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Do Tums Work For Heartburn

Is It Safe To Drink Alcohol If You Take Tums

Antacids and Why They Work | TUMS

Its safe to drink alcohol if you take Tums. Theres no known interaction between calcium carbonate and alcohol.

With that said, keep in mind that alcohol can aggravate heartburn and other symptoms associated with indigestion. The reason for this is because alcoholic beverages can increase gastric acid secretions.

Alcohol also relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter. This is the muscle that blocks acid from flowing up from your stomach into your esophagus. Both of these factors can contribute to heartburn.

As a result, you might want to consider avoiding alcohol altogether if youve taken Tums because youre experiencing heartburn. Tums isnt intended to treat heartburn caused by alcohol consumption.

You can minimize alcohol-related heartburn by following the recommendations in the 2015-2020 U.S. Dietary Guidelines for Americans .

The guidelines suggest limiting alcohol to a maximum of one drink per day for women and two drinks per day for men.

Tums is generally safe to use for heartburn, with a low risk of side effects when taken as directed.

Still, side effects can sometimes occur. These include:

  • abdominal pain or cramps
  • upset stomach
  • vomiting

Most of the time, these symptoms will go away once you stop taking Tums. Contact your doctor if your side effects are severe or continue even when you stop taking the medication.

When To Use Antacids

Antacids are a good treatment for heartburn that occurs once in a while. Take antacids about 1 hour after eating or when you have heartburn. If you are taking them for symptoms at night, do not take them with food.

Antacids cannot treat more serious problems, such as appendicitis, a stomach ulcer, gallstones, or bowel problems. Talk to your provider if you have:

  • Pain or symptoms that do not get better with antacids
  • Symptoms every day or at night
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bleeding in your bowel movements or darkened bowel movements
  • Bloating or cramping
  • Pain in your lower belly, on your side, or in your back
  • Diarrhea that is severe or does not go away
  • Fever with your belly pain
  • Chest pain or shortness of breath
  • Trouble swallowing

What To Do When The Pain Wont Stop

Even if youre doing well on PPIs, its a good idea to have a backup plan to cope with breakthrough symptoms.

About 73% of people with GERD taking prescription PPIs say theyre satisfied or very satisfied with the medication, according to a 2009 survey of 617 patients published in Current Medical Research and Opinion and funded by Takeda Pharmaceuticals, the makers of Prevacid. Nevertheless, more than half56.7% of patients on once-a-day PPI therapy and 65.9% in the twice-a-day grouphad heartburn in the week before they took the survey.

Overall, 40% said they resorted to other medications for acid reflux, mostly over-the-counter antacids or histamine-2 blockers.

The most common reason that they were using the over-the-counter medicationis related to incomplete relief of their heartburn, explains lead author William D. Chey, MD, a professor of internal medicine and the director of the gastrointestinal physiology laboratory at the University of Michigan Health System, in Ann Arbor.

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Patients werent reaching for additional heartburn soothers on their own. It turns out that roughly 60% were advised by their doctors to take antacids or H2 blockers to help with residual reflux symptoms, he says.

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How Should It Be Used

Tums comes as a tablet, chewable tablet, capsule, and liquid to take by mouth. The amount taken per day depends on the strength. Follow the directions on your prescription or package label carefully, and ask your healthcare provider or pharmacist to explain any part you do not understand.

Take Tums exactly as directed. Do not take more of it or take it more often than prescribed by your healthcare provider. When using this medicine as a dietary supplement, take it with food or following meals.

Chewable tablets should be chewed thoroughly before being swallowed do not swallow them whole. Drink a full glass of water after taking either the regular or chewable tablets or capsules. Some liquid forms of calcium carbonate must be shaken well before use.

Do not take Tums as an antacid for more than two weeks without talking to your healthcare provider first.

