Recognizing the Characteristics of Stomach Acid and How to Overcome It

Characteristics of Stomach Acid – The characteristics of stomach acid are often ignored
because they can subside and just disappear.
In fact, a disease known as Gastroesophageal
Reflux Disease (GERD) can cause other, more serious digestive problems.
Such as inflammation,
narrowing of the esophagus, or respiratory problems.

Therefore, Sinaumed’s must recognize the characteristics of stomach acid from an early age so as not to think
of this disease as a “normal” problem experienced by many people.
In addition, it will be
easier for you to distinguish it from other symptoms of digestive diseases.

Characteristics of Stomach Acid that You Need
to Watch Out for

Stomach acid is a liquid produced by the stomach, the form is runny, colorless, and acidic in nature.
In the body, this fluid has a function to help the absorption of vitamin B-12, prevent infection,
digest protein, and prevent food poisoning.

However, when this liquid rises, the acidity level (pH) of the stomach increases and causes various
problems in the mouth, esophagus and digestion.
Here are some of the characteristics of stomach
acid that usually appear:

1. Difficulty swallowing

The first symptom that Sinaumed’s needs to be aware of is difficulty swallowing or dysphagia. The
acidic liquid in the stomach can actually rise to the esophagus, causing injury and irritation.

If the esophagus is injured, the digestive tract will become narrower and make it difficult for you to
swallow food.
Which certainly disturbs your comfort while eating.

2. Chest pain

Not only is it difficult to swallow, stomach acid can also cause chest pain. This pain
generally begins with a burning sensation that is felt in the upper abdomen.
After that, slowly
the burning sensation rises to the chest.

Usually, the pain is much more pronounced after eating food, lying down, or bending over. If
Sinaumed’s often feels a burning sensation like this, it’s better not to let it go, OK?
Immediately consult a doctor, I’m afraid this is a symptom of stomach acid or GERD.

3. Inflammation of the esophagus

As mentioned in the first point, stomach acid can rise up to the esophagus and cause inflammation.
This is caused by stomach acid pressing on the back of the esophagus.

Be careful, you know, if you leave this acidic liquid in your esophagus, your esophagus can be damaged and cause
inflammation or esophagitis.

4. Pain / heat in the esophagus

Apart from inflammation, it turns out that stomach acid can also damage the lining of your esophagus or
esophagus.
The result of this damage is pain and a burning sensation in the lower throat and
chest.

If left unchecked, the esophagus can also cause other injuries, such as scar tissue (keloids) and ulcers in the
esophagus.

5. Bad breath

Sufferers of stomach acid are also at risk of experiencing bad breath problems. The main cause
is due to damage or relaxation in the muscles of the esophagus or also known as the lower esophageal
sphincter (LES).

Under normal conditions, the muscles of the esophagus will open automatically when swallowing so that food
can enter the stomach, after which it will close tightly again.
When there is damage, this
esophageal muscle will remain open so that acid from the stomach can flow back into the throat and cause bad
breath.

6. Burp

Actually burping is the process of expelling excess air from the upper digestive tract.
Normally, burping only occurs when you swallow large amounts of air.

However, if the belching occurs more than one to two times at an adjacent time, this might be a sign of
increased stomach acid.
This condition is still associated with narrowing of the esophagus
which causes difficulty swallowing.
Because when it’s hard to swallow, excessive incoming air
cannot be released smoothly.

Apart from the stomach, other health problems that occur around the stomach area are ulcers.
Both need to be watched out so as not to become more dangerous. For this reason,
Sinaumed’s can read the book
Maag: Recognize, Avoid and Treat by Nurheti Yuliarti.

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Gastric Acid Medications
Without a Doctor’s Prescription that Can Be Purchased at Pharmacies

If the characteristics of gastric acid that occur are not too frequent, Sinaumed’s can handle it with
non-prescription drugs, aka over-the-counter drugs available at the nearest pharmacy.
So, here
are three types of over-the-counter drugs that you can buy:

1. Antacids

The function of this drug is to neutralize stomach acid because it contains simethicone.
Simethicone is an ingredient that can expel excess gas from the body.

Unfortunately, this drug cannot treat sore throat caused by stomach acid. In addition, if used
too often will cause some side effects.
Starting from diarrhea, stomach cramps, constipation,
to kidney problems.
So make sure to follow the instructions for use on the medicine label,
OK!

