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Navigating the World of Antacids: Traditional to Natural Remedies *ONLINE ONLY*
January 2024
By Suzy Cohen, R.Ph.

Michael, my son, a lover of spicy cuisines, once accepted a taco-eating challenge in Orlando. After consuming 20-something street tacos complete with spicy salsa, he and his friend Garrett felt the aftermath, leading them to seek antacids. This incident underlines the prevalence of acid reflux. If I had been there, I would have staged a taco intervention around number 10, lol!

In America, approximately 20% of the population suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a more severe form of acid reflux. Symptoms vary from heartburn and regurgitation to dental erosion. A study also indicates that people with celiac disease may experience more GERD.

TRADITIONAL ANTACIDS

TUMS (Calcium Carbonate): Offers quick relief by neutralizing stomach acid, ideal for mild heartburn. Caution for those with kidney issues.

Zantac: Now contains famotidine, previously recalled as ranitidine.

Pepcid AC (Famotidine): Reduces acid production, suitable for persistent symptoms. Requires caution for kidney problems.

Pepcid Complete: Combines Famotidine with calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide for immediate and long-lasting relief. Not for chronic GERD without medical advice.

Nexium (Esomeprazole): A proton pump inhibitor (PPI) reducing acid production, ideal for long-term treatment. Long-term use risks magnesium deficiency and bone fractures.

Mylanta: Mixes antacids and alginic acid for quick relief and stomach protection. Caution for interactions with other medications.

Prilosec (Omeprazole): Another PPI for treating GERD and ulcers, suitable for chronic conditions. Long-term use can lead to vitamin B12 deficiency and kidney disease.

Protonix (Pantoprazole): Effective for severe acid reflux and esophageal damage. Similar precautions as other PPIs.

Zegerid OTC (Omeprazole with Sodium Bicarbonate): Combines PPI with an antacid for immediate and sustained relief. Caution for those on a low-sodium diet.

NATURAL ALTERNATIVES

Mastic Gum: Anti-inflammatory and antibacterial, suitable for mild symptoms. You should avoid if allergic to tree sap.

Zinc Carnosine: This is not the same supplement as chelated zinc which is used for increasing levels of zinc in the body. Zinc carnosine supports the gut lining, and ideal for GI problems and acid reflux.

Marshmallow Root: Offers protective mucilage, ideal for gentle relief. Not recommended for diabetics or those on diuretics. I have a YouTube video of me making this infusion if you want to find that.

Aloe Vera Gel supplements: This can soothe the stomach lining, ideal for gastrointestinal discomfort. Use juice prepared for internal use only and start with smaller amounts to gauge tolerability.

Apple Cider Vinegar: Balances stomach acidity, suitable for mild symptoms. Must be diluted, not for ulcers or esophagitis.

The best thing to do in conclusion is to avoid trigger foods like spicy tacos and citrus items. Eating smaller portions and avoiding heavy meals before exercise can also help. When choosing an acid reducer, consider both traditional and natural options. I recommend starting with holistic choices like zinc carnosine, mastic gum, and aloe vera. It's important to understand each option's mechanism and suitability to your condition and to speak to a practitioner in the know. I have a longer version of this article posted at my website, suzycohen.com.

This information is not intended to treat, cure, or diagnose your condition. Always consult your physician for all medical matters. Visit www.SuzyCohen.com. ©2023 Suzy Cohen, R.Ph. Distributed by Dear Pharmacist, Inc.

  

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