Important Instructions for Antacids Use
Indigestion is a fuzzy word that is often used to refer to vague abdominal discomfort. It is also referred to as:
- Sour stomach
- Acid indigestion
- Upset stomach
- Acid stomach.
Gastritis is a condition that occurs when your stomach lining becomes inflamed by too much acid secretion.
Heartburn occurs when the stomach's contents, including its corrosive juices, go into reverse and come back up the esophagus (known as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux).
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease
If you experience gastroesophageal reflux frequently, then you may have something called gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD for short.
If the location of the burning sensation is a little lower, and if it stays around for more than a few days, you could have a peptic ulcer. An ulcer is simply a sore in your stomach that keeps getting irritated by stomach acid.
When to Consult Your Doctor About AntacidsIt's a good idea to consult your doctor before using antacids if you:
- Are on any kind of medication
- Are pregnant or breastfeeding
- Have kidney problems
- Have chronic constipation, diarrhea, or colitis
- Have stomach or intestinal bleeding
- Have an irregular heartbeat (arrhythmia)
- Have any kind of chronic illness
- Have symptoms that may indicate appendicitis.
Final Thoughts on AntacidsThough they cause problems for some, antacids can be taken safely by most people. Consumers who use antacids only once in a while, and as directed, are unlikely to experience significant side effects.
As with everything else in life, moderation is the key. It is important to remember that antacids are drugs, and they should be used only for occasional acid indigestion or heartburn relief. Antacids are fast-acting and should provide relief within minutes. If you are taking antacids and you do not find relief, something else may be causing your problems. You may also have a problem if you find that you are constantly taking antacids for more than a week or two. In either case, you should visit your doctor so that the problem can be diagnosed and treated.