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- Symptoms of Excess Stomach Acid
- Causes of Excess Stomach Acid
- Excessive Stomach Acid During Pregnancy
- Excessive Stomach Acid in Children
- How to Avoid Excess Stomach Acid
What is Excess Stomach Acid?
When we eat food, our body needs to break it down into usable nutrients and vitamins. The process of this breakdown starts off in the stomach. The stomach secretes an acid that is essential in the digestive process, as this acid helps in breaking down the food during digestion.
Usually, protective mechanisms in the stomach and proximal intestine make sure that the acid levels are in balance. However, when the stomach produces too much acid, it results in a condition known as Acidity, or APD. Excess gastric acid is more prevalent in the morning when the stomach is empty.
Excess stomach acid levels can contribute greatly to:
- Dyspepsia (often described as a feeling of indigestion, fullness, bloating, flatulence or nausea)
- Duodenal ulcer
- Gastric ulcer
- Peptic ulcer
- Non-ulcer dyspepsia
- Acid Reflux
Causes of excess stomach acid:
- Eating disorders (e.g. Bulimia)
Symptoms of Excess Stomach Acid:
- Hair Loss
- Bad Breath (Halitosis)
- Nasal Congestion and Phlegm
- Abdominal Pain
- Throat Pain
Excessive Stomach Acid During Pregnancy
There are a couple reasons why pregnant women suffer with excessive stomach acid. One of the main reasons is due to raised hormone levels. When hormones are constantly changing the digestive tract muscles are affected and therefore can result in the way different foods are tolerated. Secondly, a growing baby also crowds the abdomen, pushing acids upwards.
As with many pregnant women, heartburn can be a result of excessive stomach acid. Pregnancy hormones cause the lower esophageal sphincter to relax which allows stomach acid to seep back up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux.
Excessive Stomach Acid in Babies and Children
Just like adults, children can suffer from excessive stomach acid too. Older children who suffer from excess stomach acid often complain of an upset stomach. Frequently, children who overeat
How to Avoid Excess Stomach Acid
- Try to identify foods that contribute to excess stomach acid. Foods that are spicy, salty and acidic should be avoided.
- Smoking and alcohol consumption should be stopped to keep stomach acid levels in the stomach and esophagus in harmony.
- Avoiding stress and moderating your lifestyle to include relaxing techniques can go a long way to prevent excess stomach acid and ulcers, particularly if you are a nervous and emotional person or involved in a high-stress job.
- Avoid non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). These drugs may predispose a person to excess stomach acid.
- Try to eat regular meals and follow a healthy diet.
- Take extra care when lifting weights, as this puts the abdominal area under added strain and may result in digestion problems.
- If you have a bout of excess stomach acid, try having an organic glass of fat-free or low-fat milk to help normalize the pH in your stomach.