Stomach acid is vital for healthy digestion. On the other hand, once this acid becomes excessive or ascends from the stomach into the esophagus, problems can occur. Excessive amounts of stomach acid or hyperacidity can cause diminished appetite, sleeping difficulties, belching and pain. Even though there is no specific therapy for stomach acid, there are lifestyle changes and medications that can help keep the stomach acid in check.
Avoiding certain foods
Even though the foods that are irritating tend to vary from one individual to another, certain foods can overstimulate the production of stomach acid and trigger heartburn. It is best to avoid fried, greasy or spicy foods, tomatoes, caffeine, chocolate and alcohol. Additionally, those that contain peppermint should also be avoided since it relaxes the muscles at the end of the esophagus, thus making heartburn likely to occur. You can learn ways on managing the symptoms by enrolling in a first aid course today.
Small frequent meals
The doctor will instruct the individual who has ulcer or pre-ulcer circumstances to eat small frequent meals. In doing so, this ensures that the stomach will never go empty in order to avoid the acidic symptoms that tend to worsen in between meals. By eating small frequent meals, it also helps avoid overeating that can trigger acid indigestion.
Individuals who are overweight face a higher risk of suffering from heartburn. This usually occurs since the stomach contents end up pushed up from the added fat that surrounds the midsection of the body. This is why aiming for a healthy weight can help in relieving some of the issues related to stomach acid.
Sitting up after eating
In order to avoid heartburn, it is recommended to stay upright for 2-3 hours after eating. This will allow the stomach to empty most of its contents before pressure is placed on the muscles at the end of the esophagus. When the individual is lying down, the torso must be slightly elevated by using cushions or pillows or simply raise the end of the bed using blocks.
When it comes to sporadic stomach acid issues, antacids can be taken to provide quick relief. Antacids mode of action involves the absorption of acid that is already present in the stomach. For hyperacidity or heartburn that does not respond to antacids, over-the-counter H2 blockers such as Pepcid or Zantac can help reduce the amount of acid produced by the stomach.
Even though H2 blockers can help after a meal, they usually work best if taken about 30 minutes before eating. If antacids and lifestyle changes do not seem to work, proton pump inhibitors are the next alternatives. These medications are taken once a day about 30-60 minutes before a protein-rich breakfast. If the problem continues to persist after 2 weeks of taking this medication, it is best to consult a doctor.