Bloat? IBS? Heartburn? The Remedies You’re Reaching For Are Doing More Harm Than Good
Modern diets are hard on the stomach. And though we do our best to eat well, the occasional slice of pizza or bowl of ice cream can wreak havoc on your digestive tract.
Dr. Heather Gessling, a leading family medicine practitioner in Missouri, sees patients every day in her clinic who struggle with IBS, GERD, heartburn, and bloat. “If you look at all the ingredients in the foods we eat, you’ll see that we often consume over 50 different ingredients in a single day,” says Dr. Gessling. “It’s no wonder gut health has become such an issue, nor is it surprising that people have difficulties even identifying which foods trigger symptoms. It’s a uniquely modern problem.”
Popular products like Tums®, Pepto Bismol®, Rolaids®, Maalox® and Ex-Lax® have marketed themselves to help you power through that next tough meal. However, if you’re fighting bloat, gas, or indigestion, using these products may actually worsen your health. There are 5 key risks and dangers to these over-the-counter ‘remedies’ that everyone should be aware of:
- Calcium Carbonate-Based Antacids: Products like Tums® contain significant amounts of calcium. Excessive intake of calcium can potentially lead to a condition called hypercalcemia, which is characterized by high levels of calcium in the blood. Hypercalcemia can cause symptoms such as nausea, constipation, and fatigue. Worse, high levels of calcium magnify your risk of kidney stones.
- Metal-Based Antacid Tablets: Products like Rolaids®, Maalox®, and Mylanta® use magnesium or aluminum hydroxide to neutralize stomach acid and provide relief from heartburn or acid reflux. However, long-term or excessive use of metal-based antacids can lead to a dangerous accumulation of metals in the body, potentially contributing to neurological disorders, bone diseases, and kidney problems. Often, the first sign of these side effects is cramping or diarrhea, caused by electrolyte imbalances.
- Bismuth-Based Liquid Antacids: Pepto Bismol® contains an ingredient called bismuth subsalicylate, which is chemically related to aspirin. Individuals who are allergic to aspirin or are on certain blood thinners, anti-inflammatories or antibiotics should avoid use, as it can potentially trigger a reaction or worsen existing conditions.
- Laxatives such as Ex-Lax® contain stimulant ingredients such as senna, bisacodyl, or cascara sagrada, which stimulate the muscles in the intestines to promote bowel movements. Prolonged or excessive use of these laxatives can lead to weakened natural bowel function. This can result in a condition known as laxative abuse or laxative dependency, where the body becomes reliant on laxatives to produce bowel movements. Moreover, excessive use of stimulant laxatives can cause electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and damage to the intestinal lining.
- Interaction Risks: Antacids and laxatives may interact with certain medications. For example, they can reduce the absorption or effectiveness of antibiotics, antifungals, or thyroid medications. It’s essential to always consult with a healthcare professional or pharmacist to ensure there are no potential interactions between metal-based antacids or laxatives and any prescribed or over-the-counter medications you are taking.
Fortunately, if you’re suffering from digestive issues or gut health, there are incredibly effective botanical remedies that can be taken, which avoid the dangers of common antacids and laxatives. The chief medical team at The Wellness Company designed an all-natural Digestive Enzyme Formula to give you relief from bloat, gas, and heartburn – without the dangerous use of metals or stimulants.
In The Wellness Company’s Digestive Enzyme Formula you will find:
- A powerful blend of 8 all-natural digestive enzymes to help metabolize a broad range of foods including proteins, fats, dairy, carbohydrates, and grains.
- Ginger root to help stimulate accelerated digestion.
- Peppermint leaf to help prevent gas.
People are saying about The Wellness Company’s Digestive Enzyme Formula:
“I tried a wide variety of products for my husband that I bought at CVS. They were hit-or-miss. He’s taking 2 digestive enzyme caps with his dinner and no longer wakes me up at night with heartburn or indigestion.”
“I’ve been struggling with bloat for years. Probiotics or antacids don’t seem to work and often give me diarrhea. I’m so grateful for this product, I keep some in my purse so I have it ready at the restaurant.”