What is an antacid? It is a mixture of substances that are intended to neutralize the increased acidity in the stomach (hyperacidity) or provide relief from acid reflux.
With the amount of multifaceted stress brought about by the pandemic, I’m sure many people, already feel the ‘heat’ in the stomach and the painful cramps. Eating too much acidic foods may also upset the stomach, as well as food allergy. That’s how it happens, with me (from time to time). Examples of OTC (over-the-counter) antacids to relieve these symptoms are:
There was a time when I liked taking Alka-seltzer, the original one. I liked the fizzy burst when the tablet is dropped in the glass of water. But these days, most drugstores sell Alka-seltzer with aspirin added in it. Aspirin could worsen the gastritis. Instead of trying to find the original alka-seltzer without aspirin or order it online, I decided to make my own fizzy antacid in the kitchen. Let me show you…
Prepare the following ingredients:
- Sodium bicarbonate or baking soda – 1/2 tsp
- Citric acid, replaced by lemon – 1 tbsp lemon (equivalent to 1/4 tsp powdered citric acid)
- Water – 4 oz (or approximately 120 ml.)
Mixing the sodium bicarbonate and lemon in water produces sodium citrate that makes the solution get fizzy. The sodium bicarbonate is naturally alkaline with a ph of 8. Lemon, though it’s known to be alkalizing when metabolized, is naturally acidic, with ph of 2. So, the mixture produces a weak acid or base that neutralizes the hyperacidity without drastic change from being highly acidic to highly alkaline.
In my experience, drinking this mixture is immediately soothing. I add only a little amount of honey to sweeten it a bit because honey is acidic. If you can drink it without sweetener, the better.
While I still have symptoms, I drink this before meals or an hour or two after meals, and at bedtime. I do this for 2-3 days and at the same time, I try to avoid acidic foods and missing meals. At this time, it is best to eat small portions but with increased frequency during the day. On the third or fourth day, either this natural antacid is stopped because symptoms are already gone, or can be tapered to just one or 2 doses a day for another few days. If symptoms persist, not improving or worsening, consult your family physician who can manage it, if not, he can refer you to a gastroenterologist.