Do tums help ibs?

Do you suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and find yourself reaching for Tums in the hopes of some relief? You’re not alone, as many people turn to this popular antacid product for comfort. But the question remains – do Tums actually help alleviate IBS symptoms or are we just hoping for a quick fix?

Understanding IBS

Before we dive into whether or not Tums can aid with IBS symptoms, let’s first take a closer look at what exactly IBS is.

IBS is a chronic gastrointestinal disorder that affects approximately 10-15% of people worldwide [1]. While it isn’t life-threatening, it does cause significant discomfort on a day-to-day basis. Symptoms of IBS include abdominal pain, bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation – all sensations that no one wants to deal with!

So why do so many people reach for Tums when experiencing these unpleasant symptoms?

What Are Tums?

Tums are an over-the-counter antacid medication used to relieve heartburn and digestive discomfort caused by excess stomach acid. The active ingredient in most brands of Tum is calcium carbonate which works by neutralizing stomach acid (talk about chemistry!). They come in various flavors such as peppermint and chocolate (yum?) making them more palatable than your average chalky white pill.

With its widespread use across the United States since its introduction in 1928 (yes folks! It has been around THAT long) it’s no wonder that people have chosen tums as their go-to remedy without considering if they work on treating other GI problems like our dear old friend: irritable bowel syndrome.

Can Tums Help Ease Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Here’s what you need to know:

There are different types of IBS; therefore there might be instances where taking tums would be effective to alleviate the symptoms. If you suffer from a particular type of IBS mainly diarrhea dominant or mixed; Tums might relieve abdominal pain, bloating and gas caused by excessive stomach acid buildup in such instances.

Not so fast! There is limited research on the effectiveness of tums for IBS specifically, thus even though it may reduce acidity and give you temporary relief from certain symptoms more often than not, they worsen constipation (if that’s what causing your discomfort) resulting in further distress down the line (ouch!).

So why take a risk when there are medical options available?

Medical Approaches to Treating Irritable Bowel Syndrome

The good news for anyone who lives with regular bowel issues: there are numerous methods can be prescribed depending on individual cases:

  1. Lifestyle changes
  2. Fiber supplements
  3. Probiotics
  4. Medicinal prescriptions

Lifestyle changes such as avoiding problematic foods that could be an irritant — coffee, spicy foods etc., becoming physically active- exercise helps combat constipation; relaxing techniques like breathwork have been said to work wonders especially when triggered by stress (nailing IBS one day at a time).

From fiber supplementation i.e taking various supplements-dissolvable fiber products along with whole grains diets (e.g chia seeds), regulating bowel movements becomes easier which fosters comfortability during daily activities regardless of stool consistency – this alleviates any feelings associated with abruptness.

The Use Of Medications To Manage Symptoms Of IBs

If you’ve tried lifestyle changes without success thus far pharmacists can prescribe non-prescription antispasmodics drugs medication- relieves muscle spasms within intestine muscles providing beneficial results higher up to 80% post treatment .Antidepressants too can be used due partly in their ability activate receptors involved controlling gut motility leading slower contractions hence lessened bouts of cramps and diarrhea.

Don’t shrug off medical opinion? – Consult a doctor or pharmacist for proffessional advice regarding which medication-OTCs (Over The Counter Mediations-like Tums), prescription meds are beneficial based on your IBS diagnosis.

Cons of Using Tums to Treat IBS

As mentioned earlier, one risk associated with using tums specifically as an ibs treatment is the likelihood that it may exacerbate constipation. While alkaline substances like bicarbonates may relieve heartburn and acid reflux in certain instances, some studies show that they don’t always work well when treating irritable bowel syndrome symptoms—or worse still turning to them too frequently could cause further complications in extreme circumstances. Therefore excessive reliance on them might lead alternate underlying problems(such as nutrient deficiencies), if used chronically

While we know effective medications such as antispasmodics & antidepressants (when prescribed) can prove extremely helpful in managing both pain and symptoms caused by irritations within intestines muscles causing bloating
what else can you use while avoiding possible consequences of reaching out for calcium carbonate-based eg tums ?

There are other types of over-the-counter antacids available:

  1. Alkaseltzer
  2. Pepcid AC,
  3. Maalox (sales pitch incoming please hold)

These alternatives contain different active ingredients than those found within TUMS.
Of interest; maalox bifords fast relief from acidity excesses through simultaneous reduction and binding to acid molecules!. Interesting twist huh?

Pepcid AC unlike chronic proton inhibitor drugs partake at blocking receptor molecule actions hence controlling how much acid is produced thus reducing both hyper-acidity levels experienced.

Alka-selzter is more versatile compared to others because it contains aspirin along with sodium bicarbonate -while sodium carbon neutralizes stomach acids creating inhospitable conditions decreases chances of bacteria growth presence of aspirin helps tackle pain as well which may be present alongside other IBS symptoms.

Note: always consult with medical staff for dosage instructions.


As you can see, while Tums may seem like a quick and easy solution to alleviate IBS symptoms – the risks of exacerbating constipation, occasional inefficacy are high. Instead it is advisable to look into effective medications, supplements and diet changes that address irritable bowel syndrome without causing further complications

Remember (although we know humans have limited RAM storage) -there’s no one-size-fits-all remedy when treating any gastrointestinal disorder—your optimal treatments will depend on what type of ibs you’re living with- know your diagnosis!

So if you want relief from irritating effects such as bloating excess gas or abdominal pain caused due irregular intestine contractions speak to a professional instead of assuming over-the-counter meds would provide definitive cure.



Random Posts