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Acid Reducers

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Acid Reducer

Acid reducers are the drugs used to relieve the pain and irritation produced in the stomach due to high acid content. The acid neutralizers are also known as antacids that neutralize the stomach acid. Antacids are known to provide instant and short-term relief from the burning sensation due to acidity. Acid reducers are used for the treatment of various gastrointestinal conditions like:

 - Peptic ulcer disease

 - Dyspepsia

 - Prevention of stress ulcers

 - GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease)

Acid reducers are medicines that are also known as H2 receptor antagonists. The H2 blockers must be taken by mouth, although some injectable forms are also available. The H2 blockers work by blocking the action of histamines on the stomach's parietal cells, thereby decreasing the amount of acid produced by the parietal cells present on the wall of the stomach. Thus, the stomach juices are made less irritating. It relieves the symptoms of burning sensations in the stomach and esophagus.

Causes of Stomach Problems:

There are various causes of stomach problems. Common causes of acid reflux and other gastritis problems of the stomach are:

•  Several food items are there that can cause stomach abnormalities like citrus, tomatoes, chocolates, garlic, onion, and spicy foods

•  Being too much overweight

•  Eating large quantities of food especially spicy food

•  Drinking too much of alcoholic beverages and caffeinated drinks like coffee or tea

•  Being pregnant

•  Taking aspirin, ibuprofen and certain blood pressure medications

•  Too much smoking

Signs of stomach acidity and gaseous troubles of the stomach:

Some of the common symptoms of acid reflux are as follows:

 • Bloating

 • Heartburn

 • Hiccups

 • Nausea

 • Weight loss

 • Wheezing

 • Dry cough

 • Hoarseness or sore throat

You may or may not feel all the symptoms, but most of these symptoms are commonly felt by a patient suffering from stomach ailments.

Adverse effects of the problem:   

If acidity or GERD is not controlled, it can be complicated. The complications from uncontrolled acid reflux include oesophagitis, esophageal bleeding, ulcers, and barrettes oesophagus. There is an increased risk of esophageal cancer. Hence, it is necessary to treat and recover from GERD or Acid reflux to avoid serious complications. 

Preventive Measures:

GERD or acid reflux can be prevented if you follow the tips given below:

 • Avoid consumption of spicy food

 • Eat a smaller portion of food at a time

 • Eat more fruits and vegetables

 • Keep a gap between the last meal of the day and your sleep time

 • Avoid stress and tension

 • Avoid medicines such as NSAIDs and steroids

 • Eat more fruits and vegetables etc.

Myths and Facts:

 • Myth: Cut back on all proteins

 • Fact: You should not cut all proteins from your diet; you should only leave aside meat proteins. Having tofu, soy proteins, and foods like hummus is always ok.

 • Myth: Cut all kinds of caffeine, such as tea and coffee.

 • Fact: It is not necessary to cut the tea; you can always enjoy a cup of green tea or herbal tea

Diagnosis of Acid Reflux problem or GERD:

If you suffer from acid reflux problems two or more times a week, you need to go to the doctor for a thorough checkup. The doctor will ask about the symptoms of the disease and will suggest a few tests such as:

 • Barium swallow(oesophagram): to check the narrow oesophagus for any ulcers or problem

 • Oesophageal manometry

 • pH monitoring

 • Endoscopy to check any abnormality in stomach and

 • A biopsy can also be done during endoscopy to check the samples of
   tissues under a microscope  

Treatment of Acid Reflux problem:   

Acid reflux is a typical condition that requires proper care of the stomach and what the person is eating. The treatment of acid reflux is done by using acid reducer drugs. These acid reducers target the histamine receptor present in the stomach. The acid reducer drugs suppress gastric acid production in the stomach and maintain the acid concentration. This is how several acid reducer drugs keep the heartburn away in a person suffering from acid reflux problems.

Various medicines for acid reflux, known as acid reducer medicines, are available online so that you can buy these drugs online.

  • Pantoprazole - Pantoprazole reduces the amount of acid that your stomach produces. It is used to relieve heartburn symptoms, acid reflux disease and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GORD). It is also effective in preventing and treating stomach ulcers. Doctors usually ask to take pantoprazole once daily in the morning. You should start to feel better in 2 to 3 days, but it may take up to 4 weeks for pantoprazole to get completely rid of the symptoms. If symptoms do not improve after two weeks, consult a doctor before taking more pantoprazole. The acid reducer is not usually recommended during pregnancy. The medicine is not recommended for adults and children aged 12 years and over. Pantoprazole is not suitable for some people who are allergic to acid reducers or have liver problems. Pantoprazole is sold under the brand names Pentaloc 40 mg, Pantocid 20 mg

  • Famotidine - An effective remedy for individuals with acid reflux and heartburn. It is sold under the brand name. It works by reducing acid production. It is effective at treating:

     1. GERD occurs when acid in your stomach backs up into your esophagus. This may lead to a burning sensation in the chest or throat, burping, or sour taste in the mouth

     2. Duodenal ulcers- Part of your intestine where food travels when it leaves the stomach.

     3. Stomach ulcer

     4. Medical conditions where your stomach secretes excessive acid. These  conditions include Zollinger Ellison syndrome.
     5. Damage to the lining of your esophagus.

 • Ranitidine - A prescription treatment for stomach and intestines ulcers and prevents recurrence after healing. It is effective in treating GERD and Zollinger Ellison syndrome. The medicines are used to reduce the amount of acid your stomach makes. It provides relief from symptoms such as heartburn, stomach pain, cough that doesn’t go away, and difficulty swallowing. One can take medicine before or after consuming food, usually once or twice daily. The duration of the treatment is usually based on the medical condition. The dose of children is based on body weight. For best results, follow your doctor’s advice. Ranitidine is sold under the brand names Aciloc 150mg

 • Pantoprazole and Domperidone - Sold under the brand Pantocid DSR, the combination of Pantoprazole and Domperidone treats gastrointestinal reflux disease and peptic ulcer disease by relieving the associated symptoms, including stomach pain, heartburn, irritation, or indigestion. The combination medicine works by neutralizing the acid in the stomach and promoting easy gas passage to reduce stomach discomfort.

