Acid Reducers How Do Acid Reducers Work – AC

Acid reducer is a substance that helps to reduce the level of acidity in the stomach. Observations have showed that excessive acid formation inside the stomach can cause serious health problems and even death. Increased acidity in the body can slow down the digestion for vitamins, proteins and other nutrients that are vital to provide energy to the body. Symptoms for acidity include a burning sensation in the thoracic region, fatigue, weakness and mental discomfort. Acidity can also cause loss of appetite and throbbing pain. 

HOW DO ACID REDUCERS WORK?

There are many ways by which acid reducers work. It renders elasticity to the muscles, mucus membranes and blood vessels in the intestine. Acidity happens when their is excessive solution of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. This causes GERD. Acid reducers are used to buffer the hydrochloric acid which in turn prevents pain and irritation. Acid reducers mostly contain some buffers like potassium and alkaline-based minerals. Acidity level must be tested if you are having the symptoms of acidity, which is mostly done by pH test strip. Urine samples are also used to determine the acid levels. The level of acid and bases in our body must be kept under control for the proper functioning of the stomach and other organs.

TYPES OF ACID REDUCERS:

There are many different types of acid reducers that doctors usually prescribe  long- lasting effect. These include the following types:

ANTACIDS:

Antacids comes in tablet or liquids to reduce the effect of acids in the stomach. They mainly neutralize the acid present in the stomach. They provide instant, fast and short-term results. These include:

  • Baking soda or Sodium bicarbonate antacids such as Alka-Seltzer and Bromo Seltzer.
  • Calcium carbonate antacids such as Tums and Alka-Mints.
  • Aluminium antacids such as Amphoje.
  • Magnesium based antacids such as Phillips' Milk of Magnesia
  • Aluminium and magnesium acid reducers such as Maalox, Mylanta, and Riopan
  • Alginic acid acid reducers such as Gaviscon

H2 BLOCKER ANTACID:

H2 blocker is mostly used. This antacid reduces the risk of infection, caused by the excess secretion of acid. H2 blockers are effective in relieving heart-burn and diarrhea. H2 Blockers are mainly used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease and esophagitis and are combined with antibiotics for treating peptic ulcers. The different types H2 blockers are:

  • Zantac (ranitidine)
  • (famotidine)
  • Tagamet (cimetidine)
  • (nizatidine)  
  • Baking soda or Sodium bicarbonate antacids such as Alka-Seltzer and Bromo Seltzer.
  • Calcium carbonate antacids such as Tums and Alka-Mints.
  • Aluminium antacids such as Amphoje.
  • Magnesium based antacids such as Phillips' Milk of Magnesia
  • Aluminium and magnesium acid reducers such as Maalox, Mylanta, and Riopan
  • Alginic acid acid reducers such as Gaviscon

PROTON PUMP INHIBITORS:

Proton pump inhibitor induce long term effects on stomach acid. It is much more powerful than H2 blocker. It is a combination of medications that are used to reduce stomach and intestinal acids.These acid reducers are used to treat GERD, intestinal and stomach irritation. Stomach produces acid that breaks down the food for proper digestion. Sometimes due to wrong eating habits or prolonged  intake of medications, the acid exceeds the normal limit. This can lead to ulcers and indigestion. Proton Pump inhibitor controls the production of stomach acid by shutting down the proton pump system located inside the stomach. Proton pump is a type of molecule present in some cells of the stomach and pump the acid into it. The proton pump inhibitors include:

  • Omeprazole (brand name: Prilosec)
  • Lansoprazole (brand name: Prevacid

SIDE EFFECTS RELATED TO ACID REDUCERS:

Antacids and acid reducers usually cause minor side effects that go away on their own. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Hypertension

CONDITIONS IN WHICH WE SHOULDN’T TAKE ACID REDUCERS:

These are certain factors and measures you should know about acid reducers. Talk to your doctor before using any antacid.

Avoid using antacids and acid reducers if:

  • You are a postmenopausal women.
  • You have a kidney disease.
  • You had a Clostridium difficile infection in the past.

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