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How to Avoid Acid Indigestion

Apr 29, 2008
Acid indigestion is one of the most common digestive ailments, one characterized by discomfort and a sensation of burning, often just after eating. Millions of people complain of this daily, as commonly as of headaches and constipation, and the widespread advertising of acid indigestion remedies is proof of this. More formal terms for this condition are acidosis and hyperacidity, but it is more commonly referred to as heartburn.

Spicy foods, excessively fatty foods, and acidic foods can all increase the likelihood of having heartburn. This is because the level of acidity in the stomach is increased by these foods. When there is an overload of acid in the stomach, it may start to back up into the esophagus. This is how the burning sensation, although caused by excess stomach secretions, ends up burning the chest and throat areas. Often the stomach does not feel normal either, with a feeling of abnormal warmth or nausea.

Medically, too much acid is called hyperchlorhydria. The burning sensation usually starts in the chest and can also rise into the throat causing even more discomfort. Lying down after eating can make it worse as can bending and eating spicy or acidic foods like citrus fruits. Standing up can often relieve symptoms. Acid indigestion can be mistaken for heart disease but there are differences in presentation. Exercise usually makes heart related discomfort worse but doesn't increase the heartburn problem. Acid indigestion pain is rarely related to being active physically.

Treatment is usually fairly easy. For quick relief, an antacid is recommended. Whether it is liquid or a tablet will depend on the person's preference. This type of treatment will temporarily lower the acid level in the stomach. Some doctors will prescribe drugs that reduce the overall production of acid in the stomach.

Acid indigestion often goes along with pregnancy, when drugs are undesirable. Changing diet and habits like lying down after eating can improve the condition without drugs.
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