A little weekend overindulgence.
A little weekday stress.
It happens to the best of us – and it can cause a low burn and churn in your belly.
Those Tums seems like a lifesaver. There’s just one thing:
Using antacids could cause (or mask) other issues.
And what if your tummy woes are actually from LOW stomach acid? 🤔
What We Know
You need acid in your stomach.
True, when it sneaks up into your esophagus (causing reflux) it’s no fun!
But when you take antacids to calm that burn, you’re neutralizing the acid everywhere else, too…
Doing this regularly can lead to:
• digestive distress
• muscle aches
• increased susceptibility to illness
Studies have also shown that using antacids regularly can put you at risk for developing food sensitivities.3
Even worse, they can cause rebound hyperacidity (when the stomach produces even more acid after eating or drinking).4
They might help relieve the burn, but antacids do NOT treat the underlying cause of your reflux (which can include peptic ulcer, gallstones, dietary imbalances, etc).5
What We’re Still Learning
Most people think acid reflux is caused by too much stomach acid.
But recent science shows we can get the same exact symptoms when our stomach acid is too low.6 🤯
So how do you know if you’re low?
We’ve got a super-simple test:
The Burp Test
1. In the morning, before eating or drinking, mix 1/4 tsp of baking soda in 4oz cold water
2. Drink the solution (all at once) and start a timer as soon as you’ve swallowed it
3. Wait for the burp
If you have enough stomach acid, you should burp within 2-3 minutes. Burping in 3-5 minutes, or not at all, may mean your stomach acid is too low.
🔁 Re-test for 5 mornings in a row for most accurate results. Also, it’s not 100% accurate, so if you’re having issues, ask your doctor about an acid test.
The Bottom Line
For most of us, using antacids can help with occasional acid reflux and heartburn.
BUT there are potential side effects with regular use.
Also, it helps to know if your symptoms are because your stomach acid is too high, or too low (easy test above!).
|For ANY reflux (whether stomach acid is high or low)
🚫 Immediately cut these:
|For LOW stomach acid (per the burp test)
✅ Try adding these to your diet:
|For HIGH stomach acid
(I.e. your burp test says you’re not low, but you still have reflux symptoms)
🚫 Cut back on these: