Health problems that can cause antacids

"Like jelly beans. He had a great list of foods he couldn't eat. At least, it could take three on average every day, six in the worst case. That's how I was for seven years. "Like thousands of people in the world, Noah Fagan, a 42-year-old architect from Bristol, was so used to antacids for heartburn and reflux, that he could no longer live without them.

After eating fast food or with high in fat and sugars, You probably have to put one in your mouth because of the discomfort. A very common remedy against burning, not only in Spain. The World Health Organization (WHO) states that we spend more than 9 billion euros a year in this type of products. But are they really healthy and solve the underlying problem?

If you consume them, you should know that you are relieving a symptom, not curing a disease

This discomfort is usually caused by an excess of gastric acid that travels through the esophagus to the throat, leaving a taste as sour and unpleasant. Although there are several types of medications to relieve this annoying sensation, the most common is that made from almagato, a chemical compound of magnesium aluminum hydroxycarbonate. This works like acid neutralizer and active pepsin enzyme. In addition, it is able to counteract the bile acids generated by the liver.

Like any other drug, It is very useful and safe if used correctly. But if he is abused, as is the case with Fagan, it naturally has side effects. Their excessive dependence can not only hide more serious health problems, but could even create them. "It wasn't for food, really I had a medical problem diagnosed by my GP, "he acknowledges, in an interview with 'The Guardian'.

If you are between 50 and 55 years old and suffer burning very often, it is best to see a doctor

Fagan was diagnosed with hyperactive acid production and began taking proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), which act to reduce the creation of acid in the stomach instead of neutralizing it. Now, Fagan no longer needs to take them. However, the duration of treatment can be considerably extended between cases and cases. This is worrisome, since the use of this therapy is related to serious side effects, such as the appearance of pneumonia, hypocalcemia and infections such as bacteria Clostridium difficile, which has a severe diarrhea.

In fact, an investigation conducted by American scientists R. Fass and G. Tougas, showed that most of us do not decide to treat heartburn, using these drugs for years without proper medical advice. One of the causes of this 'empacho' of medicines against burning is that it has a free sale and is prescribed without a prescription. But even so, they should be used carefully. "If you consume them without more, you should know that you are relieving a symptom, not curing a disease," says Alexander Ford, professor of gastroenterology at the University of Leeds, to the British newspaper.

"If you have undergone an endoscopy and your condition is normal, then it is okay to use it," continues the expert. "For young people who use it in a timely manner there will be no serious consequences. But nevertheless, if you are older and your age is between 50 or 55 years and you have episodes very often, it is best to go to a doctor, as it may be masking another much more serious disease, such as a peptic ulcer or stomach cancer".

Bayer, one of the largest pharmacological producing companies in the world, declares for 'The Guardian': "Patients taking antacids should read the information in the leaflet. In short, they will only relieve the symptoms, they will not cure the underlying problem. If the discomfort continues for more than 14 days in a row, it is best to go to a professional's office to see if there is no other underlying cause. "

You can also reduce the risks in the most obvious and simple way: eating better

The message is clear: if you frequently suffer from burning and the symptoms persist, consult your doctor to detect any problem. If all is well, the best thing you can do is try to reduce your dependence on antacids and relieve discomfort by other means. The most common and traditional is undoubtedly that of a glass of water with a little baking soda.

You can also reduce the risks of having reflux again in the most obvious and simple way: eating better. Flee the fried and make peace with a diet rich in fiber and vegetables. Not only will your stomach notice it, but also your overall health. Avoid foods full of fat or spicy. Also, avoid eating just before bedtime, as this increases the chances of burning.