Is It Bad to Pop Antacid Tablets Like Candy?

Antacid tablets are over-the-counter chewable tablets and liquids that help to neutralize your stomach acid. You'll see brands like Tums and Pepto-Bismol in your pharmacy and grocery healthcare sections. People will use antacids for quick relief of various symptoms of heartburn, acid reflux, and indigestion. But there may be some danger in using antacids for quick relief.

Antacid Ingredients

First of all, there are many different kinds of antacids with ingredients that—in high doses—can have unpleasant side effects. Some contain calcium, magnesium, or aluminum. Overloading the body with these substances can cause constipation or diarrhea. Other antacids have sodium bicarbonate and may not be suited for long-term use by people with high blood pressure or those watching their salt intake.

How They Work

Antacids work by neutralizing stomach acid to help temporarily relieve heartburn, an upset stomach, or indigestion—but they don't treat the actual health issue triggering those symptoms.

While stomach upset or indigestion is commonly related to acid reflux, the discomfort could also be due to a peptic ulcer or gallstones—and each of these underlying health issues has its own course of treatment. Plus, masking your symptoms with antacids for too long could lead to an even larger health problem down the line. For instance, long-term acid exposure associated with acid reflux could damage the esophagus.

Be proactive and discuss with your doctor when and why you find yourself popping antacids, so they can give you a concrete diagnosis and recommend the best solution.

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