Sour Stomach: Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

What is Sour Stomach?

Sour stomach is a fancy word that describes a variety of conditions like nausea, bloating, gassiness etc. Sour Stomach can be medically defined as a condition that is caused by impaired digestion.

What causes Sour Stomach?

Sour Stomach is mainly caused by the type of food and drinks an individual consumes. Given below are some of the possible causes:

  • Overeating
  • Improper chewing of food items
  • Excessive consumption of fatty food items
  • Excessive consumption of oily and spicy food
  • Unrestricted consumption of caffeine
  • Excess alcohol intake
  • Excess consumption of Chocolate
  • Uncontrolled consumption of aerated drinks
  • Cholelithiasis (or Gallstones)
  • (Gastritis ) or inflammation of the stomach lining
  • Hiatus hernia
  • Bacterial infection caused by Helicobacter pylori
  • Overweight – this results in excessive pressure on the abdominal cavity
  • Inflammation of the pancreas (or Pancreatitis)
  • Peptic ulcers
  • Smoking of Tobacco

[Note: If the doctor is unable to diagnose the reason then it could be a serious case of functional dyspepsia. This is an indigestion type that reduces the stomach’s capability to digest and accept food.]

Symptoms for Sour Stomach

Symptoms vary with the age, weight and lifestyle choices. Some of the most common symptoms for Sour Stomach are stated below:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Black stools
  • Yellow colored skin and eyes (Jaundice)
  • Difficulty breathing due to pain in chest
  • Dyspnea (or shortness of breath)
  • Excessive sweating
  • Nausea
  • Excessive burping
  • Feeling full all the time

Diagnosis of Sour Stomach

A proper diagnosis for the screening of sour stomach can be carried out by the following methods:

  • Blood test – Carried out in case the patient is anemic
  • Endoscopy – Recommended diagnosis for the individuals not responding to medications
  • Tests for diagnosing Helicobacter Pylori infection – Includes urea breath test, fecal test for antigens
  • Tests for determining the condition of the liver and bile ducts – A simple blood test for examining the bile system
  • X-rays – X-Rays on Esophagus, stomach & small intestine for identifying blockages (if any)
  • Ultrasound – Of the abdomen that illustrates the bowel movement, its structure and blood flow
  • Abdominal CT Scan – Involves taking of a series of X-ray images that produces a 3D image of the abdomen

Treatments for Sour Stomach

Depending on the severity of the condition and the causal factor treatment for Sour Stomach may vary.If symptoms persist and conditions go downhill the following medications are often advised by medical practicioners:

  • Antacids – Alka-Seltzer, Rolaids, Maalox, Mylanta & Riopan
  • H-2-receptor antagonists – Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid and Axid. Side effects include: nausea, constipation, diarrhea & headaches
  • PPIs (Proton Pump Inhibitors) – Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix & Zegerid. Recommended to patients suffering from Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). Side effects include headache, back pain, nausea etc.
  • Prokinetics – Reglan is an example. Aids in slowly emptying the stomach from its contents. Side effects include: tiredness, fatigue, anxiety and muscle spasms
  • Antibiotics – For treating Helicobacter Pylori infection. (Side effects include: diarrhea, upset stomach)

Note: It is strongly recommended that patients consult a doctor before consuming any of the above medications.

Homemade remedies for naturally treating Sour Stomach

If you want to naturally lower the risk of ending up with a sour stomach, here are some homemade remedies:

  • Standing upright after a meal – Extends the esophagus and the stomach while gravity does its job
  • Carrot juice: Helps to absorb the excess acid
  • Baking soda: Half-teaspoon in water
  • Ginger tea: Aid in relaxing the stomach muscles
  • Apple cider vinegar: A teaspoon in a glass of water to be taken before a meal
  • Caraway seed tea: A teaspoon in a glass of hot water. Let rest for 20 minutes and drink the same before meals
  • Cinnamon powder tea: 1/2 to 1 teaspoon a glass of warm water
  • Banana: natural antacid that is super rich in potassium.

[Note: It is best to avoid eating whole food items like banana if an individual is feeling nauseous]

  • Yogurt: similar to that of a banana, it can act as a protective layer against stomach acid as it lines up on the stomach lining

Tips to avoid cases of Sour Stomach

Here are some things you can do to avoid instances of Sour Stomach

  • Avoid overeating: This is the main reason for a person to end up with acid reflux which further causes Sour Stomach
  • Opt for the good fibers: Inclusion of soluble fibers aids in proper bowel movement and reduction in appetite
  • Practice healthy eating habits: Include citrus fruits, berries, oats, mushrooms, barley in the daily meal
  • Take your time: Properly chewing the food item is essential for thorough digestion
  • Eat five to six small meals: Intake of a small balanced meal at regular intervals, all through the day is crucial for avoiding instances of indigestion.
  • Avoid skipping meals especially breakfast: Minimizes instances of stomach ache and discomfort
  • Avoid eating citrus fruits on an empty stomach: Acid molecules from the citrus fruit will cause a chain reaction thereby causing acid reflux

When to visit a doctor?

If any of the following symptoms are seen accompanied by an upset stomach, it is advised to consult a doctor as soon as possible:

  • Continuous abdominal pain
  • Continuous instances of vomiting or diarrhea for more than a day
  • Episodes of vomiting more than three to four times per hour
  • High fever that doesn’t subside even after administering acetaminophen
  • Blood containing vomit
  • Fewer instances of urination
  • Dizziness
  • Erratic heartbeat
  • Inability in completing bowel movements
  • Pus discharge from anus
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