But let's have a closer look at the role of the stomach and stomach acid in the digestive process, and how excess acid can potentially be the cause of a health-related problem.
The stomach is part of our digestive system. Once food enters the mouth, the digestive process begins. Teeth break food into smaller pieces, making it easier for us to swallow for further digestion. The saliva in your mouth also begins to digest the food. Then food passes down the food pipe - the oesophagus. When a ring of muscle (sphincter) at the bottom of the food pipe opens, the food goes down into our stomachs.
Your stomach is basically a big bag. It contains hydrochloric acid that has three main functions. The first function is to help to kill bacteria that may be in our food. The second is to break down our food. The third function is to create the right conditions for a stomach enzyme, called pepsin, to work. The movement, or churning, of the stomach, together with the action of acid and enzymes, breaks the food down into a liquid. The nutrients in the liquid can then be extracted further down our digestive systems within our intestines.
Although the role of stomach acids is very important, it may potentially cause problems on occasions, for instance if there is excess acid, and/or if the acid passes out of the stomach upwards (refluxes) into the food pipe. These are the problems that can be caused by too much stomach acid or reflux:
There are a number of ways, such as lifestyle and dietary changes, to help prevent the pain caused by stomach acids. However, if you are affected by stomach acid already, there are various medications that can treat acid-related conditions, such as heartburn and indigestion. Gaviscon Dual Action Liquids and Tablets are an effective way to help relieve heartburn and indigestion.
Different heartburn and indigestion medications work in different ways.
Gaviscon Dual Action gets to work in two ways:
So, as you can see, stomach acid is a vital part of the digestive process. Mostly it's our friend - but even if it becomes our foe, there are effective measures that can be taken to help.
Information sources for this article:
*Strugala et al 2010. Gaviscon v non active control – Financial sponsor Reckitt Benckiser