Arm Pain: Heartburn Or Something Else

Heart attack survivors often recount their first symptom as a heartburn-like sensation. Many patients explicitly use the word heartburn when recounting their cardiac experience. Patients often realize that their heartburn is in fact not reflux-related but heart-related when:

  • There is a pain radiating up the arm, specifically the left arm
  • They have no history of acid reflux
  • There is a burning sensation in the chest
  • They have not eaten anything prior to the pain
  • The pain doesnt go away with antacid

If your heartburn symptoms dont go away after taking an antacid, and are accompanied by arm pain and back pain, we suggest going to an emergency facility immediately to get medical help.

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What Are The Side Effects Of Antacids

  • Antacids may cause dose-dependent rebound hyperacidity and milk-alkali syndrome.
  • Antacids that contain aluminum hydroxide may cause constipation, aluminum-intoxication, osteomalacia, and hypophosphatemia.
  • Antacids that contain magnesium have a laxative effect that may cause diarrhea, and in patients with renal failure they may cause increased magnesium levels in the blood, because of the reduced ability of the kidneys to eliminate magnesium from the body in the urine.

You May Not Need A Ppi

More than half of the people who take PPIs probably do not need them. Simple heartburn can be treated with antacids or other drugs, plus diet and lifestyle changes.

You may only have heartburn every now and thensuch as after a big, spicy meal. This may be uncomfortable, but it is not serious. You can usually get relief from an antacid, like Rolaids or Tums, or an H2 blocker, such as Pepcid AC or Zantac.

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But These Remedies Aren’t The Best Choice If You Have Frequent Heartburn

You feel the familiar sensation in your chest: heartburn. Again, you find yourself reaching for the bottle of antacids in the medicine cabinet. It’s something you’ve done a few times a week for the past six months. Is it okay to keep popping over-the-counter acid reducers, or is it time to see a doctor?

We asked two experts, Dr. Jennifer Nayor and Dr. Molly Linn Perencevich, both instructors in medicine at Harvard Medical School, for their thoughts on heartburn, including when it’s okay to use over-the-counter antacids and when you should seek other treatments. Below are their responses.

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Acid Reflux: What To Do When Antacids Stop Working

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You may take an antacid for relief from occasional . And for people with GERD , a more severe and frequent form of acid reflux, antacids and lifestyle changes can be an effective first-line treatment. But if these treatments dont work or stop working, you have many other options. Talk with your doctor about which ones may be best for you.

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Does Tums Cause Constipation

If you regularly suffer from heartburn, you may rely too heavily on Tums or other antacids to treat its symptoms.

Can tums cause constipation?” Yes, if you take too many.

As such, your best option for managing your heartburn is to do everything you can to prevent it from happening in the first place.

Look after yourself by managing your health and diet.

Avoid eating too many carbs and raw onions and avoid drinking carbonated, citrus, and alcoholic drinks.

You may find that such small changes will help eliminate your heartburn without experiencing constipation and other tums antacid side effects.

Still, you can also try sleeping with your head slightly elevated.

You Have A Chronic Cough

Coughing can be caused by anything from a cold to asthma, so it can be difficult to determine whether or not its related to your heartburn. But, if you have a persistent cough that wont go away in addition to heartburn, the two may be making each other worse. Because untreated heartburn can damage the lining of your esophagus, it can often lead to heartburn. Likewise, untreated coughing can damage your esophagus leading to heartburn!

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Certain Foods And Drinks

Many people complain that they get reflux after eating certain foods. Common culprits include items high in fat, chocolate, spicy foods, citrusy or acidic foods like oranges and tomatoes, mint, garlic, and onions, as well as carbonated drinks.

These foods may be more difficult to digest, producing extra stomach acid that can end up in the esophagus. Fatty foods may also relax the lower esophageal sphincter , which usually acts as a lid on the stomach. The LES prevents the backflow of acid from the stomach up to the esophagus, explains Elena Ivanina, DO, MPH, a gastroenterologist atLenox Hill Hospital in New York City.Sometimes, though, the LES doesnt do its job as well as it should.

