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An Antacid A Day
If not some 50% of our population, it is sure that near about this percentage- people are taking Antacids in regularity and for some of us it has become so regular and usual that this seems to be a routine. Is it really so? Are these Antacids good? Are there any side-effects of these simple looking pills? Isn’t there any other way to get rid of the problem of the Hyperacidity? These are simple questions about the Antacids but our physicians have no time to explain the “cause & effect” theory about these “cooling-pills”. You ask and they tell you- keep on taking these and once you are trapped then you have no choice left.
Let’s have a critical look and analyze the Antacids from modern point of view. This is not because the author or website are related to Ayurveda and we just want to condemn the modern medicines, there are certain things which a common man should know about, this is the effort for the same.
What are the Antacids?
The drugs which neutralize the acidity of the Stomach are known as Antacids!
It sounds simple, yes it is simple and very easy to understand because we know and have read the relation between Acid & Alkali. Once these two- acid and alkali comes together- these neutralize each other and leave a different effect on the body. But in this process- these antacids change the natural activity and decorum of the body.
The acid, what is oozed by some chief cells of the Stomach is not bad always. This Hydrochloric Acid is meant for the digestion of the food easily in the body but anyhow when this HCL attacks the stomach, duodenum or esophagus- it makes scars on these and none can bear that pain, easily. The first option we seek for is an Antacids and we thank to the government of the country that these Antacids are now just over the counter products so there will be no pain to buy these.
Before we use something to neutralize this Acid inside the body, we should have a look on the usefulness of this acid. This is important too, otherwise why body will produce it.
Uses of the HCl:
1) Hydrochloric acid denatures proteins. Essentially, HCL slices the bonds and basically “melts” the proteins. This is what it is generally thought to do, but there is more. [By the way, undigested proteins tend to result in allergic reactions, as the body can't recognize the substance (when undigested) and the immune system then "attacks" it causing the reaction]
2) Hydrochloric acid also activates a substance called pepsin, via its conversion from a substance called pepsinogen. It is pepsin that mainly digests the protein we eat.
3) Indirectly HCl assists digestion further down the gastrointestinal tract by acting as antiseptic in the stomach. This occurs through literally killing microorganisms that exist in the food we eat. These organisms can come from the handling of food, natural organisms that may be present on raw food, and the unfortunate result of spoiled, semi-spoiled or uncooked meat and fish.
4) Lastly, HCl allows for proper mineral absorption as it assists in ionizing minerals, like calcium and magnesium to name a few. Minerals are necessary for many functions in the body, especially as catalysts to enzymes that run the important biochemical reactions that take place every second in our body. Additionally, they contribute to structural formation, as in bone.
These are common uses of the HCl for the body.
Common Symptoms of Low Hydrochloric Acid
- Bloating or belching, especially after eating
- Burning in the stomach, especially after eating
- Fullness or heaviness in the stomach after eating
- Nausea after eating or taking supplements
- Intestinal gas
- Bad breath
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Food allergies
- Itching around the rectum
- Weak or cracked fingernails
- Dilated blood vessels in the cheeks or nose (in non-alcoholics)
- Skin break-outs or acne
- Iron deficiency
- Chronic intestinal parasites
- Undigested food in the stool
- Chronic Candida infection