High Gastric Acid: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis & Treatment

By | August 22, 2019
High stomach acid disease is often felt by some people. Someone who complains of suffering from acid reflux disease will usually complain of burning (heartburn), pain in the stomach or solar plexus. This perceived condition can usually be treated with heartburn to relieve the excruciating pain.

What Does High Gastric Acid Like?

Stomach acid is a compound that has the chemical formula HCl or hydrochloric acid. This compound is acidic. HCl levels in gastric acid are about 0.5 percent of total gastric sap. HCl functions as a disinfectant or germ killer and converts pepsinogen into pepsinHCl also stimulates the intestines, liver, and pancreas to digest food.
High stomach acid is a condition that occurs when your bowels come into your esophagus. This is because the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) relaxes and allows stomach acid to enter your esophagus. Your doctor may diagnose you with the gastroesophageal disease (GERD) if this happens more than twice a week.
Gastric acid functions to kill germs that enter the body together with food. On the stomach wall, there is a mucous called mucus which functions to protect the stomach. However, if the amount of mucus is too little, or otherwise too much stomach acid, there can be injuries to the stomach wall. Symptoms of high stomach acid and this causes stomach ulcers.
Heartburn can occur due to excess HCl. HCl production can be triggered by food and drinks, for example, spicy foods, alcohol, coffee, and nicotine. In addition, it can also be triggered by stressful thoughts ( stress ). Excessive acid reflux can erode the stomach wall, symptoms of this disease are usually painful in the chest.

High Stomach Acid Disease: How Does Stomach Acid Rise Up To The Esophagus?

At the entrance to your stomach is a valve, which is a muscular ring called the lower esophageal spine (LES). Usually, LES closes as soon as the food passes through it.
If the LES doesn’t close all the way or if it opens too often, the acid produced by your stomach can move upwards into your esophagus. This can cause symptoms such as burning chest pain called heartburn.
If your stomach acid symptoms occur more than twice a week, you have high stomach acid disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux (GERD).

Symptoms of High Stomach Acid

High stomach acid disease usually causes heartburn, possibly due to excessive stomach acid or persistent increase.
Heartburn or heartburn is an uncomfortable burning sensation that occurs in the esophagus and feels behind the sternum area. This tends to get worse when lying down or bending over. This condition can last for several hours and often worsen after eating.
Heartburn can move towards the neck and throat. Stomach fluid can reach the back of the throat in some cases, producing a bitter or sour taste.
If heartburn occurs twice or more a week, it is known as high stomach acid disease for a short period.

Other symptoms of stomach acid include:

  • Dry and persistent cough
  • Wheezing
  • Recurrent asthma and pneumonia
  • Nausea
  • Gag
  • Throat problems, such as pain, hoarseness, or inflammation of the throat (inflammation of the voice box)
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Chest or upper abdominal pain
  • Tooth erosion
  • Bad breath

While symptoms of acid reflux in general are:

  • Burning pain or discomfort that may move from the stomach to the chest, or even to the throat.
  • Regurgitation: Helps acid or bitter acid to the throat or mouth.
If there is an increase in gastric acid which has corrosive or eroding acid properties in the stomach wall, over time it will cause inflammation, irritation, and injury to the stomach wall.
If the condition of the stomach is not immediately treated until it heals, then over time it will make stomach acid disease become chronic and can even cause gastric cancer or digestive cancer.
Acid reflux disease does not only occur in adults but can also affect children and pregnant women. If stomach acid has begun to attack, you should be able to choose foods that are allowed and stay away from restrictions. Immediately take medication so it does not become a more severe disease such as gastric cancer.

Causes of High Gastric Acid

One of the causes of high stomach acid is a stomach disorder called hiatal hernia. This happens when the upper abdomen and LES move above the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the stomach from your chest. Usually, the diaphragm helps maintain acidity in our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia, the acid can go up into the esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux.

Risks and complications of gastric acid rise

If you do not get the right high stomach acid medication, high stomach acid disease can cause serious complications in the long term, including an increased risk of cancer.
The danger of stomach acid caused by continued exposure to stomach acid can damage the esophagus, this causes:

1. Oesophagitis

The first danger of gastric acid is an inflamed esophageal lining, causing irritation, bleeding, and ulceration in some cases.

2. Strictures

Damage caused by stomach acid leads to the development of scars and difficulty in swallowing, with food stuck while walking in the esophagus.

3. Barrett’s esophagus

The next danger of stomach acid is a serious complication in which repeated exposure to stomach acid, this causes changes in the cells and tissues lining the esophagus with the potential to develop into cancer cells.
Both esophagitis and Barrett’s esophagus are associated with a higher risk of cancer.

Other habits that cause gastric acid to rise

There are habits that are not realized and can cause high stomach acid disease. Some habits that are considered trivial but can be a cause of acid reflux include:
  • Eating large meals or lying down after eating
  • Overweight or obese
  • Eat heavy food and lie on your back or bend over
  • Snacking before bedtime
  • Eat certain foods, such as oranges, tomatoes, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty foods
  • Drink certain drinks, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea
  • Smoke
  • Pregnant
  • Take aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications.

High Gastric Acid Diagnosis

Gastric acid that usually causes heartburn is relatively easy to diagnose. However, this disease can also cause confusion due to other chest complaints such as:
  • Heart attack
  • Pneumonia
  • Chest wall pain
  • Pulmonary embolism
High stomach acid is usually diagnosed only by finding no improvement in heartburn symptoms in response to lifestyle changes and treatment of gastric acid disease.

Gastric Acid Treatment

Here are some high stomach acid medications, including:
  • PPIs, including omeprazole, rabeprazole, and esomeprazole
  • H2 blockers, including cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine
  • Treatment with over-the-counter medicines, such as antacids, is available online.
  • Alginate drugs, including Gaviscon
The main treatment options for people who repeatedly experience gastric acid in GERD are PPI or H2 blockers, both of which are drugs.
PPI and H2 blockers reduce acid production and reduce the potential for damage caused by gastric diseases such as stomach acid.
These high stomach acid medications are generally safe and effective, but like other prescription drugs, they are not suitable for everyone with reflux disease and can cause side effects. For example, they can cause problems absorbing nutrients. This can cause malnutrition.