Examples of antacid drugs are Mylanta®, Malox®, Rolaids®, Gaviscon®, Gelusil®, and Tums®.

2. H-2 receptor blockers

Histamine-2 (H-2) receptor blockers can reduce the body’s production of stomach acid. It’s
just that, its performance is not as fast as antacids.
However, this drug can last longer in
the body and relieve various complaints.

Even a decrease in stomach acid production can last up to 12 hours after you take this drug.
Some examples of this type of drug are cimetidine (Tagamet®), ranitidine (Zantac®), and famotidine
(Pepcid®).

3. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs)

This type of proton pump inhibitors (PPI) drug has a stronger dose than the other two types and you can buy
it freely at the nearest pharmacy.
PPI drugs are very effective for reducing stomach acid,
including GERD.

However, make sure you ask the pharmacist for the rules for taking this medicine. Never take
PPI medication without advice from a pharmacist.
Then, if the symptoms of stomach acid don’t
improve after 2 weeks, you should immediately check with your doctor.

Examples of PPI drugs in pharmacies include omeprazole (Prilosec®, Zegerid®) and lansoprazole (Prevacid 24 HR®).

Stomach Acid Medicine with a Doctor’s
Prescription in the Pharmacy

If the stomach acid disease that you are suffering from does not improve after using over-the-counter
drugs, you should immediately consult a doctor.
That way, you will get a prescription for
medicine that is more effective and according to your condition.
Some examples of stomach acid
medications with a doctor’s prescription are:

1. H-2 receptor blockers on prescription

Prescription H-2 receptor blockers are usually more effective at reducing stomach acid because they
suppress acid production in the body.
Especially after eating, therefore, doctors usually
recommend taking this medicine 30 minutes before eating.

Another advantage of this type of drug is that it can be well tolerated by the body. But if
consumed continuously in the long term, it can cause a deficiency of vitamin B12.
Examples of
H-2 receptor blockers are famotidine, nizatidine, cimetidine, and ranitidine.

2. Prescription proton pump inhibitors (PPIs).

Unlike PPI drugs that are sold freely, PPI drugs with a doctor’s prescription generally have higher doses and are
more effective for treating stomach acid or GERD.

It works by lowering stomach acid levels and preventing acid-producing cells from producing excess acid.
This type of drug is best taken one hour before meals.

But Sinaumed’s also has to be careful because this drug can cause side effects such as headaches, diarrhea,
nausea, and a lack of vitamin B12.
Therefore, always pay attention to the drinking rules and it
is even better to consume it on an empty stomach.

Examples of PPI drugs with a prescription in pharmacies include esomeprazole, lansoprazole, omeprazole,
pantoprazole, rabeprazole, and dexlansoprazole.

3. Medicine to strengthen the lower esophageal
sphincter

The lower esophageal sphincter strengthening drug that you can find in pharmacies is Baclofen.
This is an anti-spastic that can help strengthen the lower esophagus.

Because when this part relaxes, it is easier for stomach acid to rise and cause a burning sensation in the
chest (heartburn) that people with GERD often feel.
However, this drug can cause tiredness
accompanied by nausea.

4. Prokinetic drugs

When you check with your doctor, you will usually be given a prescription for a prokinetic drug.
This drug can speed up the process of emptying the digestive system. In addition,
prokinetic drugs can also strengthen the muscles in the lower esophageal valve.

Medications that are often prescribed by doctors are bethanechol and metoclopramide. Both have
the potential to cause side effects such as depression, nausea, fatigue, diarrhea, weakness, anxiety, and
abnormalities in physical movements.

Therefore, you should obey the drinking rules listed and if you are taking other types of medicines, you
should first consult with your doctor.
Because prokinetic drugs cannot be taken carelessly with
other types of drugs.

5. Antibiotics (stomach acid medication
due to bacterial infection)

Antibiotics are drugs that you cannot take carelessly. Therefore, to get it, you must include
a prescription from a doctor.
Some examples of antibiotic drugs used to treat stomach acid are
amoxicillin, clarithromycin, metronidazole, tetracycline and levofloxacin.

6. Medication to protect the intestinal
lining and digestive system

In some cases, the doctor will also provide prescriptions that are useful to protect the lining of the
intestines and digestive system.
This drug is also known as a cytoprotective agent.
Some examples are sucralfate and misoprostol.

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You need to know, you cannot buy this type of medicine freely at a pharmacy and can only get it with a
recommendation from a doctor.

