Do Tums Help Acid Reflux?
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a digestive disorder characterized by the regurgitation of stomach acid into the esophagus. This condition can lead to symptoms such as heartburn chest pain difficulty swallowing.
How do Tums work?
Tums also known as calcium carbonate are a common over-the-counter antacid medication. They work by neutralizing the gastric acid in the stomach which can provide temporary relief from heartburn acid reflux symptoms.
Are Tums effective for acid reflux?
Tums can provide temporary relief for mild to moderate symptoms of acid reflux. The calcium carbonate in Tums acts as a buffer reducing the acidity in the stomach alleviating heartburn.
Limitations of Tums
While Tums can be effective for short-term relief they are not a long-term solution for acid reflux. Tums do not address the underlying causes of acid reflux such as a weakened lower esophageal sphincter (LES) or hiatal hernia. Therefore it is important to consult a healthcare professional if acid reflux symptoms persist.
When to use Tums
Tums are suitable for occasional flare-ups of acid reflux or when symptoms are mild infrequent. They can be taken as needed to provide immediate relief.
If acid reflux symptoms are more frequent or severe other treatment options may be necessary. Some alternatives to Tums include:
- Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs): These medications reduce the production of stomach acid can provide longer-lasting relief.
- H2 blockers: H2 blockers such as ranitidine also work to reduce stomach acid production.
- Lifestyle modifications: Making changes to one’s diet lifestyle such as avoiding trigger foods losing weight elevating the head during sleep can help manage acid reflux symptoms.
Consult a healthcare professional
If acid reflux symptoms persist or worsen despite the use of Tums or other over-the-counter medications it is important to consult a healthcare professional for further evaluation advice.