Should You Be Taking Antacids?

Should You Be Taking Antacids?
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“But Dr. King, I am suffering from acid reflux (GERD, indigestion) and the antacids help to decrease the pain!” I hear this A LOT from patients when they come in to begin our natural healing program. Well…you need to understand some important facts:

  • Acid reflux, GERD and indigestion are typically caused by H. Pylori, the most common bacteria in the US.
  • Symptoms include increased gas, bloating, upset stomach, etc., and most people treat the symptoms with antacids, Prilosec, Tagamet or Rolaids. These medications will relieve the symptoms but are exactly what NOT to do.
  • People with a deceased stomach acid are not able to digest their food and it sits in the stomach longer, causing upset, fermentation of carbohydrates, and possibly regurgitating the little acid there is, up through the esophagus causing reflux.
  • Taking the antacid, Prilosec, Nexium or Rolaids will help to break the food down but you will always be dependent on them. I recommend a patient to take some HCL/digestive enzymes, which will help the stomach cells to regain their normal function…BUT…
  • I also recommend patients get to the root cause of the stomach not working efficiently, that being H. Pylori a majority of the time.
  • Stool tests (I use Metametrix) or a urea breath test are the best ways to determine if H. Pylori is hanging around.
    Let me share with you a couple of interesting stories of recent patients. I will call them Patient A and Patient B.
    Patient A
    She came in with a main symptom of bloating. It didn’t matter what she ate, she kept having bloating after meals. I ran a stool test on her and when it came back not only did she have H. Pylori, but she had fungus, yeast, and a parasite in her GI system. She has since been on some natural herbs and her symptoms are diminishing nicely. However, her husband must also be treated for H. Pylori because it spreads very easily.
    Patient B
    She came in due to major constipation complications, along with abdominal pain and GERD. I ran a stool test on her and sure enough, she was positive for H. Pylori, parasites and opportunistic bacteria in her GI system. We are now 4 weeks into her care program and her symptoms have subsided greatly. However, her husband and the family dog are also being treated for H. Pylori as animals can have/spread it as well.
    Will you always have GERD, bloating, indigestion? No! Some symptoms can be constipation/diarrhea and increase in gas, along with fatigue and brain fog. An astute doctor should look for H. Pylori being the culprit.
    If you are having any of the above symptoms, I would encourage you to seek a doctor that will test you properly and follow-up the test results with proper management.
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