Hyperchlorhydria

Hyperchlorhydria: Description, Causes and Risk Factors: Hyperchlorhydria refers to the state in the stomach where gastric acid levels are higher than the normal range. In humans, the normal pH is around 1 to 3, which varies throughout the day. The highest basal secretion levels are in the late evening. Hyperchlorhydria is usually defined as having a pH less than 2. It has no negative consequences unless other conditions are also present such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). The cause of this condition is unknown. It is believed that it may arise from long-continued errors in diet, especially the excessive use of protein food, hurried, irregular meals, imperfect mastication, injudicious use of stimulants and tobacco - more particularly in constipated subjects. Hyperchlorhydria This condition occurs most commonly in young adults, especially men; some marked examples are met with in schoolboys. In its later stages it is associated with other pathological conditions, such as (1) slight dilatation of the stomach; (2) gastric catarrh, with excessive secretion of mucus; and (3) spasm of the pyloric end of the stomach, of an intermittent character. It is not infrequently associated with a gastric or duodenal ulcer. The symptoms produced by hyperacidity are burning pains in the region of the stomach, heartburn, flatulence, eructation of acid food, and, as a rule, constipation. The pain has characteristic features. It occurs from one and a half to two hours after food; it is relieved by food - hence the term hunger pain - and also by the administration of alkali, e.g. bicarbonate of soda or carbonate of magnesia; and, further, the pain develops after a meal of easily digested food as quickly as it does after a heavy meal. Another feature of the pain, in bad cases, is its liability to occur during the night, some hours after the last meal. In these cases the pain may be of a very severe, paroxysmal character, closely resembling the pain of biliary colic. The disease affects approximately 12% of total population. Symptoms: Symptoms may include: Heartburn. Diagnosis: Conventionally accepted medical approaches of assessment for this condition may include taking an X-ray of your stomach after giving you liquid, called barium, which makes your gastrointestinal tract (GI tract) show up on the X-ray. You may have an endoscopic exam, where a thin tube with a small camera-like device on the end explores your stomach. Your provider may also give you a urea breath test or a blood test for Helicobacter pyloribacteria. Under the concepts of functional medicine, assessment is oriented toward determining what is impeding your body's ability to function normally. While some of the conventional medical approaches may help in this determination, they may not necessarily apply to a functional approach. Your healthcare provider will determine which assessment tools are most helpful in establishing a treatment strategy specific to your health needs. Treatment: While there is no cure for hyperchlorhydria, the severity may be reduced. If stomach pain is severe, cool or cold compresses can be applied over the stomach. It is important to eat small meals frequently throughout the day. Although antacids can reduce the acidity of the stomach by chemically absorbing or neutralizing some of the HCl, they are often accompanied by adverse side effects such as constipation, nausea, diarrhea, vomiting, kidney stones, bone demineralization, bone pain, muscle weakness, and cramps. In addition, antacids can reduce magnesium, potassium, folate, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, and zinc levels in the body. NOTE: The above information is educational purpose. The information provided herein should not be used during any medical emergency or for the diagnosis or treatment of any medical condition. DISCLAIMER: This information should not substitute for seeking responsible, professional medical care.

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