Acid Blocker Medications
Gastroesophageal Reflux (GERD) is the result of insufficient acidity in the stomach. This sounds like a contradiction, but it is not. The stomach needs hydrochloric acid (HCL) to digest food properly. When the stomach becomes HCL deficient the result is putrefaction of food. This produces organic acid, which cause heartburn and indigestion.
To understand the side effects of antacids and acid blocking medications it is necessary to examine how they work. Antacids directly neutralize stomach acid but do not address the cause of excess stomach acid. Acid blocking medications work by suppressing the body’s natural secretion of gastric juices. While the suppression of stomach acid temporarily reduces pain and esophageal inflammation it does not address the underlying cause. Most antacids include a disclaimer that they should not be used for longer than 14 days and acid blocking medications are to be discontinued after 8 weeks. There are good reasons for this.
When stomach acid is reduced the body can experience a gradual decline in health due to mal-absorption of nutrients. For example low stomach acid impairs the body’s ability to reduce calcium. In one study acid blockers were linked to a 160% increase in osteoporosis related hip fractures in the elderly. Other nutrients that are mal-absorbed due to low stomach acid include: iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, folic acid, vitamins A, B1, B6, and E. Decreased stomach acid weakens the anti-microbial action of the stomach which normally kills food born bacteria and fungi.
Some of the published side effects of acid blocker medications
Antacids: constipation, frequent, difficult or painful urination, frequent urge to urinate, headache, loss of appetite, mood or mental changes, muscle pain or twitching, nausea, nervousness, slow breathing, unpleasant taste, tiredness, weakness, dizziness, light-headedness, irregular heart-beat, undesired weight loss, swelling of feet or lower legs, stomach cramps, bone pain, swelling of wrists or ankles.
Acid Blocking Medication: anxiety, diarrhea, skin rash, itching, abdominal or stomach pain, increased or decreased appetite, joint pain, nausea, vomiting, cold or flu-like symptoms, constipation, increased cough, mental depression, muscle pain, rectal bleeding, unusual bleeding or bruising, decreased in sexual desire, decreased sexual ability, headache, increased or decreased urination, increased sweating, loss of hair, ringing or buzzing in ears, runny nose.
The digestive system is at the core of physical wellbeing. Every part of your body is affected by what you eat and how the digestive system absorbs nutrients. Every year millions of people start a regime of acid blocking medications and antacids that suppress symptoms but do not treat the cause of the problem. This often becomes a lifelong habit with a high cost financially and more importantly through the long list of side effects and gradually declining health. Fortunately there are natural alternatives to one can try.
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