How to Maintain Stomach Health

1. Pay attention to meal times

When busy with various activities, Sinaumed’s may lose track of time and forget to eat. You can
even have breakfast, lunch and dinner in rappel, aka only eating one meal a day.

Habits like this have the potential to disrupt eating patterns and trigger stomach acid disease, you know,
Sinaumed’s.
Therefore, no matter how busy you are, always try to have breakfast, lunch and dinner
at the same time.

If you usually eat at night, it’s best to do it 3-4 hours before going to bed so that stomach acid doesn’t rise
due to the position of the body lying down while sleeping.

Setting meal times can also be a simple way to lose weight. As explained in the book
Simple Diet for Muslimah: Anti-hassle and Budget-Saving Diet written by
Muyassaroh.

2. Consumption of organic food

Currently, a lot of the food that Sinaumed’s consumes is processed using unnatural methods, alias using a
mixture of chemicals.
In fact, according to research in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Disease,
foods that are processed with chemicals have the potential to increase the risk of digestive
disorders.

Meanwhile, other studies have shown that consuming organic foods rich in nutrients can actually protect the
stomach from various kinds of digestive diseases.
That is why, Sinaumed’s need to eat natural
foods every day.

3. Eat little but often

When Sinaumed’s eats large portions, the stomach muscles stretch because the amount of food that comes in is
very large.
As a result, the stomach receives excess pressure and causes complaints such as
abdominal pain, full stomach, or heartburn.

Well, instead of eating in large portions, it’s better to reduce the portion. So if you
usually eat three times a day, try changing it to 4-5 times but with small portions.
This
method is much better for gastric health because its performance is also lighter.

4. Manage stress as best you can

It seems that there is no human being on this earth who has never experienced stress.
Unfortunately, the majority of us often have difficulty managing stress well. Even
though this problem can trigger the emergence of GERD disease.

How did it happen? This is because when you are stressed, the production of prostaglandin
hormones – hormones that line the stomach and protect it from erosion – decreases.
From now on,
try doing meditation or fun hobbies to reduce stress.
If necessary, see a psychologist for
therapy.

5. Drink the right amount

Drinking water is a simple activity that can help you maintain stomach health because the acidity level of
water (pH) is relatively neutral.
That way, water can neutralize stomach acid levels when acid
production is high.

Just remember, drink enough water, OK? Because if too much of it will actually disrupt the
balance of minerals in the stomach and even trigger stomach acid to rise.

6. Limit alcohol and caffeine

Alcohol and caffeine are two stimulants that can greatly affect stomach function. The coffee
that you usually drink in the morning actually inhibits the closure of the esophageal sphincter muscle
because it contains high acid.

Meanwhile, as you know, this muscle must close when you are not swallowing food. If it’s like
this, it’s easier for stomach acid to rise up into the esophagus.
If this happens continuously,
then you will become a person with stomach acid or GERD.

7. Avoid smoking

Besides being bad for the lungs, smoking habits and other tobacco products are also bad for stomach health.
This is because the nicotine content in cigarettes and tobacco products can make the esophageal
sphincter muscles weak.

Like alcohol and caffeine, this condition also triggers stomach acid to rise into the esophagus and cause
inflammation of the esophagus or ulcer.

8. Reduce pressure on the stomach

When there is pressure on your stomach, the stomach becomes compressed and makes stomach acid rise up into
the esophagus.
Therefore, it’s best to reduce excess pressure on the stomach by doing these
things:

  • Don’t lie down immediately after eating. Wait about 2-3 hours after eating, then lie
    down.
  • Loosen belts, shirt buttons, or pants after consuming large amounts of food
  • If you often lift heavy things, try to bend your knees so that your stomach doesn’t bend

9. Elevate your body position while sleeping

When you sleep, you should elevate your body position by about 15-20 cm by adding a pillow under your back.
In addition, if you like piling pillows, you should replace it with a special support that is
denser.

This method is quite effective in preventing stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus during
sleep.
Also, avoid eating before going to bed and lying down after eating, okay!
Remember, you need a distance of about 2-3 hours after eating to lie down. So it’s
better to skip dinner, deh!

In order for you to understand more about gastric disorders, Doctor’s book Why Does My Stomach Pain Won’t Heal?
Tips for Overcoming Gastric Disorders written by dr. JB Suharjo B.
Cahyono, Sp.PD-KGEH can help you.

Those are some of the characteristics of stomach acid that Sinaumed’s needs to be aware of.