The most common symptom of low stomach acid is a burning pain in your chest and throat. You may also experience difficulty swallowing or breathing, nausea, vomiting, and an upset stomach. These are all classic symptoms of low stomach acid and are easy to identify. However, there are other less well-known symptoms and one you may not be aware of which could be causing your discomfort.
Acid Reflux Disease (GERD)
One of the less well-known symptoms of a lack of stomach acid is GERD or acid reflux disease. For some reason, many people associate GERD with low stomach acid but the truth is that people suffering from acid reflux disease have an abnormally high stomach acid level. This condition causes symptoms such as nausea, a sore throat, chest pain, and even heartburn. A lack of stomach acid can result in many other painful conditions such as esophagitis, oral cancer, and oral thrush.
Consult a Doctor
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms then it would be wise to consult a doctor to find out if this is a true indication of low stomach acid. Acid-blocking drugs can help to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux by providing your body with some relief. The most popular acid-blocking drugs are known as Proton-Pump Inhibitors. These are generally prescribed to treat gastric ulcers but doctors will sometimes also prescribe them for patients with Helicobacter pylori infection (H.pylori). Although H.pylori is an infection itself, sometimes it can become a factor in stomach ulcers. To stop acid-producing agents from promoting ulcer growth doctors will prescribe a drug called an H2 blocker.
Lack of Stomach Acid
Sometimes people will also suffer from a lack of stomach acid but are unaware of it. For some time I suffered from indigestion and chronic diarrhea but I was unaware of the fact that my problem was linked to a severe H.pylori infection. H.pylori is an infection caused by a Gram-positive bacterium (it produces hydrogen sulfide) that lives within the lining of your large intestine. Most of the time it causes no symptoms, but occasionally it can produce an inflammation of the intestine, which can result in excess stomach acid. Treatment for chronic diarrhea and indigestion usually involves boosting the immune system so that it can kill off the bacterium.
Acid Reflux And Gastric Reflux
It is also important to remember that acid reflux and gastric reflux disease can occur separately. It is not unusual for sufferers of acid reflux to develop symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) at the same time as they are suffering from acid reflux. Although acid reflux itself is caused by disease or illness, it can worsen symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease or may even cause a relapse of the condition. It is therefore essential that anyone who is having symptoms of acid reflux or gastric reflux see their doctor for a diagnosis.
Common foods that can cause heartburn and acid reflux
Some common foods that can cause heartburn and acid reflux are spicy food, citrus fruits, chocolates, alcohol, and onions. It is essential to watch out for citrus fruits, tomatoes, and onions, as these are some of the most frequently consumed foods and therefore have the greatest potential to cause a reflex. Changing your diet if you are experiencing heartburn and acid reflux is not always easy, especially if you are used to eating a particular type of food that aggravates your condition. However, changing to a diet free of citrus fruits, tomato, and onion can have dramatic effects on both your heartburn and your acid reflux.