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Hyperacidity is a common condition wherein a person experiences some stomach discomfort after eating a meal, due to the excessive production of acid during the digestion process. A person may also experience a bloated feeling or some “gasiness,” which can lead to flatulence, belching, or both. A bit of sourness in the mouth may also be tasted, along with an aftertaste of what had been eaten after one burps. Hyperacidity, also known as acid dyspepsia, can also cause other discomforts, such as appetite loss, vomiting, and constipation.
During digestion, the stomach naturally produces hydrochloric (HCl) acid to break down ingested food into smaller bits in order for the blood to absorb the nutrients easily. HCl acid is very important because it also destroys many microorganisms ingested with the food, preventing the human body from being infected. When the stomach secretes too much hydrochloric acid, it results in hyperacidity, which is often worsened as HCl acid triggers other acids and enzymes to be secreted.
One of the primary causes of the condition is one’s diet. A protein-rich meal, for example, is harder to digest, so the stomach overcompensates by producing too much HCl acid. Foods that have high oil and fat content can also produce the same effect on the stomach. Spicy foods are also attributed to acid dyspepsia, as the spiciness can act as an irritant to the stomach and cause the latter to produce excess acid. Foods and seasonings that are generally acidic, such as citrus fruits, vinegar, and caffeinated drinks, are also known to worsen the condition.
Other causes of the condition are smoking, drinking, and taking certain medications. A few studies have also shown that people who are worrisome tend to experience dyspepsia more often. In some cases, the stomach condition is not an effect, but rather a symptom of worse digestive illnesses, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), ulcer, or even stomach cancer. If a person experiences hyperacidity chronically, or suffers from it in longer durations, it is advisable that he consult a doctor to prevent further complications.
One of the easiest ways to prevent hyperacidity is to keep track of the food being eaten, given that a person’s diet is an important factor. Acidic and spicy foods should be eaten in moderation, while foods rich in fiber should be regularly included in the meal to assist digestion. Moderate amounts of food also help in avoiding dyspepsia, so distributing small meals over the course of the day is often suggested. If hyperacidity is already being experienced, one can drink a glass of warm water infused with ginger, coconut water, or some cold milk.