In common parlance, acidity is used to describe a variety of symptoms caused by the excess production of acid by the gastric glands located in the stomach. Your stomach secretes hydrochloric acid which is corrosive in nature but vital to the breakdown and digestion of food. Usually, the effects of the acid are neutralized by other natural secretions of the stomach lining like bicarbonate and prostaglandins.1
But an interruption in the secretion of these neutralizing agents causes acidity. The excess acid may also move up to your esophagus, causing a burning sensation. This is because your stomach lining is resistant to the effect of digestive acids but your esophagus isn’t. The reasons for acidity can be spicy food, alcohol, smoking, eating irregularly, or even ailments like peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, or stomach tumors.
Symptoms of acidity
- Burning in the stomach/throat/chest
- Sour taste
The common solution for acidity is gulping down a glass of fizzy antacid or sucking on an antacid tablet. Now, antacids are generally safe and do not have any severe side effects in most people. However, in some cases, certain types of antacids have been known to have these 4 side effects.
Possible side effects of antacids are heart burn, fatigue, constipation, weakness, osteomalacia, and diarrhea.
1. Heart Burn Due To Calcium Carbonate Antacids
If you take calcium carbonate antacids in high doses over a long time, it may cause acid rebound. Acid rebound is a condition where an excess of gastric acid is secreted after the initial neutralizing effect of the antacid. This can lead to an increase in heart burn.
2. Weakness And Fatigue Due To Aluminum Antacids
Aluminum in antacids is also known to cause constipation.
Antacids that contain aluminum tend to bind with phosphates which play an important role in your body chemistry. Prolonged use of aluminium-based antacids in large doses can decrease the phosphate levels in the body. Some of the side effects include fatigue, weakness in muscles, and osteomalacia or softening of the bones.
3. Diarrhea Due To Magnesium Antacids
Magnesium-based antacids may have a laxative effect and you could end up with diarrhea.
Magnesium-based antacids may have a laxative effect and you could end up with diarrhea. If you have problems with kidney function, your body will not be able to eliminate the magnesium causing an increase in the magnesium levels in your blood. Antacids with magnesium trisilicate and magnesium hydroxide if taken in combination with medications like tetracycline can reduce their absorption.
4. Poor Excretion Of Drugs Due To Sodium Bicarbonate Antacids
Sodium bicarbonate has a major influence on urine acidity which can effect the elimination of certain drugs by the kidneys
Sodium bicarbonate has a major influence on urine acidity which can effect the elimination of certain drugs by the kidneys. This is why people with renal failure, chronic heart failure, high blood pressure, or restrictions on sodium intake should consult their doctor before taking sodium bicarbonate based antacids.
Most over-the-counter antacids are safe and can be taken in case of a mild heartburn. A severe allergic reaction to antacids is rare, but if you notice rash, itching or swelling, dizziness, and trouble breathing after having an antacid, contact your doctor immediately.
|↑1||Robert, A. “Prostaglandins: effects on the gastrointestinal tract.” Clinical physiology and biochemistry 2, no. 2-3 (1983): 61-69.|