MedBytes – Mineral Absorption with GERD/Antacid Medicine
Remember pH from grade-school chemistry class?
Acidic pH is lower than 7, and basic (alkaline) pH is above 7.
Our stomachs have an acidic pH.
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Anything we ingest regularly that changes the pH of the stomach environment will affect other items which need the environment to be more acidic in order to be absorbed.
Minerals we need (like calcium) are an example of this.
This is why many doctors will order Iron pills to be taken with a glass of OJ.
Are you on a heartburn or GERD medicine?
Antacids, medicines like Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid, Prilosec, Prevacid, Protonix, Nexium, any of their generics, or similar drugs, will alter our stomachs’ pH to a less acidic level.
What should I do if I’m on one of these medicines?
- Make sure your doctor is monitoring your labs. He will determine how often you’ll need this done.
- You may need to Take a Vitamin D supplement (pill).
- Calcium citrate (Citracal) is a calcium form that is better-absorbed without needing that low pH, so you may need to use that.
- Some people have needed to take a magnesium supplement due to low magnesium levels from long-term PPI use (such as Prilosec and similar medicines).
Discuss these with your doctor – some people on PPIs are not able to get their magnesium levels regulated even with taking extra magnesium.
Be careful with the magnesium supplements, too.
You won’t want to keep taking a supplement if your doctor says your level is fine and there is no medical reason to take it.
Do you know what the main ingredient of Milk of Magnesia is?
As always, discuss this information with your doctor.
What medicine questions do you have? Share with us in the comments – we may use it as a future topic.