The fact that a medicine is available without a prescription does not mean that it has no side effects and does not create other dangers. An example is IPP, a popular type of antacid that can damage the kidneys, especially with long-term use.
Acidity is caused by the fact that gastric acid returns to the esophagus, the tube that goes from the mouth to the stomach. Often the fault lies in the weakness of the muscles of its base. If it opens, the acids may rise, causing a burning sensation in the chest.
More than 15 million Americans use proton pump inhibitors or PPIs to treat heartburn, both prescription and over-the-counter, which include well-known brands (the following are in Uruguay), according to researchers from Washington University in St. Louis.
Although these drugs quickly relieve symptoms, they are associated with kidney disease, and the longer they are taken, the greater the risk, the researchers found. They watched nearly 200,000 people for five years and noticed kidney disease in 15% of PPI users, compared with 11% of people who used H2 blockers, another antacid.
IBP users have a significantly higher risk of kidney failure than H2 blockers, although this is rare, according to a reporter's article, Len Kanter, published by HealthDay News. PPIs have also been associated with bone fractures, infections, vitamin B12 deficiency, and even dementia, although the exact links are unclear. So if you need IBP or even the H2 blocker, use it as quickly as possible.
Occasional heartburns are common, and lifestyle changes can reduce discomfort and the need for treatment.
How to calm the acidity
• Eat small frequent meals and eat slowly.
• Stop eating at least three hours before bedtime.
• Do not lie down and do not exercise immediately after a meal.
• Slightly raise the head of the bed to form a slope during sleep.
• Get rid of tight jeans and other clothing that puts pressure on your stomach.
• Keep a diary to determine which foods and drinks can lead to heartburn. Possibilities include fatty and spicy foods, chocolate, coffee, tea, and soft drinks.
In addition to the above, do not ignore the chronic acidity. If this happens more than twice a week, does not respond to short-term use of an antacid, or begins to interfere with your daily life, make an appointment with a doctor. This may be a sign of a more serious illness.