Calcium Carbonate for Heartburn
DISCLAIMER: This article has been written for informational and educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment
The benefits of calcium carbonate for heartburn have been well known for centuries. Occasional heartburn is very common but often appears annoying to most of us. It’s affecting nearly everyone at some point in life.
Calcium carbonate is considered one of the most popular medications for heartburn throughout the world that may reduce symptoms immediately. In this article, we’ll unfold how calcium carbonate can help with heartburn scientifically. But before we get started with the uses of calcium carbonate for heartburn, it’s worth knowing the basics of heartburn a little bit more. So, let’s read on.
Table of contents
- What is heartburn?
- Symptoms of heartburn
- Causes of heartburn
- Risk factors for heartburn
- Complications of heartburn
- What is calcium carbonate?
- How calcium carbonate can help with heartburn
- How to use calcium carbonate
- Precautions and side effects
- Final words
What is heartburn?
Heartburn is a burning discomfort or pain in the mid-chest or upper chest that possibly involves the throat and neck. The pain may worsen after eating, or when bending over and lying down, or in the evening.
Occasional heartburn is quite common and can be easily managed by antacids such as calcium carbonate along with simple lifestyle changes. Recurrent heartburn that often interferes with daily activities might be a symptom of a serious underlying condition that may need immediate medical attention.
Symptoms of heartburn
Signs and symptoms of heartburn may include:
- A burning feeling in the throat and chest
- Pain in the chest that may last anywhere from several minutes to several hours
- Pain may worsen when bending over or lying down
- A hot, acidic, bitter, salty, or sour taste in the mouth
Causes of heartburn
Heartburn is caused due to the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus, a tube that carries ingested foods from the mouth to the stomach. This backflow of stomach acid is also known as acid reflux.
While some disease conditions such as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), gastritis, and hiatus hernia can cause acid reflux and heartburn, heartburn may also have some causes that aren’t associated with underlying disease including overeating, alcohol, spicy food, and tight clothing.
Risk factors for heartburn
Some health conditions such as obesity and pregnancy may increase the risks of developing heartburn. Certain foods and drinks may also induce the development of heartburn in some people. They may include but aren't limited to:
- Fried or fatty foods
- Spicy foods
- Large meals
- Citrus products
- Alcohol and carbonated beverages
- Coffee or caffeinated beverages
Complications of heartburn
Heartburn that is frequent and impacts on daily activities is considered a chronic GERD. If left untreated, GERD may seriously damage the esophagus and sometimes may result in precancerous changes which are known as Barrett's esophagus.
What is calcium carbonate?
Calcium carbonate is a natural calcium salt found in rocks as chalk, limestone, calcite, and marble. It’s also available as a dietary supplement and is often used to prevent and treat calcium deficiency in the body that may lead to several health conditions such as osteoporosis.
Calcium carbonate has historically been used for relieving symptoms of heartburn and indigestion for centuries. It’s available in both over-the-counter as well as with prescriptions.
How calcium carbonate can help with heartburn
In heartburn, the stomach acid backflows up into the esophagus. When the acid touches the lining of the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation. Calcium carbonate has a miraculous ability to neutralize stomach acid in seconds.
While other heartburn medications are effective in reducing heartburn as well, most of them are absorbed through the bloodstream and take ample time to start working. Calcium carbonate shows tremendous antacid properties that can alleviate heartburn symptoms immediately.
How to use calcium carbonate
Calcium carbonate is mostly recommended by mouth. Chewable tablets also work wonders. The actual doses of calcium carbonate vary depending on the aim and severity of the issues.
However, in general, the doses of calcium carbonate may range from 100 mg to 2500 mg per day preferably with or after meals. These doses can be taken into two to three divided doses throughout the day. Always check with your medical practitioner to figure out the best dose for your specific condition.
Precautions and side effects
Calcium carbonate is possibly safe when taken as recommended. Since it may show some side effects it should be taken only under medical supervision.
Overdoses may cause higher calcium levels in the blood that may lead to some unpleasant side effects such as stomach upset, constipation, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, muscle weakness, bone pain, increased urination or thirst, fatigue, and brain fog. It may also produce allergic reactions in some people that may cause difficulty breathing, skin hives, swelling in the face, throat, lips, and tongue.
People with kidney stones, cancer, kidney disease, high levels of calcium in the blood, and parathyroid gland issues should consult their healthcare specialists before taking calcium carbonate on a regular basis.
Breastfeeding and pregnant women may require an alteration in doses. Therefore, if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding, always ask your healthcare practitioner prior to using calcium carbonate.
Calcium carbonate is one of the most effective natural medications for heartburn that has historically been used for centuries. Apart from the immediate and proven benefits of calcium carbonate for heartburn, it can be taken as a calcium dietary supplement as well when the amount of calcium consumed through foods isn’t enough. Calcium plays a vital role in maintaining healthy bones, teeth, heart, nervous system, and muscles.
If taken arbitrarily, calcium carbonate may cause some side effects such as nausea, vomiting, increased urination, and abdominal pain. It’s highly recommended to consult with a qualified naturopathic doctor prior to using calcium carbonate for heartburn or other conditions especially if you’re pregnant or breastfeeding or have ever had kidney stones, cancer, kidney disease, parathyroid gland problems, or excess levels of calcium in the blood.
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