Of the many disturbing bowel problems, one not-so-severe problem is acid indigestion. It may also be referred to as heartburn or Gastro Esophagus Reflux Disease (GERD). This condition is often associated with pain or burning sensation in the chest area along with the upper abdomen. After consumption, when the food is solubilized by salivary amylase in the mouth, it is carried to the stomach by the esophagus (tube carrying food). Hydrochloric acid in stomach is used to digest this food and normally if one has a healthy diet, the digestion occurs smoothly. However, acid indigestion occurs if food is not digested properly leading to traces of acid in the tube and acid reflux along the tube. A person often feels a sour or bitter taste of the food in the throat region after consumption. The acid disturbs the lining of the esophagus and stomach causing the irritation.
Generally the cause for acid indigestion or an upset stomach is the diet. Very often it happens that certain foods suit a group of individuals while not for others. If the eating habits are not correct and precise, they almost always lead to heartburn. Let's see the other possible causes.
- Being obese or overweight
- Eating very fast
- Eating just before sleeping
- Stress and anxiety
- Excessive smoking or drinking
- Consumption of too much caffeine, and chocolate
- Antibiotic and over the counter medication
- Certain stomach disorders like ulcers
It is very common for females to suffer from acid indigestion in early pregnancy. It is mainly caused due to the hormones progesterone and estrogen, which disturb the bowel habits leading to digestion problems during this period.
- Constant indigestion
- Loss of appetite
- Feeling of sickness and dullness
- Feeling full all the time
- Discomfort in the upper abdomen or burning in chest
- Sudden weight loss
- Blood in the vomit
- Blood in urine
Since the symptoms are pretty clear, it is easy to diagnose this condition. Otherwise, if the symptoms fail to disappear, the doctor would ask you to undergo breath or blood tests. A gastroscopy and Barium X-rays might help as well which involve the anatomical study of the stomach and esophagus.
Acid indigestion can be controlled very easily by keeping a watch on the diet. Very rarely surgery might be required.
- Do not hog on too much oily and greasy stuff
- Eat healthy and on time
- Healthy diet and exercising
- Avoid too much of sweets
- Chew the food properly
- Strictly avoid coffee, alcohol and smoking
- Do not be too hyper
- Sleep enough and in an upright position
- Calcium and Magnesium based antacids (help neutralize the acid in the stomach)
- Antireflux medicines (prevent refluxing of acid)
- H2 blockers; Famotidine and Ranitidine (reduce the amount of acid produced)
- Proton pump inhibitors; Omeprazole and Lansoprazole (stop acid production)
- Prokinetics; Domperidone and Metoclopramide (facilitate easy passage of food through stomach)
- Sucralfate liquid medication
- Tea made from ginger, chamomile, peppermint, slippery elm bark
- Cinnamon water
- Ground cardamom seed mixed with ginger, cloves and coriander
- Aloe vera gel
If you fall in the category of people who are allergic or cannot digest certain foods, strictly avoid eating them. Acid indigestion in children and adults is very common but not fatal. The home remedies are best to solve the problem.