Acidity - Frequently Asked Questions

Himabindu Venkatakrishnan
Medically Reviewed by The Medindia Medical Review Team on Mar 29, 2017
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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Which doctor should I consult for acidity?

A gastroenterologist can help in relieving the symptoms and providing treatment for acidity.

2. Is heartburn always caused by excess acid?

Various other health conditions are associated with impaired acid production. They include gall bladder disease, hepatitis, psoriasis, thyrotoxicosis, multiple sclerosis, high blood calcium level, Celiac disease, Addison’s disease and Lupus.

3. Can hydrochloric acid corrode the stomach lining?

Yes, hydrochloric acid can be ten times as acidic as undiluted lemon juice. It’s low pH value indicate it’s highly acidic nature. However, the stomach lining is coated with alkali ions that protect the lining tissues from the acid.

4. Can stomach acid burn our skin?

Stomach acid is highly corrosive and in large quantities can burn our skin. Smaller quantities of gastric acid can cause redness, irritation and scars on the skin.

5. What foods can choose to I eat to reduce my acidity?

Certain fruits and vegetables that have low acidity levels or are alkaline in nature can help in soothing heartburn due to acidity. Examples are:
  • Fruits such as bananas, papayas, dates, figs, pears and all types of melon.
  • Vegetables such as beans, corn, cucumber, pumpkin, all green leafy vegetables and all types of gourds.
  • Other food items such as unsweetened yogurt, soy beans, certain herbs and spices like ginger, basil, cumin, mint and cloves and herbal teas.

6. Why do antacids produce bubbles or fizz when dropped in a glass of water?

When sodium carbonate-based antacids react with citric acid they produce carbonic acid. Carbonic acid, in turn produces water and carbon dioxide that bubbles up to the surface.

7. Can antacids harm the stomach?

Long-term use of antacids can induce constipation or diarrhea. Further the effect of the antacid on the acid can reduce thereby not effectively relieving the acidity or heartburn. Some of the harmful effects of long-term use of antacids are as below:
  • Sodium bicarbonate – can affect blood pressure, disturb mineral balance in our body, increase risk of kidney malfunction and urinary tract infections.
  • Calcium carbonate – can cause constipation and kidney stones.
  • Aluminium-based antacid – reduces calcium levels.
  • Magnesium-based antacid – can affect high blood pressure and reduce calcium levels in bones.

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