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Acid indigestion

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What is Acid Indigestion?

Acid indigestion or commonly called as heartburn, develops as a symptom of burning pain in lower chest area. It is a reflux, happens when the acidic contents of stomach flow up into the food pipe.

Normal process of food digestion begins with your first encounter with the food, with the sight or smell of it. Your brain starts working and digestive enzymes are produced. When you engulf the food, it travels down the oesophagus and enters the stomach, where Hydrochloric acid is produced in order to break down the chewed food particles. The stomach and oesophagus are separated by a ring of muscles called gastroesophageal sphincter which acts as valve. It keeps the food from regurgitating back in opposite direction. Stomach lining is adapted to this acid, but oesophagus is not.

What are the causes of acid indigestion?

It is a lifestyle disorder with poor eating habits like:


  • Eating large portions of meals
  • Salt intake in higher quantity
  • Lower dietary fibres
  • Lying down with 1-2 hours after heavy meal
  • No physical exercise
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol
  • Carbonated drinks, chocolates
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Exercising with a full stomach


Acid indigestion may be associated with midgut disease such as GERD i.e. gastro- oesophageal reflux disorder or ulcers in the lumen of oesophagus. It results from poor eating habits like eating too quickly, eating large meals, eating too spicy, diet fat food, food that irritated the lining of stomach. Using medications like painkillers, anti-histamines, sedatives, antidepressants, medicines for respiratory disorders that irritate the stomach mucosa may also be a reason. Ongoing stress makes the indigestion worse.

Other common cause of acid reflux is a stomach abnormality, known as hiatal hernia. The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm, a muscular wall that separates chest cavity from abdomen. In hiatal hernia the part of stomach bulges into the chest cavity. Normally the opening in diaphragm acts as an additional barrier apart from lower oesophageal sphincter to keep the acid in stomach but due to this abnormality acid regurgitate toward oesophagus.

Many people have persistent indigestion without any apparent cause. Such type of indigestion is known as functional dyspepsia. It is related with the motility of lumen to squeeze the food downward toward stomach. The lumen loses its proper function.

Symptoms of acid indigestion

When the stomach sphincter becomes weak, stomach acid regurgitates back up to the mid-gut, which produces burning sensation, pain in chest, sour taste in mouth, belching, hoarseness and rarely, difficulty in breathing. Sometimes symptoms become worse from lying down or bending over stomach.

Other symptoms includes: bloating, burping, difficulty in swallowing, sensation of lump in throat, hiccups, nausea, blood in stools or blood in vomiting, wheezing and weight loss for no known reason.

To identify the cause your doctor may suggest some tests like: x rays and ultrasounds of stomach and small intestine, oesophageal motility test- for testing normal motility of and pressure of oesophageal lumen, endoscopy, barium meal studies, and some other tests to rule out ulcers.


Simplest way to relieve acid indigestion is to improve your lifestyle. Avoiding foods that stimulated heartburn and situations that causes stress is the most successful way to treat acid indigestion.

To ease up acid indigestion due to unknown cause the doctor may prescribe medications like Beta-blockers, h2 receptor blockers, proton pumps and antacids for motility of stomach that can be used to relieve heartburn and scheduled exercises in early mornings or evenings. The gap should be at least one hour between meals and exercise. Quitting smoking or not smoking before meals will ease up acid reflux to some extent.

Acid indigestion if left untreated may take a serious form and lead to ulceration, bleeding, narrowing of food pipe.

Homoeopathic medicine for acidity and indigestion:

Homoeopathy can cure acidity, indigestion and other related stomach ailments very gently and minimizes the risks of any harsh treatment strategies. No doubt that the use of antacids helps in acidity by changing pH of stomach lining. But its use for longer time is harmful. The use of antacids for extended period of time can cause symptoms like flatulence, dyspepsia, swelling in ankles and feet. It reaches out to the root cause of the disease and helps those people with sedentary life style, who face difficulty in changing their routine and living habits.  

Natrum sulphuricum 3X: The bio-chemic remedy relieves acidity and indigestion. The most common indication for Natrum sulphuricum is slow digestion, bloating, sour green bilious vomiting, and water retention in cells. There is enlargement of spleen and liver. There are symptoms like yellow watery diarrhoea that gets worse after spell of wet weather. Involuntary stools while passing flatus. Stomach feels full and constipated, with bruised pain in anus while passing stool.  Tongue covered in green brown coating, bitter taste in mouth, drooling of slimy saliva from mouth, sour hiccups and burning water brash. There is a sensation of lump in throat. Person may fell loss of appetite. Due to water retention in intra-cellular walls there is oedema of feet. It is one of the 12 tissue salts; it is anti-flatulent and helps in relieving acid reflux.