Hyperacidity is a very common gastrointestinal ailment reported by men and women of all age groups, wherein the stomach produces vast amounts of acids primarily composed of hydrochloric acid. Also referred to as acid dyspepsia, high levels of stomach acid invariably triggers pain in the abdomen along with bloating, heartburn, nausea, vomiting and several other gut issues.

In a normal, healthy individual, the lining of the stomach synthesises and secretes hydrochloric acid to aid in the digestion of food and this key bodily function is regulated by endocrine hormones and the nervous system. However, at times, owing to poor lifestyle, underlying ailments or intake of specific medications, the tissues of the stomach lining make large volumes of hydrochloric acid, which presents as hyperacidity/acid dyspepsia.
Acid Dyspepsia

Causes Of Hyperacidity:

A spectrum of factors gives rise to hyperacidity, including:

  • Consuming junk, sugary, salty, spicy foods often and untimely meals
  • Fasting for a prolonged duration
  • Lack of sleep and rest for the body
  • Mental stress, tension, anxiety
  • Sedentary habits with no regular physical exercise
  • Smoking
  • Excess intake of alcohol
  • Pregnancy
  • Chronic disorders like obesity, diabetes, hypertension
  • Intake of certain types of prescription medicines
  • Bacterial infection in the stomach, such as issues induced by the bacteria Helicobacter pylori
  • Tumours in the gut that block the passages in the stomach and intestines
  • Kidney problems

Symptoms Of Hyperacidity:

The characteristic signs accompanying hyperacidity consist of:

  • Heartburn
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Mild discomfort in the chest
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloating and flatulence
  • Irritation in the throat
  • Frequent episodes of belching and burping

Complications And Side Effects Of Hyperacidity:

The causes of hyperacidity must be identified and pertinent remedial measures must be followed to treat the signs of hyperacidity. If the instance of acid dyspepsia occurs frequently and becomes quite severe, it results in a host of gut-related illnesses and side effects, such as:

GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease):

GERD is an extensively experienced side effect of hyperacidity. Known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, it is a condition wherein the surplus acid secretions traverse back in the reverse direction into the esophagus i.e. food pipe. If food particles are combined with acidic fluids, then these get lodged in the esophagus, blocking the tubular pathways and posing difficulties in swallowing. Moreover, GERD also increases the risk of esophagitis – inflammation of the esophagus, as well as Barrett’s esophagus  - that triggers abnormal modifications in the cells, tissues of the esophagus, both of which considerably raise the risk of cancer.

Also Read: GERD: 5 Unusual Symptoms Of This Digestive Disorder You Should Never Ignore

Peptic Ulcers:

Peptic ulcers refer to sores formed on the tissues of the esophagus, stomach or intestines, which are known as esophageal ulcers, gastric ulcers and duodenal ulcers respectively. Apart from damaging the tissues lining the gut, peptic ulcers instigate constant aching in the abdomen and heartburn, which in turn lowers appetite, resulting in weight loss, fatigue and passing excessive amounts of gas from the system.

Bleeding In The Gastric Tract:

Owing to infection, inflammation, lifestyle factors, medications or underlying health anomalies that prompt hyperacidity, the tissues in the digestive system face damage that leads to bleeding. This induces intense pain, discomfort, along with bleeding in the stomach, esophagus, intestines and lower gastrointestinal parts of the rectum and anus as well.


When the patient experiences frequent signs of hyperacidity – more than two times in one week, then remedial measures beyond prescription medications and antacids are required to effectively treat the same. The healthcare provider then conducts a set of diagnostic assays to confirm the nature and severity of the underlying health anomaly. These include:

  • Barium Swallow - to check for narrowing of the esophagus/food pipe
  • Esophageal Manometry - to study the functioning and flexibility of movement of the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter muscles
  • pH Monitoring – to gauge the acid-base balance and concentrations of acids in the esophagus
  • Gastroscopy/Upper Endoscopy – to clearly view the internal tissues of the esophagus and stomach and during which time, a biopsy of the tissues may be done to identify if there is any inflammation or infection in the upper gastric tract

Also Read: Gastroscopy: Procedure, Risks And Results


Minor cases of hyperacidity can be managed with home remedies and healthy lifestyle modifications. These comprise eating smaller portions during meals consisting of wholesome foods, fruits, vegetables, nuts and ingesting food more frequently through the day. Quitting smoking and alcohol consumption, sleeping well at night, exercising regularly and losing surplus body fat in stances of overweight or obesity also help in relieving symptoms of acid dyspepsia. In addition, home remedies of chewing gum, drinking herbal teas and limiting the intake of caffeine, oily sugary junk foods and steering clear of a very high-carb, high-fat diet are proven ways to manage hyperacidity.

When simple home remedies do not aid in tackling acidity, then prescription/over-the-counter medications are given by the doctor. Antacids are specifically fabricated drugs which help to decrease acid production in the stomach and strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter muscles to facilitate smooth digestion processes and prevent acid reflux/heartburn.

In very severe cases of hyperacidity, surgery is required to prevent frequent regurgitation of stomach acids back into the esophagus and throat. Procedures involve placing devices within the lower portion of esophagus or sealing the upper segment of the stomach to avert backward flow of peptic acids and effectively reverse hyperacidity in the patient, for normal digestive functions and optimal gut health.