Is That Antacid Killing You?
PBS's "GI Jane," Brenda Watson helps Americans with their plop, plop, fiz, fiz problems.
Quick Fix Remedies
Clearwater, FL -- Antacids are quick-fix remedies taken by millions to help relieve
heartburn, acid reflux and other uncomfortable digestive problems. Americans spend
more than $3 billion a year on over-the-counter heartburn drugs, according to the
American Pharmacists Association, and more than $13 billion on prescription acid
Stomach Acid: Too much? Too Little?
"People take antacids to lower the amount of acid in their stomach but many
are misdiagnosing themselves and shouldn't be taking antacids at all," says
Brenda Watson, author of, "The H.O.P.E. Formula," and "Gut Solutions,"
a series of books on digestive health. "Ninety percent of people with heartburn
or acid reflux symptoms actually don't have enough acid in their stomach."
Signs and symptoms of too little acid include:
"Many doctors don't test for it or know how to treat it, so acid blocking medications
are being over-prescribed in the same way antibiotics have been," says Watson.
"It's a big concern because hypochlorhydria can be reversed by changing your
diet. The condition should never lead to cancer."