Antacid Alternatives and Preventions


Heartburn is painful and is known as gastroesophageal reflux, a digestive disorder. It occurs when the esophagus valve weakens or does not work properly. This disorder allows acid to flow backward into the esophagus from the stomach.

It is considered a disease and could carry symptoms such as stomach pain, belching, queasiness and bloating. If these symptoms are accompanied by cold sweats, nausea, a squeezing sensation in the chest, chest pain, pain that radiates to the jaw, neck and arm; seek emergency care immediately.

Richard Leigh, M.D., a retired physician in Fort Collins Colorado states even though antacids make your stomach feel better they are not healthy. Taking antacids could interfere with the natural digestive process. They could destroy your ability to absorb nutrients. Over-the-counter antacid contains excessive sodium, aluminum, magnesium and calcium. Over a period of time, this could cause a mineral imbalance.

The symptoms of too little or too much acid are the same. In fact, in many cases the stomach does not generate enough acids to digest the food properly. Before taking an antacid find out which it is. Dr Leigh recommends additional hydrochloric acid (the substance needed to break down proteins into amino acids) such as Gas-X Extra Strength before meals. If too little acid is the problem, you will get immediate relief.

If you feel a mild burning sensation, then the problem is too much acid. Drink a glass of milk or a cup of water mixed with 1/4 or 1/3 teaspoon of baking soda to stop the burning sensation.

James Balch, M.D., a physician in Trophy Club Texas recommends drinking a cup of aloe gel for too much acid and to get instant relief. The gel aids in the protection and healing of the esophagus. Be sure to buy internal use aloe.

It would be great not to have heartburn. Here are a few preventions.Avoid fatty foods; they cause acid to enter the esophagus by weakening the esophageal valve.Avoid eating large meals because this will encourage the body to make a larger amount of acids.Avoid eating four hours before bedtime. Lying down after eating allows acid to flow into the esophagus.Avoid carbonated drinks (colas and beer), tomatoes and citrus fruits. These foods may trigger the stomach to make extra acid.Spicy foods are another reason for the stomach to produce extra acid.An ingredient in chocolate is a trigger to make acid.Tight clothing can make heartburn worse (belt, support hose and pants).Avoid spearmint and peppermint after meals as they can loosen the esophageal valve.Being 10 to 20 percent over weight can cause heartburn.Smoking can weaken your esophageal muscle.There are other reasons that can cause heartburn such as taking aspirin and ibuprofen. Illness such as cancer could cause excessive acid and eating processed foods.

Keep in mind that the symptoms of angina and heart attack sometimes mimic those of heartburn. If symptoms persist with no relief, get emergency medical help.

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