What is Hyperacidity?
Hyperacidity is also called acid dyspepsia by medical doctors. It is a common condition in people living in the metros. People who have acid dyspepsia are experiencing a disturbance in their digestion process because of an excess of Hydrocloric (HCl) acid released in the stomach.
The stomach muscles by nature are protected by a regenerative lining to prevent contact with acids. However, high levels of acidity in the stomach cause damage to the protective lining. As a result, digestive acids come in contact with the stomach muscles, which causes the burning sensation called hyperacidity.
Symptoms and Causes of Hyperacidity
People who are hyperacidic may have the following symptoms: an increased sensation of sourness and burning in the chest (heartburn); nausea and vomiting; loss of appetite; indigestion and constipation; pain and discomfort in the upper abdomen; stomach ulcer or thinning of the mucous layer; and Helicobacter pylori infection and/or viral infection, which are responsible for the hyperacidity.
Hyperacidity can be the result of a variety of causes. Every individual may experience it differently because of particular eating habits, lifestyle and medications. See below how these factors affect the occurrence of hyperacidity:
Not having timely meals is one of the major causes of hyperacidity. Skipping meals worsens this condition. What is the explanation for this?
Health sciences explain that digestive or bile acid production peaks at around 11 am to 1 pm. The acid is meant for digesting your food. If you do not eat your meals at this time, that brings trouble to your stomach muscles. Hyperacidic patients reported feeling better after following a stricter meal time schedule.
Consumption of certain foods and beverages can also cause hyperacidity. It is recommended to avoid spicy, oily or fried foods, which promote acidity problems. Drinking caffeinated beverages may also cause the same problem. Milk products and protein-rich meals are also more difficult to digest, so eat less of these if you’re hyperacidic.
Health experts pinpoint to lack of physical activity as one of the causes of hyperacidity. This has been observed in 70% of female acidity patients who live sedentary lifestyles such as housewives and office workers. So, a good word of advice is to stay active.
Stress is also a contributing factor to hyperacidity. In relation to the observation on female acidity patients, office workers had more intense acidity spells than housewives. And that is most likely because of stress.
Aside from stress and sedentary living, other possible causes of hyperacidity include irregular sleeping patterns, overeating, obesity, pregnancy and aging.
Taking certain medications, such as antibiotics, antidepressants and oral contraceptives, for a long time can cause acidity problems. Taking antacid tablets to suppress acidity, for example, can backfire and lead later on to intense heartburn and acidity. As much as possible, go natural when relieving health symptoms and reduce the dosage of medicines.
If you want to overcome your hyperacidity, the first thing to do is consult a doctor to find out what is causing your problem. In the initial stage, acidity can be treated with antacids for temporary relief. But if it’s in the critical stage, more detailed tests including endoscopy may be necessary.
Photo credit: Image by James Pallnsad via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0