During the process of digestion, the stomach releases a certain amount of acid into the stomach to break down the nutrients and vitamins so they can be secreted into the blood stream. As a result, it is necessary that the stomach maintain a certain level of acidity, but sometimes the mechanisms in the stomach that control acid secretion don't function properly, allowing too much acid to be released into the stomach. Often, the best treatment for excess stomach acid is to avoid the cause. Knowing what triggers stomach acid attacks will make it easier to avoid and to treat bouts in the future.
Change Your Diet
Certain foods can trigger excess stomach acid and result in indigestion and heartburn. Common food culprits are spicy foods and any foods with a high acid content, such as orange juice or pineapples. Avoid these types of foods to prevent irritating the stomach lining and triggering an increase of acid production.
Kick Old Habits
In many cases, alcohol can exacerbate excess stomach acid. Drinking alcohol automatically increases the production of stomach acid. Plus, it relaxes the esophageal sphincter, which can allow the acid to travel back up the throat causing acid reflux. Those who drink alcohol should quit drinking to reduce symptoms. Smoking is another irritant often responsible for stomach acid. Smokers should stop smoking to alleviate the problem.
High stress levels trigger an increase in stomach acid and often lead to painful ulcers. To avoid this problem before it starts, those with high stress levels should change their lifestyle. Lower stress levels will result in lower levels of stomach acid.
Those who have addressed causative factors to treat their stomach acid but are still experiencing discomfort should seek out medical treatments. The most common treatment is antacids which neutralize stomach acid and the resulting symptoms such as burning and indigestion. For more severe cases, a doctor may prescribe a drug known as an H2 Receptor Blocker that reduces stomach acid production, or in even more extreme cases, he may suggest a drug classified as a Proton Pump Inhibitors that will stop stomach acid production completely.
For those who do not want to use medical treatments for their excess stomach acid, there are natural solutions available that may help. For instance, herbal teas will help soothe a stomach upset by excess acid. Peppermint, when taking in tea form, will relax the digestive tract muscles, thereby encouraging the production and flow of bile, which assists in proper digestion. Another natural option is to eat foods that are high in alkaline levels if your body is too acidic. Possible suggestions of alkaline-forming fruits are apples, bananas and melons like watermelon and cantaloupe. Vegetables that may reduce the body's acid levels and excess stomach acid, as a result, are broccoli, carrots and mushrooms.
In the past, many people including doctors believed that milk was a helpful remedy for excess stomach acid, but now it is known to worsen the condition. If you suffer from excess stomach acid, switch to a lactose-free milk to avoid exacerbating the problem.