Food is fantastic way come celebrate life’s adventures. Native weddings to birthdays, and also backyard summer barbecues (when safe from a public health and wellness standing, of course), great cooking is in ~ the facility of so countless celebrations. Still, in the visibility of such numerous deliciousness, we human beings tend to—on occasion—overdo it. That’s where good old Tums antacids come in.

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Too lot fatty, rich, or fried food have the right to lead to the dreaded indigestion and also heartburn that sidelines you from the merriment and keeps friend up at night. Countless people, in these situations, revolve to Tums and also other similar antacids to relieve their symptoms. The Tums brand advises taking just a couple of in one sitting, no exceeding 7,500 milligrams, which depending upon the dosage (it come in 500, 750, and also 1,000 mg doses) can range anywhere from 7 come 15 tablets.

But what if you have actually like really, really poor heartburn, and also you want to simply nip that in the bud? can you just take the entirety bottle? In various other words, can you overdose ~ above Tums?

While death by Tums overdose is exceedingly rare, downing a bottles’ worth of Tums is ill-advised.

The factor we have so much acid in our stomachs in the an initial place is because it’s a vital component come digestion. There is no it, us wouldn’t it is in able to malfunction food and also therefore wouldn’t be able to absorb nutrients from it.

But it’s likewise true that mountain plays a an essential role in heartburn, brought about by acid reflux. This problem occurs when the valve that covers the bottom of the esophagus (the tube of muscle that connects her mouth to her stomach) relaxes when it shouldn’t, allowing acid come flow earlier up the esophagus and cause the burning feeling in your chest.

Over time, this can lead to inflammation that the stomach lining, recognized as gastritis, and also erosive sections, known as ulcers (though that far more common to get these two problems via infection through a bacteria well-known as H. Pylori).

All that—heartburn, mountain reflux, gastritis, and also ulcers—is painful. What perform Tums do? The reason Tums work so fine is since their key ingredient, calcium lead carbonate is simple and as soon as exposed come the hydrochloric mountain in your stomach, the carbonate team binds to the hydrogen. This it s okay rid the the totally free floating acid, however in the process frees up calcium ions, permitting them come be absorbed by the body.

That leader to the main potential fence to the concern of how plenty of Tums have the right to I take: a kind amount of conveniently absorbable calcium. The mineral is crucial to bone and overall good health, yet too much can be toxic to the body, specifically the heart and kidneys.

We know around this link between calcium and health difficulties partially because it supplied to be quite a usual syndrome. Ago in the day, the only method we had actually to law peptic ulcer disease (in which an ulcer develops in the stomach lining) was with a combination of milk and also sodium bicarbonate, and also then later calcium bicarbonate. It to be not uncommon for this to bring about something doctors referred to as “milk-alkali syndrome,” which reasons high blood calcium level (hypercalcemia), which can reason irregular heartbeat, metabolic alkalosis (too an easy of a pH in the blood), and acute kidney injury. Researchers think the kidney problems result from too lot calcium and also neutralizing agents structure up in the kidneys, which prevents them from being able come filter this compounds out.

Once we created newer drugs, prefer Pepcid, Nexium, and Prilosec, that block acid from being excreted right into the stomach rather than neutralize it when it’s already there, the instances of milk-alkali syndrome plummeted.

However incidental situation reports show that milk-alkali syndrome still pops up from time-to-time, and often that stems from taking much too lot calcium carbonate, or Tums.

So how plenty of Tums have the right to you take and also how frequently can you take Tums? according to one report ~ above recent instances of milk-alkali syndrome, the concern is nearly impossible come answer for the basic population. As soon as calcium carbonate was used to act peptic ulcers, doctors regularly gave patients 20 to 60 grams that the neutralizing agent every day, and also they noted, top top average, that as much as 35 percent of patients arisen toxic symptoms. Other case reports display that human being who took just 4 come 12 grams a job (that’s also less than the encourage maximum because that Tums) went on to build the syndrome. The same instance report the milk-alkali syndrome uncovered instances of the syndrome in civilization taking calcium carbonate day-to-day to supplement your calcium intake.

In the reports, doctors note that details individuals space far much more susceptible come this syndrome 보다 others. Those through impaired kidney role are at a higher risk, however sometimes, castle note, it’s not easy to tell who is many susceptible.

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Because the the variability in the number of grams the calcium carbonate it takes to command to certain conditions favor milk-alkali syndrome, it’s difficult to say how numerous Tums room too plenty of Tums. Together such, erring on the next of caution is best, taking just the encourage amount, and also only supplementing for extra calcium if encourage by a doctor, is best. And also if you discover yourself acquisition that recommended maximum ~ above a regular basis, it could be a an excellent idea to see a medical professional to comment on how to boost your cradle ailment.

Claire Maldarelli

is the scientific research Editor at famous Science. She has a particular interest in mind science, the microbiome, and human physiology. In enhancement to Popular Science, her occupational has appeared in The brand-new York Times, Scientific American, and Scholastic’s Science World and Super Science magazines, amongst others. She has a bachelor’s level in neurobiology from the university of California, Davis and also a master’s in science journalism from new York University"s Science, Health, and Environmental report Program. Contact the author here.