Acid-base titration with antacids experiments

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Acid-base titration with antacids experiments
Antacids relieve gastric disress from stomach acid by raising the pH of the stomach. (Image by Flickr.com, courtesy of fdecomite)

Yvonne Romero, M.D., of the Gastroenterology and Hepatology Department of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, explains that antacids are not a long-term solution for chronic acid reflux because of side effects and the potentially fatal complications of chronic acid reflux. Titration involves determining the amount or concentration of an unknown substance, in this case stomach acids and antacids.

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Antacid Titration Experiments

Familiar advertising recommended Rollaids because it absorbs "47 times its weight in stomach acid." Competing Tums advertised that it "neutralises one-third more than Rollaids." Titration experiments in high school and undergraduate college laboratories study the titration of acids and antacids, allowing students to evaluate the advertising claims. The website "Chemical Analysis by Acid-Base Titration" details a simple acid-base titration experiment using vinegar, fruit juice, and ammonia to test different antacids for how much acid they absorb. Boston College, with fewer details, presents an acid-base titration experiment with antacids.

Composition of Antacids

EMedtv explains that antacids increase the pH of the stomach almost immediately to relieve acid indigestion, heartburn, gastritis, and gastro-oseophageal reflux disease (GERD). Antacids, like all medications, are attached to a base. Antacids are attached to sodium, calcium, magnesium, or aluminium. Alkaseltzer is sodium-based and should not be taken if you are being treated for high blood pressure. Maylox and Milanta are magnesium-based antacids and can cause diarrhoea or kidney stones with prolonged use. Rollaids are aluminium-based antacids, which can cause constipation. Tums are calcium-based antacids, which can cause kidney stones to form.

Stomach Acid

Acid reflux is stomach acid coming back up to the throat through the oesophagus. You may feel a burning sensation during acid reflux. Acid reflux is not a cause for concern unless it is of prolonged duration. Antacids relieve discomfort from heartburn by neutralising stomach acid. Antacids should be used for no more than two weeks.

Side effects of antacids listed by the Mayo Clinic include diarrhoea, constipation, and eventually kidney damage. Long-term use of aluminium products weakens bones. Excess calcium shifts the body's acid-base balance to alkaline.

Acid and Alkaline Foods

The "Connective Tissue Disorder Site" explains that food is characterised as acidic or alkaline based on its effect on urinary pH. The effect of food on urine can be different than the pH of the food itself. For example, orange juice contains high citrus acid, but digestion alters it. Orange juice has an alkaline effect on urine. The foods you consume affect the acid-base balance in the body, which in turn affects magnesium in the blood stream. High acid content causes the loss of magnesium and may cause renal failure from magnesium deficiency, which can be fatal.

Spinach, eggs, liver, wine, yoghurt, sour cream, and gravy are extremely acidic while corn, meat, fish, fowl, grains, plums, and cranberries are merely acidic. Alkaline foods include bananas, chocolate, potatoes, mineral water, and most fruits and vegetables. Antibiotics can make urine alkaline and increase the probability of urinary infection.

Long-Term Solution

The Mayo Clinic expects you to get an upper endoscopy examination if you have had acid reflux for more than five years. It is possible for long-term reflux to damage a person's oesophagus, which is a precursor to esophageal cancer. A doctor should determine the cause of chronic acid reflux.

Newer medications, such as prilosec, dexlansoprazole, esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole, and omeprazole/sodium bicarbonate, work outside the stomach to block the production of stomach acid and allow damaged stomach and esophageal tissue to heal, according to the Mayo Clinic.

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