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HomeLifestyleHow to Lower Stomach Acid: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

How to Lower Stomach Acid: Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment Options

Should You Worry About Stomach Acidity?

Are you looking for ways on how to lower stomach acid? The acidity of the stomach is determined by the concentration of hydrochloric acid needed for food digestion in gastric juice. Normally, pH levels can range from 1.5 to 3.5.

Parietal cells, special cells in the stomach, regulate the release of hydrogen and chlorine ions which produce hydrochloric acid. If acidity increases, these same cells release other ions to neutralize some of the acid, causing pH levels to constantly change.

When there are more cells or disruptions in the processes of acid production and neutralization, the walls of the stomach may be damaged. However, a healthy stomach has other defense mechanisms, so most likely, nothing will happen.

Problems may arise if the movement of food through the digestive tract changes direction, or the stomach walls become permeable.

What symptoms should alert you and why?

Food typically moves in one direction from the mouth to the rectum, aided by sphincters – special circular muscles that act like a string on a bag to tighten the digestive tube’s lumen, preventing food from returning.

After a heavy meal, or due to other reasons, such as individual characteristics, undigested food and acid can be thrown into the esophagus, leading to gastroesophageal reflux, resulting in heartburn, a burning feeling behind the sternum.

In addition to pain from heartburn, reflux may have other signs, including a bitter or sour taste in the mouth, bad breath, dry cough (especially at night), frequent hiccups, and hoarse voice.

It’s normal to experience this from time to time. However, if these attacks happen more than twice a week, it may indicate serious diseases such as gastritis, diaphragmatic hernia, gastroparesis – partial paralysis of the stomach, but more commonly gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

If the speed of food movement changes or the protection of the walls weaken, ulcers of the stomach and duodenum may appear, resulting in pain associated with eating, heartburn, nausea, vomiting, constipation, and other symptoms.

What to do if unpleasant symptoms occur?

Ulcers of the stomach and duodenum can potentially lead to complications such as gastrointestinal bleeding, perforation of the walls, and cancer. Therefore, when alarming symptoms appear, it’s crucial to visit a gastroenterologist as soon as possible.

The same should be done if heartburn is frequent. Constant irritation of the esophagus due to reflux can lead to inflammation, narrowing, scarring, ruptures, and malignant transformation.

Sometimes a deadly disease is masked under an attack of heartburn – an abdominal form of myocardial infarction. Hence, call an ambulance immediately if you have severe pain or pressure in your chest, especially in combination with pain in your arm or jaw, loss of consciousness, or difficulty breathing.

If the acid has damaged tooth enamel, leading to dental problems, visit a dentist.

How to lower stomach acid with medication?

Gastroenterologists recommend medications that relieve symptoms and address the cause of acidity. However, it’s impossible to use such drugs without consulting a doctor because they have side effects.


Antacids – substances that reduce acidity – are the most effective emergency remedies for heartburn. Previously, baking soda was used as a neutralizer, but antacids with improved properties have replaced it today. Some wrap around the walls, creating a film on the surface of the contents, preventing acid from damaging the stomach and esophagus. They are much safer than soda and are even used in pregnant women.

Histamine H2 receptor blockers

They do not provide an immediate effect but give a longer-lasting effect by blocking cells that produce hydrochloric acid.

Proton pump blockers

They prevent cells from carrying hydrogen ions needed to create an acidic environment in gastric juice. They don’t provide immediate relief, but gradually reduce the production of hydrochloric acid.

What to do with high stomach acid at home?

If an attack occurs and there are no drugs on hand, try these remedies that may reduce stomach acid:


In an emergency, you can use baking soda to quickly neutralize the acid. However, due to its aggressive action, soda can cause pain and cramps in the stomach. Hence it should not be used regularly. It is prohibited when taking certain medications (antifungals, dementia drugs, and others) or having appendicitis, intestinal or rectal bleeding, swelling of the legs, heart, kidney and liver diseases, high blood pressure, problems with urination, or pregnancy.

Chewing gum

Chewing increases salivation, allowing saliva to bind acid. This action helps food not linger in the stomach, helping cope with sudden deterioration in well-being. However, avoid mint gum as it triggers heartburn.


While it doesn’t affect acidity as effectively as soda, honey may help coat the walls of the esophagus and stomach, protecting them from the harmful effects of acid.

Other remedies

The reputable American Johns Hopkins Hospital suggests reducing acidity with ginger tea or water acidified with apple cider vinegar or lemon. However, there are no references to these remedies in other sources, so try them with caution.



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