Steps to improve the health:

 • Several food items can relieve stomach acidity problems like oatmeal, fennel, chicken and turkey, basil, parsley, asparagus, and rice.

  • Some of the other points that you must keep in mind to avoid acid reflux are:

  • Watch out for the kind of foods you eat and avoid eating acidity, causing food items such as caffeine, sodas, chocolates, onions, etc.

  • Watch out for when you eat your meal; avoid keeping a gap if at least 2 hours between a meal and when you hit the bed.

  • Eat slowly in smaller proportions

  • Keep a record of things that causes you acidity in the stomach

  • Avoiding smoking cigarettes can also help as smoking produces stomach

  • Ditch the skin-tight jeans and wear clothes that do not put pressure on
    your stomach

The important things to know:

 • Consult a doctor if heartburn lasts for more than three months

 • Never take medicine continuously for more than 14 days

 • While buying an OTC antacid or acid reducer, look for warning drugs

 • Pregnant ladies should avoid the use of the drug to prevent any unwanted
    side effects and complications during pregnancy

 • Lactating or breastfeeding mothers should also avoid the intake of antacids
   and acid reducers as the safety and efficacy in lactation are not

What is the difference between acid reflux and heartburn?

Mild heartburn can be treated with antacids. If you take antacids more than several times a week, your doctor may need to examine you. Your heartburn could indicate a more severe problem like acid reflux.    

What causes Acid reflux?

After swallowed, food travels down the oesophagus; it stimulates cells in the stomach to produce acid, which helps indigestion. A muscle band at the lower part of the oesophagus called the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) act as a barrier to prevent the backflow of stomach contents into the oesophagus. The LES relaxes to allow food and other fluids to flow into your stomach. Then the sphincter closes again. If the sphincter weakens, stomach acid can flow back into your oesophagus. This irritates the lining of your oesophagus, often causing it to become inflamed.

What is the cause of heartburn?

The LES where the oesophagus meets the stomach keeps stomach acid right in your stomach. If the LES is working fine, it opens to allow food into your stomach and then closes again. But if the LES is not functioning properly, stomach acid can seep into the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation. There may be two possible causes that may make you feel this burning sensation. One is overeating, which adds too much food to your belly. Another is excessive pressure on your stomach, often due to constipation, obesity, and pregnancy.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux disease?

The main symptom of acid reflux disease is frequent heartburn, though some adults do not experience this burning sensation. Other symptoms include:

  • nausea
  • wheezing
  • vomiting
  • a dry, chronic cough
  • a sore throat, hoarseness, swelling and irritation of the voice box.
  • chest pain or pain in the upper part of the abdomen
  • difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing
  • dental erosion and bad health

What foods and beverages to avoid with acid reflux?

It is best to avoid certain foods and beverages to prevent indigestion and other symptoms associated with acid reflux. These include:

  • High-fat meals and fried foods
  • Spicy foods
  • Pineapple, citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, grapefruit
  • Tomatoes, garlic, and onion

Several common drinks may also trigger symptoms in people with acid reflux disease. These include alcohol, coffee, tea, carbonated beverages, tomato, and citrus fruit juices.

Could certain medications be causing GERD?

Yes, some common medications can cause acid reflux and heartburn. Certain pain relievers (Ibuprofen, aspirin) and other common drugs (osteoporosis medications, antibiotics, anti-anxiety drugs, antidepressants, high blood pressure medicines and iron supplements) can trigger the symptoms of acid reflux.  

Are lifestyle changes might help reduce symptoms?

Yes, lifestyle changes can help reduce reflux symptoms. Lifestyle changes involve dietary changes or changes in daily routine (Stop smoking, limit alcohol consumption, or drop a few pounds).

When to reach out for prescription treatment for heartburn or reflux?

Seek immediate medical advice as soon as possible if:

  • Symptoms become severe or frequently occurs
  • Lifestyle modifications and over the counter products don’t work, or you have been using them for longer than 14 days.
  • You have trouble swallowing food
  • You are vomiting blood or black coloured substances
  • Severe stomach pain accompanied by acid reflux symptoms
  • You are passing bloody or black coloured stools or experiencing diarrhoea

What are the complications associated with GERD?

When left untreated, acid reflux disease can lead to complications, which include:

  • Adult-onset asthma
  • Esophagitis (irritation, inflammation, or swallowing of the oesophagus)
  • Regurgitation of acid into the lungs
  • Ulcerations (bleeding)
  • Sinusitis

Is there any test to examine GERD?

Acid reflux disease depends on whether you experience complications in addition to the symptoms. There are three main tests used when GERD is suspected. These are:

  • Oesophageal pH Test: It is commonly used to help confirm the diagnosis of acid reflux disease or to identify the associated symptoms
  • Endoscopy: It determines the cause of heartburn
  • Manometry: It helps to identify problems with movement and pressure in the oesophagus that may lead to a burning sensation.

Who should not take pantoprazole?

The following conditions are contraindicated with this medicine. Check with your doctor if you have:

  • low amount of magnesium in the blood
  • Inadequate vitamin B12
  • Diarrhoea from infection with clostridium difficile bacteria
  • A broken bone
  • Systematic lupus erythematosus (an autoimmune disease)
  • A type of kidney inflammation called interstitial nephritis.

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