Doctors often counsel lifestyle changesincluding avoiding these triggering foodsto combat reflux symptoms before trying medications. Thats something people can do without needing to spend a lot of money on medicine, says Dr. Schiller, also the program director of the gastroenterology fellowship at Baylor College of Medicine in Dallas.

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Are There Lifestyle Changes That Bring Heartburn Relief

One safe, first step is to cut out any foods and drinks that trigger your heartburn symptoms. Coffee, chocolate, carbonated drinks, fatty and spicy foods, tomatoes, citrus fruits, some dairy, and alcohol are common heartburn triggers. With heartburn, eating smaller meals and avoiding food for two to three hours before bedtime can ease symptoms. You may want to keep a heartburn diary to help determine what foods trigger the problem. Cutting out smoking and losing weight if you’re overweight can also relieve heartburn.

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How Can You Prevent Heartburn

If you suffer from heartburn regularly, then you really should try to find the cause of it.

That way, you can prevent it, as opposed to just treating the symptoms.

You can make a few changes to your lifestyle, which should decrease the regularity of your heartburn.

Some of the simplest changes you can make include changing your sleeping habits and diet.

With Which Drugs Do Antacids Interact

  • When antacids are taken with acidic drugs , they cause the absorption of the acidic drugs to be decreased, which causes low blood concentrations of the drugs, which ultimately results in reduced effects of the drugs.
  • Antacids taken with drugs such as pseudoephedrine , and levodopa , increase absorption of the drugs and can cause toxicity/adverse events due to increased blood levels of the drugs.
  • Antacids that contain magnesium trisilicate and magnesium hydroxide when taken with some other medications will bind to the drugs, and reduce their absorption and effects.
  • Sodium bicarbonate has a strong effect on the acidity of the urine, and this can affect the elimination of some drugs by the kidney. Thus, sodium bicarbonate inhibits the excretion of basic drugs such as quinidine and amphetamines, and increases the excretion of acidic drugs such as aspirin.

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How Does It Work

Different antacids work in different ways. The active ingredient in Tums is calcium carbonate, which works to neutralize the acid in your stomach. Calcium carbonate may also increase motility in the esophagus, lessening the exposure to acid. Some formulations of Tums also contain simethicone to reduce gas and are usually labeled for gas relief.

Other antacids may have additional ways of controlling heartburn. For example, Gaviscon also contains alginic acid which provides a protective barrier that prevents acid from moving back up into your esophagus.

What Are Antacids And How Do They Work

The Science Behind Antacids (TUMS)

Antacids are a class of drugs used to treat conditions caused by the acid that is produced by the stomach. The stomach naturally secretes an acid called hydrochloric acid that helps to break down proteins. This acid causes the contents of the stomach to be acidic innature, with a pH level of 2 or 3 when acid secretion is active. The stomach, duodenum, and esophagus are protected from acid by several protective mechanisms. When there is too much acid or protective mechanisms are inadequate, the lining of the stomach, duodenum or esophagus may become damaged by the acid, giving rise to inflammation and ulcerations and their various gastrointestinal symptoms such as

Antacids reduce acidity by neutralizing acid, reducing the acidity in the stomach, and reducing the amount of acid that is refluxed into the esophagus or emptied into the duodenum. Antacids also work by inhibiting the activity of pepsin, a digestive enzyme produced in the stomach that is active only in an acid environment and, like acid, is believed to be injurious to the lining of the stomach, duodenum, and esophagus.

It is important to note that when antacids are taken on an empty stomach they provide acid reduction for 20 to 40 minutes only because the antacid is rapidly emptied into the duodenum.

