Stomach acid problem is not a rare condition, and everyone in his lifetime will certainly experience acid reflux which results from stomach acid imbalance. If you have suffered from the condition, you will also know that this problem can be extremely discomforting. Stomach acid is useful for digestion of food, mainly the digestion of proteins. It is also essential for the activation of various enzymes and the destruction of germs that have entered the stomach through food and drink. Stomach acid is also necessary for the absorption of Vitamin B12 which plays a pivotal role in the function of brain development, nervous system and the formation of blood. The composition of this acid is primarily hydrochloric acid, although it does contain potassium and sodium chloride as well. Stomach acid needs to be properly regulated as excessive or low production of this acid can cause various problems. Understanding some of these problems and their symptoms may be useful in identifying the condition. Having a proper understanding of the various treatment methods will help to apply in curing the condition immediately as it is diagnosed, instead of neglecting it as a part and parcel of life.
Symptoms of Stomach Acid Imbalance
There are a number of symptoms that can be apparent with a stomach acid imbalance. Some of the symptoms of stomach acid imbalance are provided below:
- Pain or tenderness in the middle of the abdomen
- Excessive feeling of fullness
- Fungal infections, such as, candida
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Food allergies
- Nausea and vomiting
- Undigested foods in stools
- Vitamin and mineral deficiencies
- Autoimmune disorders
Causes of Stomach Acid Imbalance
Several factors can cause an imbalance in stomach acid production. The most salient cause for this problem is the deficiency of vitamins and minerals necessary for the production and absorption of acids. Malnutrition and poor eating habits can also cause a deficiency in vitamins and minerals leading to an imbalance in stomach acid production. Alcohol and substance abuse can contribute to this imbalance. Stress is another cause that can result in the imbalance of stomach acid as it interferes with the proper production of hydrochloric acid. Another cause is the Helicobacter pylori or H pylori. This spiral-shaped bacterium found in the stomach can attach to stomach cells and interfere with stomach acid production resulting in an imbalance. Stomach acid imbalance can occur with age. This is because the production of stomach acids decreases with age.
Treatment for Stomach Acid Imbalance
The most common treatment for an imbalance of stomach acid is antacid. However, it is important to use antacid in moderation as antacids to reduce the amount of stomach acid, which can be disastrous, if the symptoms are caused by low stomach acid production. Therefore, any symptoms of stomach acid imbalance should be reported to a doctor. Untreated symptoms of acid imbalance can lead to damaged stomach lining, ulcers, strictures and even cancer. Medication may be prescribed depending on the cause of the symptoms. Meanwhile, there are some natural remedies that may be beneficial in reducing the symptoms associated with stomach acid imbalance.
- Reduce stress
- Eat frequently
- Avoid skipping meals
- Eat small meals
- Include foods high in complex carbohydrates
- Avoid spicy and oily foods
- Avoid stale and fatty foods
- Avoid acidic foods
- Drink plenty of water
- Avoid drinking alcohol and coffee
The imbalance in stomach acid production can lead to various problems. These problems may become chronic and have long-term complications. Therefore, any persistent symptom of stomach acid imbalance requires medical attention.