Acidity is a set of symptoms resulting in excess production of acid by the gastric glands of the stomach. The stomach naturally produces gastric or hydrochloric acid which helps to digest and break down the food. The issues of acidity arise when there is an excess production of this acid due to triggers such as acidic foods, alcohol, dehydration, and stress.
However, when acidity occurs, the excess acidic components may move up from your stomach to your esophagus. The lining of your stomach with a pH of 1 to 3 is able to withstand a high acidic condition.
On the other hand, your esophagus with a pH close to 7 is not suitable, and you may experience symptoms such as a burning sensation in the chest when this pH level drops below 4. Other uncomfortable symptoms may include a sour taste in the mouth, heaviness, and a burning sensation in the stomach or throat.
How to prevent stomach acidity?
You can prevent stomach acidity conditions by following these most effective ways:
- Avoid foods and beverages that trigger stomach acidity symptoms.
- Eating smaller meals more frequently throughout the day and modifying the types of foods you are eating.
- Quit smoking.
- Putting blocks under your head to raise it at least 4 inches to 6 inches while you sleep.
- Eating for at least for 2 to 3 hours before lying down.
- Trying sleeping in a chair while taking naps.
- Not wearing tight and uncomfortable clothes or tight belts.
- If you’re overweight or in the stage of obesity, Lose your weight with exercise and diet changes.
- Limiting your consumption of alcohol, caffeine, and carbonated beverages.
Symptoms of acidity
The common symptoms of acidity in your stomach are:
- Heartburn – you will feel a burning sensation or discomfort that may move from your stomach to your abdomen or chest, or even up into your throat.
- Regurgitation – you will feel a sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up into your throat or mouth.
Other symptoms of acid reflux disease include:
- Bloody or black stools or bloody vomiting
- Dysphagia – Sensation of food getting stuck in your throat
- Hiccups that don’t let up
- Weight loss for no known reason
- Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat
The symptoms of high stomach acidity are very similar to those of other digestive conditions. It’s always a good idea to consult your doctor if you’re developing persistent or recurring digestive symptoms. Your doctor can help you with diagnosing the cause of your symptoms and creating a treatment plan.
The food we eat goes through the esophagus to the stomach. Gastric glands in the stomach make acid i.e. HCL (Hydrochloric acid with pH <4) which is necessary to digest the food and to kill any germs. Acidity occurs when the gastric glands produce a large amount of acid, more than what is needed for the digestion process.
In some, the amount of acid is high, or the end of one’s food pipe is open. There is a valve between our food pipe and the stomach, which keeps this area closed, but in some cases, this area is not closed, it remains open, and because of that, the stomach acid bounces up again and again.
Side effects of high stomach acidity
If you’re having high levels of stomach acid, then it can increase your risk of developing other stomach-related health conditions. These health conditions include:
- Peptic ulcers – these are the sores that can develop to eat away the lining of your stomach when gastric acid begins.
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) – is a condition when stomach acid travels up into your esophagus.
- Gastrointestinal bleeding – This involves bleeding anywhere in your digestive tract.
Treatment of stomach acidity
High stomach acid conditions are often treated with protein pump inhibitors (PPIs). These medications work to lower the acidic conditions which the stomach produces. Ppis have a higher efficiency trusted source than H2 blockers. These are often given orally but can be given by IV when the cases are severe.
In several cases, lifestyle changes along with counter medications are all you need to control the symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Antacids, such as Alka-Seltzer, Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, or Riopan, can neutralize acid formation in your stomach.
If your high stomach acidity is caused by an H. Pylori infection, then you will be prescribed antibiotics along with a PPI medication. The antibiotics work to kill the bacteria while the PPI will help to lower stomach acid production.
Sometimes surgery might be required, such as the removal of gastronomes in people with Zollinger-Ellison syndrome. However, people who have severe ulcers may need to have surgery to remove the part of the stomach where the ulcers have taken place on the Vagus nerve.
The acid formed in your stomach helps you to break down and digest your food. Sometimes, a higher acidic formation than the normal amount can occur. This can lead to symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea, bloating, and heartburn.
If left untreated, these high stomach acids can lead you to complications like ulcers or GERD. Consult your doctor if you develop any such digestive symptoms that are persistent.