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High Stomach Acid Symptoms

Medically reviewed by Jezreel Esguerra, MD · General Practitioner

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Sep 20, 2023

High Stomach Acid Symptoms

Your stomach acid aids in the breakdown and digestion of food. However, occasionally, more stomach acid than usual may be produced. This may cause symptoms such as heartburn, nausea, bloating, and abdominal pain. High stomach acid can be caused by a number of things, such as the H. pylori infection, the Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and the rebound effects of drug withdrawal. Consequently, high stomach acid levels might cause issues like ulcers or GERD if left unchecked.

Peptic ulcers in your stomach and intestines can be caused by this additional gastric acid. High stomach acid symptoms include abdominal discomfort, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea. hence if you experience any of this digestive symptoms , especially if chronic, recurrent, or worrying, consult a doctor. Untreated conditions may result in significant problems.

High Stomach Acid: Definition

An excess of stomach acid results when the pH is below 3.5 and the concentration of stomach acid exceeds 0.001 mol/l. This is a common situation that can severely affect the stomach and result in numerous serious disorders.

What Factors Increase Stomach Acid? 

The following are possible reasons behind too much stomach acid:

Abuse of alcohol and beer

Alcohol inhibits the production of mucus that protects the stomach lining while also stimulating the production of more gastric acid. This makes it simple to damage the gastric mucosa. Hence individuals who consume excessive amounts of alcohol frequently have high stomach acid levels. Eventually this causes severe damage at the site of inflammation and results in ulcers, stomach perforation, and even stomach cancer.

Eating irregularly

Eating greasy foods frequently, skipping meals, and eating at inappropriate times all contribute to increased gastric acid output and high stomach acid.

Nervous stress

Most of us do not know this, but nervous stress causes the stomach to constrict and produce a large amount of acid, resulting in too much acid and discomfort in the stomach.

Helicobacter pylori

Helicobacter pylori bacteria cause numerous stomach disorders by increasing acid output in the stomach.


As with most diseases, smoking affects your gut health. In fact, nicotine in cigarettes can eliminate healthy bacteria in the stomach, fostering the growth of bad bacteria, particularly Helicobacter pylori.

Lack of sleep

Insufficient sleep and staying up too late are also causes of excessive stomach acid output.

High Stomach Acid Symptoms

Common symptoms of acid reflux are:

  • Heartburn: A sharp or searing pain or discomfort that may originate in your stomach and travel to your chest, abdomen, or even your throat.
  • Regurgitation: A backflow of sour or bitter-tasting acid into your mouth or throat
  • Bloating
  • Dark, bloody vomit
  • Burping
  • A constant case of the hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Weight loss without a known cause
  • Wheezing
  • A persistent sore throat, a dry cough, or hoarseness

High Stomach Acid Due to Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome

In the rare condition known as Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, one or more tumors can develop in the pancreas or the upper section of the small intestine (duodenum). These tumors, known as gastrinomas, secrete a lot of the hormone gastrin, which makes your stomach produce too much acid. This also can cause peptic ulcers, diarrhea, and other symptoms.

Although Zollinger-Ellison syndrome can strike at any stage of life, most affected individuals become aware of their condition between the ages of 20 and 60. The good news is medications that lessen stomach acid and treat ulcers are effective, and are typically used to treat this condition.

Key Takeaways

Your stomach acid helps with the breakdown and digestion of your food. But on rare occasions, more stomach acid than usual may be produced. Eventually, this can result in symptoms like stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, and diarrhea. 

Some causes of high stomach acid include infection with the H. pylori bacteria,  Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, and the rebound effects of drug withdrawal. If left untreated, high stomach acid can lead to ulcers or GERD. If you experience any lingering, recurrent, or unsettling symptoms of the digestive system, see a doctor.

Learn more about GERD here


Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.

Medically reviewed by

Jezreel Esguerra, MD

General Practitioner

Written by Hello Doctor Medical Panel · Updated Sep 20, 2023

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