An acidic stomach is a very common ailment brought about from having too much stomach acid. It is also commonly known as “acid reflux disease”. An acidic stomach is a condition which is mainly caused as a result of excessive secretions of acids which are present in the stomach that are required for digestion of certain foods. A not well known but common trigger for this unpleasant disease is stress. Stress will have a tendency to manifest itself within your body, which can lead to physical aspects of your body to become imbalanced. One of the results of this imbalance is an acidic stomach. The symptoms of an acidic stomach can manifest itself in a number of ways and as such, there are a number of methods to help reduce stomach acid in order to treat and prevent an acidic stomach.
Acidic Stomach Symptoms
Some of the symptoms of an acidic stomach will be familiar to you. This will help in the diagnosis of an acidic stomach.
- One very common symptom of an acidic stomach which most sufferers will identify with is that of heartburn.Acidic Stomach (gerd) Image Heartburn will immediately be experienced when you have an acidic stomach. Heartburn is recognisable by the slight pain and burning sensation felt in your chest. This heartburn may cause discomfort in both the oesophagus and the throat.
- This burning sensation can also be experienced at the root cause of the problem, namely, the stomach. The burning sensation experienced may be so severe that it will feel as though the stomach is actually on fire, potentially giving rise to intense abdominal pains.
- A person suffering from an acidic stomach may be prone to experiencing an upset stomach, this may cause bloating, gas, cramps, and distinctive sour burps.
- The sour burps can give rise to a sour taste inside your mouth, which can be a little unsettling. This is a result of excessive stomach acid trying to work its way back up the oesophagus. This can lead to an unpleasant feeling of nausea.
- Any of the symptoms mentioned above can lead to a feeling of nausea, which may or may not cause a person to vomit (depending on the level of intensity). As a result of the nausea, an accompanied loss of appetite may follow.
Upon identifying these stomach acid symptoms, the following methods of treatment and prevention will be beneficial in helping you to bring an acidic stomach under control.
Treatment and Prevention of an Acidic Stomach
Follow these recommendations to help you bring your acidic stomach problem under control. The aim being to reduce stomach acid.
- There are specific foods which should be avoided which may be the cause of an acidic stomach. If you are able to identify these foods, and consequently eliminate them or reduce your consumption of them, it will help you to bring this problem under control. The main foods which causes stomach acid to build up and contributes towards this condition include deep-fried foods, foods that are rich in sugars and fats and acid forming foods and drinks (such as carbonated beverages, which should also be avoided for their caffeine content). An acidic stomach may also be experienced by certain people as a result of consuming caffeine. Consequently the consumption of caffeine rich products, such as coffee, tea, chocolate and carbonated beverages (sodas) should be avoided or at the very least limited. If you ensure you follow a diet tailored for an acidic stomach then you should notice a significant improvement to these burning sensations and any of the other symptoms that can be experienced which are associated with this problem. Another culprit which can also cause an acidic stomach is alcohol (in particular beer) and should, therefore, also be avoided.
Note: We are all different and the drinks and foods we consume will affect each individual in a different way. Generally though, these are the foods which have been found to have a negative impact on the condition of an acidic stomach. It is possible that you can identify the specific foods which most typically aggravate this condition by observing if the problem occurs following consumption of any of the high risk foods / drinks. These will most likely be specific to you personally and may vary somewhat from person to person.
- The next step to take to prevent getting an acidic stomach is to reduce the gap between meals. Have smaller meals more frequently. This will aid the stomachs ability to maintain its levels of acids which are produced for the purpose of digestion. You may also benefit from including complex carbohydrates in each meal as these will help to control the excess levels of acid by absorbing them. However, you don’t want to overeat, as overeating can also be a causative factor of an acidic stomach and can render the heartburn cures you are adhering to ineffective.
- Do not go to sleep immediately following a meal. A certain amount of time is required for the process of digestion to be carried out properly. Therefore, you should refrain from lying down for at least an hour after each meal to reduce the chance of an acidic stomach arising. If you do sit down straight after a meal then try you best to avoid slumping on the sofa, as this can be just as bad a lying down.
- It is a common misconception that a glass of cold milk will alleviate the problem of heartburn. Regrettably this is not the case. Stomach acid secretions will increase when milk enters the stomach and will result in an acidic stomach. At best you may get some temporary relief but in the long run it will do more harm than good. A light dinner will help to avoid this problem at night, and it is imperative that those late night snacks are avoided at all costs.
- When going to sleep at night, try your best to sleep at an incline. If you can have your chest elevated so that your chest is higher than your stomach then that should help give the desired relief from heartburn which is caused an acidic stomach.
- Baking soda is an ideal substance which works well as an antacid. Being a neutral substance it can be helpful in controlling the acids in the stomach. Mix 1 tsp in a glass of water to treat this condition. Commercial antacids can also be used to combat heartburn, however, it is not advisable to consume them in excess, this will cause your stomach acids to deplete over time, which will cause problems.
- Omega-3 fatty acids (apart from being an extremely beneficial nutrient in general) help the enzymes in our stomachs to digest tough foods. If tough foods are more easily digested then the secretion of acids in the stomach will be less, which helps reduce the problem of getting an acidic stomach. Incorporate foods high in this nutrient into your meals or take as a supplement with meals to gain this benefit.
- Other natural treatments you may want to consider trying for this condition include chewing fennel seeds, drinking coconut water, and taking two to three tsp of gooseberry powder in a glass of water three times daily.
As previously mentioned, every person is different and every person responds differently to different treatments. You may find none of these remedies or lifestyle changes relieve your symptoms of an acidic stomach. If that is the case then a good course of action will be to consult with a qualified physician whom will be able carry out specific tests to diagnose and treat the underlying cause of your condition. On many an occasion the cause of this condition can be due to another health problem. If this is the case it should be addressed and treated as early as possible.