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Learn About The Ingredients In Your Antacid

Antacids are the most commonly used product for treating heartburn discomfort and because they start to work in seconds, they’re also the fastest way to relieve your symptoms. Available without a prescription, antacids are available in convenient chewable tablets or as a liquid. Most are relatively inexpensive, making antacids a popular product for fast relief.1

Antacids are the fastest-acting heartburn relief available because they start to weaken the acid in your stomach the second they reach it. The weaker the acid in your stomach, the less likely it is to give you heartburn. The longer an antacid stays in the stomach, the longer it works and having some food in your stomach may actually prolong an antacids effect.1

Most antacids contain at least one of these key ingredients: calcium carbonate, magnesium hydroxide, aluminum hydroxide and/or sodium bicarbonate. While all these ingredients work to neutralize your stomach’s acid, it’s important to know more about them so you can choose the one that’s right for you.2

The Role Of Stomach Acid

But over-the-counter medicines that get rid of stomach acid are not a long-term solution to constant heartburn, Dr. Dumot says.

You may be making the symptoms go away with medicine, but not addressing an underlying problem.

Gastric acid is part of our natural makeup — just not in the esophagus, he says. The acid helps you to digest the food and protects you against infection. When you suppress acid, you can be affecting your health by affecting the digestive process.

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If You Go Prescription

Both histamine blockers and PPIs began as prescription remedies but are now available over the counter, which leaves doctor-prescribed options relatively limited.

The majority of prescription medications are PPIs and do not differ substantially from the OTC version, says Jeffrey Tipton, DO, MPH, medical director at CareMore in Cerritos, Calif. Patients are sometimes prescribed medications such as Reglan that increase motility in the GI tract. Like most medications, these are helpful for some and not for others.

Can Acid Reflux Cause Chest Pain

Chest pain is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux. Chest pain related to reflux is also called noncardiac chest pain . Chest pain occurs during reflux episodes because the heart and the esophagus share a nerve network. Acid reflux, specifically GERD, causes up to 66% of reported NCCPs.

Evaluating Your Chest Pain

Since chest pain from acid reflux and more serious conditions such as heart attack are hard to distinguish, its important to know how to evaluate your chest pain. Chest pain from acid reflux often affects the sternum or the area below it called the epigastrium. Pain from acid reflux is often characterized as a sharp pain, which gets worse with coughing.

Meanwhile, chest pain from non-acid reflux sources could be described as a deep, searing pain. Heart-related chest pain often radiates to other parts of the body including the back, neck, shoulders, and arms.

The symptoms that accompany chest pain are also key in evaluating the nature of the pain. Gastro-related chest pain is often accompanied by burping or flatulence, trouble swallowing, bile regurgitation, and a burning sensation in the throat or stomach.

Cardiac-related chest pain is often accompanied by numbness in the left arm or shoulder, shortness of breath, dizziness, and high body temperatures.

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What Is The Quickest Way To Get Rid Of Heartburn

Taking antacids is considered the quickest way to get rid of heartburn. These over-the-counter medications help neutralize stomach acid. They are one of the first recommended treatments. They may provide quick relief. However, antacid overuse can cause problems such as diarrhea or chronic kidney disease, especially if they contain aluminum and magnesium.

Other common ways to get rid of heartburn include

  • H2 receptor blockers: These medications work to reduce the amount of acid that is made in the stomach. While they do not work as quickly as antacids, they provide longer relief for up to 12 hours. Examples of these include Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, Zantac and Axid AR. Although most people have no problems taking them, long-term use can cause vitamin B12 deficiency leading to an increased risk of bone fractures.
  • Proton pump inhibitors: This class of medications block acid production. They also help to heal any damage caused to the lining of the esophagus. They are much stronger than the H2 receptor blockers and include Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix and Zegerid. Excessive use of these medications can cause diarrhea and nausea, vitamin B12 deficiency and an increased risk of bone fractures.
  • Baclofen: This medication works to strengthen the muscular valve present at the lower esophageal sphincter muscle. However, it may cause nausea and fatigue in some people.
  • Surgical procedures: In rare cases, these are required to help with severe heartburn symptoms.