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Your Water & Your Home

Water & Our Health

• Water Can Cure Diseases

• Learn About Water Quality

• Contamination Fact Sheets


 
      

WATER AND OUR HEALTH

The importance of water and health
Are you getting enough?
Can beverages/drinks replace water?
Health risks of heavy metals
When and who should drink more water?
Water and pregnancy
Water and children
Water and the elderly
Nitrate and our health

The fluoride debate
Overall contamination of water, air and EMW
Water habits while growing up can fight obesity
Water intake with prescription drugs
Do we really need vitamins? water dosage
Water after vigorous exercise
Water and beautiful skin
Benefits of pure clean water for our pets
Organic food and water!

Water quality and plants
Top ten unhealthiest food and detoxing w/water
Water and tips to sober up
Water for people w/ weak immune systems
Pure water for infants/babies
Difference between organic/inorganic minerals
Drinking water can really save money!
More Topics...

 

Are people who take antacids regularly more likely to get sick from bacteria in drinking water?

There are many reasons why people take antacids, normally for the temporary relief of heartburn. Initially, use of antacids causes the body to produce more HCl (hydrochloric acid) that helps digest food. Parietal cells respond by making more acid. Eventually the parietal cells get exhausted, so over the long term, antacids cause the parietal cells to make less HCl. This is just the start of antacids weakening your digestive system.

There are other problems associated with taking antacids. A recent study found that 47% of healthy people who had been using antacids for heartburn/reflux over long periods of time had erosion of the esophagus and 6% had Barrett's esophagus (a more serious condition). Antacids decrease your stomach's ability to digest protein by reducing the effectiveness of protease enzymes. Heavy use of antacids may create an overly alkaline environment resulting in imbalances of intestinal flora, stressing the kidneys and setting the stage for possible urinary tract infections.  

The ability of the stomach to regulate its own acidity can be frustrating to people who take antacids like Tums or Maalox to counteract heartburn. When the alkaline chemicals neutralize stomach acid, a person's own G cells (the stomach cells that make the hormone called gastrin, which stimulates parietal cells to produce more acid) can turn rebellious and relight the fires of heartburn. The rebellious G cells sense the decline in stomach acid and secrete gastrin. The secretion of gastrin causes still more acid to be secreted, which defeats the antacid. A vicious cycle can thus occur when the need is felt to take more and more antacid.

In the end this process leaves the stomach and your digestive organs rather primed for ordinary bacteria in the water to take hold. The bacteria most readily able to wreck havoc in your weakened intestines is gastroenteritis. Gastroenteritis, often called the "stomach flu," is a common and normally short-lived illness characterized by diarrhea and low-grade fever, cramps, nausea, and vomiting. Most people don't require medical attention, although infants, young children, and the elderly are at higher risk for more severe disease.

Some medications—especially antacids, or antibiotics, opiates, and anti-diarrhea drugs—create an environment conducive to the development of gastroenteritis. Long-term use of antacids and medications such as cimetidine (Tagamet) alter the acid environment of the stomach and colon, which normally provides a defense against many gastroenteritis-causing microorganisms. In addition, magnesium-containing antacids can actually cause diarrhea, mimicking gastroenteritis.

Specific ulcer drugs, like best-selling Zantac and Tagamet, seem to suppress symptoms without clearing up the problem. Most patients who take them relapse within two years. These drugs work by blocking production of stomach acid. That may relieve your pain dramatically, but can be harmful in the long run. A certain level of acid secretion is necessary to digest proteins properly and to absorb vitamins and minerals. So if you're taking an ulcer drug, you may be setting the stage for mal absorption.

In the end, stomach acid also protects you by killing fungi, bacteria, and viruses that you cannot help ingesting along with your food. Without gastric acid's protection, you may be much more susceptible to food poisoning, parasites, and other gastrointestinal afflictions -- including ulcers.

                                                     

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