Identify the symptons

Anacidic stomach

An anacidic stomach can result in a variety of non-specific symptoms similar to those of heartburn. Other symptoms include stomach pressure and pains, gas and burping which may occur during meals. However, an individual with an anacidic stomach can also be asymptomatic, or they may find it difficult to recognize stomach symptoms as unusual, especially if the condition has persisted for a long time.

Long-term use of proton-pump inhibitors (PPIs) may cause an anacidic stomach. PPI medicines effectively prevent the normal functioning of gastric-acid-secreting cells, and thus eliminate the feeling of heartburn. The disadvantage is that the natural function of stomach acid and its function as a stomach protector is lost. Short-term use of PPIs is safe, but long-term use is not without its problems. If you have to use PPI medicine for heartburn on a regular basis, it would be wise to find out the real cause of the heartburn.

Some stomachs are irritated by acidic juices, coffee or alcohol, thus it is better to avoid these. If heartburn is caused by a weak oesophageal valve, the treatment is surgery.

Gastric mucosal atrophy 

Gastric mucosal atrophy and its possible consequences such as vitamin B12 malabsorption and micronutrient malabsorption, are often asymptomatic. If the atrophy is caused by Helicobacter pylori infection, symptoms may occur as abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and reflux, but H. pylori infection may also be asymptomatic.

Gastric mucosal atrophy, or atrophic gastritis (AG) may be due to either H. pylori infection or an autoimmune disease, such as celiac disease or type 1 diabetes. Severe atrophy causes an anacidic stomach. AG can lead to co-morbidities such as iron deficiency anaemia or pernicious anaemia as a result of iron and vitamin B12 malabsorption. It also increases the risk of stomach cancer.

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