How does excess acidity cause digestion problems?

Mosaraf Ali, MD
Integrative Medicine
The digestive system is a fine balance of acid or alkaline media: the saliva in the mouth is alkaline, the gastric juices in the stomach are acidic and are then neutralized by bile, which is alkaline, in the small intestine. Bile is produced by the liver, but only in a limited amount each day. This is enough to cope with a regular balanced diet, but if what we eat and drink is extra-acidic, or if the stomach secretes excess acid, it will require a greater quantity of bile to neutralize it. This means that partly digested, highly acidic food can slow the digestive process and irritate the stomach walls while waiting for the liver to produce more bile.

Continue Learning about Digestive Health

Minimize In-flight Flatulence
Minimize In-flight Flatulence
Too close for comfort… Cheek to jowl…  Packed together like sardines. All of these phrases accurately describe the seating in the coach section of jus...
Read More
Why do I have to go to the bathroom when I am on long runs?
National Academy of Sports MedicineNational Academy of Sports Medicine
This is fairly common with an estimated 20-50% of distance runners have “runner’s trots” with a ...
More Answers
4 Ways Your Gut Affects Your Health
4 Ways Your Gut Affects Your Health4 Ways Your Gut Affects Your Health4 Ways Your Gut Affects Your Health4 Ways Your Gut Affects Your Health
Your gut is responsible for more than digestion; it can reveal illness, too.
Start Slideshow
What Does the Phrase "Nervous Stomach" Mean?
What Does the Phrase "Nervous Stomach" Mean?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.