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How Does an Antacid Work?

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Even though heartburn is fairly common, it can still disrupt our lives in pretty annoying ways. For instance, if we’re out with friends having a good time, and a painful, burning sensation suddenly starts firing up in our chest, it’s certainly going to make the night much less enjoyable!

Luckily, occasional heartburn can be treated pretty quickly with antacids like TUMS. Antacids are specifically designed to go to work on the excess acid that arises with heartburn. But how does this process happen, exactly? Read on for a detailed explanation of how antacids actually work and why they’re so helpful for issues like heartburn, acid indigestion, and sour stomach.

How Antacids Work

Heartburn is what happens when stomach acids flow back up into our esophagus, causing a burning sensation in the back of our throat, chest pain, and an acidic taste. It can be triggered by a few things including eating a big meal, lying down after eating, or consuming fatty or spicy foods. ANTacids (or “anti acid”) work by neutralizing that excess stomach acid.

Most OTC antacids contain some combination of aluminum and magnesium hydroxide. Some — like TUMS — contain calcium carbonate, one of the oldest effective heartburn-relieving agents out there!

Certain antacids contain peppermint flavoring, too. Peppermint can help encourage belching after meals by relaxing the lower esophageal sphincter.

Typically, antacids don’t have many side effects when taken occasionally and at the recommended dose.

Easing Heartburn and Acid Indigestion

While taking an antacid product like TUMS Chewy Bites Cooling Sensation will bring relief from occasional heartburn, it’s possible to ease the symptoms in other ways, such as avoiding trigger foods, eating smaller meals, waiting at least three hours after eating to lie down, maintaining a healthy weight, and quitting smoking.

So while there’s no magic involved when it comes to finding fast relief from an overabundance of stomach acid, a few simple lifestyle changes, in combination with antacids, can help fight back against occasional heartburn, so you can enjoy your night for however long it lasts!

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