Most people have experienced acidity at some point or the other, and the solution usually is gulping down a glass of fizzy antacid. Acidity is a common digestive problem and you wouldn’t think twice about taking an antacid because they are generally considered safe. However, antacids can have side effects in certain cases and it might be worth your while to know more about acidity and the side effects of using antacids.
What Is Acidity?
In common parlance, acidity is used to describe a variety of symptoms caused by the excess production of acid by the gastric glands located in the stomach. Your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid which helps in the breakdown and digestion of the food that you eat.
When there is an excess of acid in the stomach, it might move up to your esophagus causing a burning sensation. This is because your stomach lining is resistant to the effect of digestive acids but your esophagus isn’t. Some symptoms of acidity are:
- Burning in the stomach/throat/chest
- Sour taste
Causes Of Acidity
Hydrochloric acid is corrosive in nature but is vital the digestive process that happens in your stomach. The effects of the acid is neutralized by the production of other natural secretions of the stomach lining like bicarbonate and prostaglandins.1 An interruption in the secretion of these neutralizing agents results in damage to the stomach lining causing acidity. Some of the reasons for this interruption include the following.
- Spicy food
- Drinking alcohol
- Irregular eating habits
- Ailments like peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach tumors
Side Effects Of Antacids
Possible side effects of antacids are heart burn, fatigue, constipation, weakness, osteomalacia, and diarrhea.
Here’s a list of possible side effects caused by different types of antacids.
This can lead to an increase in heart burn.
Weakness And Fatigue
Aluminum in antacids is also known to cause constipation.
Magnesium based antacids may have a laxative effect and you could end up with diarrhea.
Inhibits Excretion Of Drugs
Sodium bicarbonate has a major influence on urine acidity which can effect the elimination of certain drugs by the kidneys
Most over-the-counter antacids are safe and can be taken in case of a mild heartburn. A severe allergic reaction to antacids is rare, but if you notice rash, itching or swelling, dizziness, and trouble breathing after having an antacid, contact your doctor immediately.
References [ + ]
|1.||↑||Robert, A. “Prostaglandins: effects on the gastrointestinal tract.” Clinical physiology and biochemistry 2, no. 2-3 (1983): 61-69.|