods and caffeinated drinks. Also, one should not take antacids frequently without consulting their doctor. Also, balancing beneficial and adverse effects as well as selecting appropriate patients is critically important while prescribing PPIs,” concludes Desai.
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