What is Sour Stomach

Sour stomach is the feeling that you get when you have excess of belching or fullness or bloating sensation in your stomach. It is the term used for many types of gastrointestinal disturbance in the stomach like acidity or indigestion. Acid reflux is the common problem faced by millions of people across the world. Some may have digestive problems leading to sour stomach. This term has wide variety of meaning describing several ailments of the stomach.

Symptoms :

People having sour stomach can have range of symptoms depending on the causative factor. Regurgitation is the retrograde flow of the stomach wherein the food that passes through the stomach and intestine will be sent back into the esophagus and sometimes it may reach till your throat. This condition occurs when the sphincter muscles present in the lower esophagus is not able to prevent the back pressure that forces the food particles till the throat.

Nausea and vomiting is another sign of sour stomach. Nausea is the sensation that you get before vomiting. It can be described as the feeling of uneasiness or discomfort that something is wrong in your stomach. For some people vomiting may not occur but the feeling of nausea may still remain for long. Bloating of stomach is another symptom of sour stomach. It is the feeling of “fullness” that you get after taking only little quantity of food. It can occur due to excess of gas accumulation in the stomach. This condition can also cause excess of belching. In addition to the above, many people may also have stomach pain, burning feeling in the chest (heartburn) and stomach noises due to acidity and other digestive problems. It can also cause bad taste like metallic or acidic taste in your tongue.

Causes :

There are various causes for sour stomach since it can be caused due to number of conditions. GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) is the main cause for sour stomach. Due to improper function of the sphincter muscles in the upper stomach, food particles from the stomach may be forced into the esophagus region causing heartburn and acid reflux.

Severe indigestion can also cause sour stomach. Over-eating and drinking large quantities of carbonated beverages and coffee/tea etc can cause sour stomach. Consuming alcohol can also cause this condition leading to acidity. Eating food very quickly, eating without proper chewing and lying down after eating can cause indigestion problems and sour stomach. Some people swallow too much of air while eating which can also upset the stomach. In some cases chronic health problems like peptic ulcer or gastritis can also cause sour stomach.

Tests :

No test is needed to diagnose sour stomach. It is clearly evident from the above symptoms.

Treatment :

Before taking any medical treatment you can manage most of the symptoms of sour stomach by making small changes in your daily diet and lifestyle. Avoid eating spicy and hot foods that can upset the normal acid balance of your stomach. Take small meals frequently instead of eating a hefty meal. Select foods rich in protein and reduce the fat content in your diet. For many people, eating fat contents can aggravate the symptoms of sour stomach causing acidity and stomach reflux.

Including garlic and ginger in your food can help in overcoming acidity to some extent. If you are allergic to dairy products then completely avoid taking milk products in any form. Sometimes you can be allergic to gluten products. Do not go to bed just after eating. You can read something or go for a relaxed walk before sleeping so that the intestine would complete its function by the time you go to sleep.

In case you are drinking, take little quantity of alcohol. Don’t take coffee/tea or any other carbonated beverages after evening, since it can trigger acidity and sometimes it can disturb your quality sleep. Most of the indigestion problems can resolve by choosing right set of diet and doing exercises. In case the problem persists you can consult your doctor.

  • Medications :

Chronic issues like ulcer or GERD needs to be treated. Your doctor will order for series of test before diagnosing the exact cause of sour stomach and prescribe suitable medications based on the result. Taking antacids can give you temporary relief from the symptoms of acidity and heartburn. Over the counter antacids suspensions are fast acting providing good relief from acidity symptoms. But do not use antacids for long since it can cause complications. For severe cases of acidity your doctor may prescribe H2 receptor blocking agents like cimetidine or pepacid AC or ranitidine.

Proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole or lansoprazole would block the acid secreting cells of the stomach helping in relieving the symptoms. Prokinetic drugs are useful in strengthening the sphincter muscles of the esophagus preventing regurgitation. You can practice yoga and meditation course or get help from your therapist to learn relaxation techniques that helps in reducing stress. Do regular exercises that help in managing most of the symptoms of acidity and sour stomach.

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