What is acidity?
Acidity is a medical condition that’s caused as a result of excessive production of acid. This acid is made by the glands of the stomach. Acidity causes signs such as ulcers in the stomach, gastric inflammation, heartburn, and dyspepsia. It’s usually caused due to many factors like irregular eating patterns, lack of physical sports or activities, alcohol consumption, smoking, anxiety , fad diets, and bad eating habits. People are more vulnerable to developing acidity in areas where folks eat more non-vegetarian, spicy and fatty food.
Many medications like NSAID (Non Steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) may also make a person more vulnerable to developing gastric acidity. Acidity is characterized by a deep burning sensation after swallowing a heavy meal. Indigestion and constipation are also common in those who have acidity.
Frequent signs of acidity include indigestion, nausea, sour taste in the mouth, constipation, restlessness and burning feeling in the stomach & throat.
See: Apple Cider Vinegar for Acid Reflux
What causes acidity?
Our stomach produces amino acids which assist in digestion. The corrosive effects of the acids are balanced by the production of prostaglandins and organic bicarbonate that are secreted from the mucous lining. This damages the stomch lining and causes acidity. Other factors that cause acidity include:
· Consuming fast foods or fried foods
· Excessive stress
· Smoking or drinking alcohol frequently
· Stomach disorders like tumors, gastroesophageal reflux disease and peptic ulcers
· Medicines such as NSAIDs (non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications)
What are the early symptoms of acidity?
A person with acidity may feel one or more of the following symptoms:
· Heartburn: A burning pain or distress that may moves from the stomach to the abdomen, chest or up into the throat.
· Regurgitation: A bitter or sour tasting acid will back into the mouth or throat which finally makes sores in the stains.
· Stomach bloating, Hematemesis, bloody or black tarry stool, regular burps, difficulty in swallowing, constant hiccups, nausea, vomiting, feeling fullness always, chronic sore throat, persistent dry cough, restlessness, indigestion and sudden weight loss.
Natural remedies to avoid acidity
One can follow a range of methods to reduce acidity and they’re quite easy to follow:
· Avoid foods causing reflux: Do more spicy foods, coffee, carbonated drinks, fatty and acidic foods
· Split your meal: Don’t stick to 3 times everyday meal. Split it to 5 smaller parts so that reflux and pressure can be avoided
· Do not lie down after eating: Take a minimum of two hours to attain your bed after eating, since the food will return flown into the sidewalk.
· Attempt to remove acidity triggering foods for a few weeks, analyze and reintroduce
· Reduce weight: Excessive fat pressures the stomach area, thus pushing gastric juice to esophagus. Attempt to reduce weight if you are obese
· Stay away from certain medications: Some OTC medications like aspirin, paracetamol may cause acidity and other prescription medications do create acidity.
· Try to wear loose clothing around the waist and stomach area as it might reduce the tension around the regions.
See: Ayurvedic Diet For Gut Health
Natural treatments for acidity
Acidity is also treated by home remedies such as consuming peanuts, cold milk, aniseeds, cumin, cardamom, cloves, mint leaves, and ginger. You can even prevent acidity by avoiding spicy foods or pickles through foods, eating more fruits and veggies, not consuming non-vegetarian meals, preventing medications such as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications ) & steroids and reducing strain.
Sometimes acidity may also be brought on by consuming food just prior to sleeping. This provokes the stomach enzymes to return to your esophagus and cause acid reflux. This can be particularly detrimental to health. See: Functional medicine for acidity Some of the natural treatments to fight acidity include:
· Nuts like almonds: It neutralises the gut juice, relieves the pain and prevents acidity altogether. Munch almonds when you’re in a situation of not taking your meals so that it avoids excessive acid secretion. Take 4 almonds after ingestion.
· Fruits such as banana and apple: Banana contains antacids naturally that fight against acidity and ingestion of a few pieces of apple before bedtime will help in relieving reflux or heartburn.
· Coconut water: When a person drinks coconut water, the body’s pH acidic amount turns
alkaline and it creates mucus in the stomach. Mucous prevents the stomach from
the acute effects of excessive acid production. This fibre-rich water
encourages digestion and prevents the remittance of acidity.
· Enough sleep: Get your 8 hours deep sleep & rest.
See: Ayurvedic herbs for constipation relief
Acid reflux vs Heartburn vs GERD
The terms heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD are often used interchangeably. They really have quite different meanings.
What’s acid reflux?
A circular muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) joins your stomach and esophagus. This muscle is responsible for strengthening your stomach after food passes to the stomach. If this muscle is weak or does not tighten properly, the acid in the stomach can move backward in your esophagus. This is called acid reflux.
Acid Reflux can lead to heartburn and other symptoms which include:
– sore throat
– bitter taste in the back of the throat
– sour taste in the mouth
– burning and pressure that could extend up the breastbone
See: Ayurvedic herbs for digestion & gut health
What is heartburn?
The term “heartburn” is misleading. The heart really has nothing to do with the pain. Heartburn happens on your digestive system, especially, in your esophagus. Heartburn involves mild to severe pain in the chest. It is sometimes mistaken for heart attack pain. Heartburn is merely a symptom of acid reflux. The lining of your esophagus is much more fragile than the lining of your stomach. Thus, the acid in your esophagus causes a burning sensation in your chest. The pain may feel sharp, burning, or like a tightening feeling. Some could describe heartburn as burning that moves upward round the neck and throat or as discomfort that feels as though it is located behind the breastbone.
Heartburn usually occurs after eating. Bending over or lying down can make it feel worse. Heartburn is quite common. It’s estimated that over 60 million Americans experience heartburn at least once per month. You may
be able to manage your heartburn by:
– losing weight
– quitting smoking
– eating fewer fatty foods
– avoiding spicy or acidic foods
Mild, Infrequent heartburn may also be treated with medicines like antacids. If you take antacids over several times a week a physician should evaluate you. Your heartburn could be an indication of a more serious problem like acid reflux or GERD.