“Antacids” is a term often used loosely to describe several different types of remedies and medicines that help deal with indigestion.

The most common type of Antacids, such as Tums, contains calcium carbonate, which is essentially limestone. As you add this mineral to the stomach, it helps neutralize acid. Trouble is, when the acid is neutralized, your body may respond by simply producing more acid. In addition, limestone can’t be absorbed or digested by the body very well. Recently there’s been concern that all that calcium carbonate or limestone might contribute to kidney stones and build-up in the arteries. In addition, overuse of antacids may result in diarrhea and constipation.

Read more about calcium carbonate here.

Another type of medicine sometimes referred to as antacids are actually acid reducers or blockers. They include H-2-receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPI). These drugs were originally prescription-only, but some of them are now available over the counter.  They work differently from traditional antacids, in that they intervene more significantly in the body’s processes to reduce how much acid is produced. In addition, proton pump inhibitors have been linked to a higher risk of pneumonia and certain types of bacterial infection, as well as with an increased risk of bone fractures.

At Brainard’s Natural Remedies, we are no experts on RX and OTC medications, so please consult your doctor if you are considering these kinds of drugs. However, what we do know is that we prefer to avoid pharmaceutical drugs – whenever possible – and instead look for natural ways to keep our bodies healthy and in balance.

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