Excess Stomach Acid Causes, Symptoms, Diet, Remedy, Treatment

Excess stomach acid or hyperacidity is when the volume of stomach acid is higher than normal or the pH is lower than usual resulting in a more acidic gastric secretion. It is also known as hyperchlorhydria. If the stomach and surrounding structures, esophagus and duodenum, are able to cope with the changes in acid secretion, it may pass unnoticed. However, it often results in symptoms that are broadly described as an acidic stomach. This includes a burning chest or abdominal pain, nausea, regurgitation or vomiting and or stomach bloating. These symptoms are seen in conditions like gastritis, peptic ulcer or acid reflux.

Causes of Excess Stomach Acid

The main causes of excess stomach acid include H.pylori infection and the use of NSAIDs. If it is isolated to the stomach and duodenum, it is likely to result in gastritis and a peptic ulcer respectively. When there is a dysfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), then the stomach acid may flow backward up into the esophagus (acid reflux).

The causes of excess stomach acid are discussed further under :

Symptoms of Excess Stomach Acid

The common signs and symptoms of excess stomach acid mentioned above may differ to varying degrees in gastritis, peptic ulcer and acid reflux. These features are discussed further under :

Diet and Remedies for Excess Stomach Acid

Dietary management for regulating stomach acid production may only have a moderate effect. However, diet may assist with reducing the symptoms and preventing the onset of conditions attributed to excess stomach acid. Lifestyle changes may also be useful in the overall conservative management of conditions like gastritis, peptic ulcer and acid reflux.

  • Avoid trigger foods and irritants – alcohol, caffeinated drinks, carbonated beverages, preserved and spicy foods are known irritants in most cases.
  • Fatty foods are known to increase gastric acid secretion and should therefore be limited.
  • ‘Gassy foods’ may cause regurgitation of the acidic stomach contents during burping.
  • Gum, tobacco and areca nut/betel leaf chewing should be avoided altogether.
  • Eat small meals throughout the day rather than a single large meal.
  • Avoid lying flat or sleeping after a meal.
  • Moderate activity after eating may help reduce the symptoms associated with excess stomach acid but exercise and strenuous activity should be avoided immediately after a meal.
  • Cigarette smoking should be stopped as it increases gastric acid secretion.

Refer to :

Treatment of Excess Stomach Acid

Antacids help to neutralize the stomach acid and are useful for symptomatic relief. Other drugs like proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) and H2-blockers may assist with reducing gastric acid secretion. Prokinetic drugs help to speed up gastric emptying and are useful in conditions like acid reflux. These drugs are discussed in detail under :

In cases associated with H.pylori infection, eradication therapy as outlined in H.pylori Gastritis Treatment may be necessary. In addition, cases associated with the use of NSAIDs may require discontinuing the drug or changing to alternative drugs that are less likely to contribute to hyperacidity.

Ask a Doctor Online Now!

Please note that any information or feedback on this website is not intended to replace a consultation with a health care professional and will not constitute a medical diagnosis. By using this website and the comment service you agree to abide by the comment terms and conditions as outlined on this page

  • Phil Chartman

    I have hyperacidity of the stomach symptoms such as burning in the stomach, gas, burping. I have a disturbing symptom of yellow stool too, and was wondering if excess stomach acid could cause this. when I eat, I can feel the acid leave the stomach and travel down all the way to the colon, then, it sits and burns until I have a bowel movement. my liver has been thouroughly checked out with blood tests urine and ultra sound. how can I fix this problem?

  • Hi Chris. Sorry our reply is above your comment.

  • Hi Chris. It is unlikely the excess acid alone could be causing this. The parts of the gut beyond the stomach have various mechanisms to neutralize and dilute the acid or it could cause severe damage to these parts. But excess acid could irritate the first part of the small intestine (duodenum) and lead to inflammation and ulcers.

    Even if the acid was not neutralized fully in the duodenum, it would be very dilute by the time it mixes with the water that is pumped into the bowels as the process of digestion continues in the lower parts of the gut. The yellow stool is more likely to be related to your bile and possibly even rapid bowel motility where there is inadequate digestion. You can read more about yellow stool in this article http://www.healthhype.com/yellow-bowel-movement-cause.html

    It is difficult to say for sure. Most of the symptoms you report are issues with acid reflux and gastritis or peptic ulcer disease. You should see a gastroenterologist about these complaints. There could be other issues like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and so on that needs to be investigation. An upper GI endoscopy and/or colonoscopy may also be useful investigations at this point.