Acid Reflux, Indigestion, GERD, Heartburn, High Stomach Acid, Acidity
Whatever you want to call it, high stomach acid is very common and affects zillions of people.
Is It Really High?
Before we actually accept it is high stomach acid, you need to read about low stomach acid. I know, I know; that sounds the opposite of what you are having but, trust me, the symptoms are exactly the same and LOW rather than high stomach acid is much more common. In practice, it rarely turns out to be actual high stomach acid. Promise. Check that out first.
If you don’t believe me, try this quick test first. Next time you feel some acid (given that you know you don’t have an ulcer or raw broken skin etc that you could make worse!), try putting a teaspoon of fresh lemon juice in a little water and drinking it. If your acid gets worse, yup; it could be too high. Take some milk of magnesia or your usual antacid to bring it back down. Most often, though, it won’t change or it actually improves. That’s your clue it is probably low. Honest.
For more on this subject, see the Low Stomach Acid page.
Other Causes Of Stomach Acid Problems
Ok, if you’re convinced it is actually high stomach acid, next you need to look at the possible causes of that.
In short, the most common factors I have found clinically have been emotional stress (do not underestimate this one; most people do), a food intolerance reaction (ditto) and H. pylori bacterial infection.
Of course, it can be all three!
Helicobacter pylori infection is very easy to test for, using either a stool test or a breath test (see Gut Tests here). Most often GPs use a blood test looking for an antibody but I don’t think that shows a current infection. If an antibody shows up, you could have had it in the past, but not necessarily now.
For emotional stress, each time you get the symptoms, note down what you were just feeling. What were you thinking about? Is there a pattern after a few times? Is it linked to a particular emotion eg. fear, anger, frustration, sadness, guilt etc. OK, sounds a bit wacky, but it honestly is a common link.
Re food intolerance, again note down what you ate for the meal before and the meal before that one. Do it several times and see if there is a pattern. Follow the Low GL diet here to remove the most common allergens and see what happens; does it get better? I will eat my hat if it doesn’t improve at least to some degree!
(Ignore the name of the plan by the way; it fits so many needs and I haven’t had time to rewrite it for lots of different health conditions! Suffice to say; it suits most people, not least because it removes the key allergens involved in GERD.)
More Resources …
Rather then reinvent the wheel, I will leave it to a series of articles written by Chris Kesser, which I think are particularly good.
Start with the first article in the series here:
Next, some simple natural remedies recommended by another physician I really rate: Dr Murray:
Also, he has written this:
I hope that helps to start you off. Good luck!