GERD: Types of antacids for GERD?


Topic: Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), June 2000

Dr. Lee:
What kind of antacid can a person take to treat GERD that also provides calcium supplements at the same time?

Dr. Marks:
Well, antacids are effective for the symptoms of mild GERD especially when the symptoms are infrequent. However, antacids don' t heal the esophageal inflammation that occurs in more
severe GERD.

There are three main types of antacids, those containing calcium, those containing magnesium, and those containing aluminum, as well as some that contain combinations of magnesium and aluminum. All of them are effective for mild GERD.

Calcium containing antacids are often in pill form, and they are often prescribed as a calcium supplement. The most well known of these pills probably would be Tums.

There is a difference in the way that they are used. Antacids for the treatment of GERD are used only when symptoms arise--sporadically. For calcium supplementation, the antacids are taken on a regular basis, so they may not provide the same kind of calcium supplementation that is really necessary when treating calcium depletion or preventing osteoporosis.

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