Acidity is a medical condition that is caused by excessive production of acid in the digestive tract. The acid is produced by the glands of the stomach. Acidity causes signs such as ulcers in the stomach, gastric inflammation, heartburn and dyspepsia.
It is usually caused due to several factors such as irregular eating patterns, lack of physical sports or activities, alcohol consumption, smoking, stress, fad diets and poor eating habits. People are more prone to develop acidity in a place where they consume more non-veg and spicy foods and oily foods.
A lot of medications such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also can make an individual susceptible to developing gastric acidity. Acidity is characterized by a deep burning sensation after consumption of a heavy meal. Indigestion and constipation are common in people having acidity. It can be cured by consuming home remedies or consuming antacids and implementing a healthy lifestyle.
Common signs and symptoms of acidity include :
- Sour taste in the mouth
- Burning sensation
What causes acidity?
Our stomach usually produces gastric acids which help indigestion. The corrosive effects of these acids are balanced by prostaglandins and bicarbonates which is secreted by the mucous lining. This damages the stomach lining and causes acidity
Other factors causing acidity are :
- Consuming non-veg food
- Spicy food
- Consuming too much alcohol
- Stomach disorders such as stomach tumours GERD
What are the early symptoms of acidity?
Heartburn: A burning pain or discomfort that moves from the stomach to the abdomen, chest and even to the throat.
Regurgitation: A bitter or sour-tasting acid will back into the throat or mouth that eventually makes sore in the mouth
- Too much gas or flatulence can cause stomach bloating.
- Bloody stools with rectal pain.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Feeling of fullness.
- Persistent dry cough.
- Continuous hiccups.
- Unexpected weight loss.
What are the standard acidity precautions?
One can follow up the number of methods to prevent acidity and they are quite simple to follow :
- Avoid foods causing reflux
- Do not take more spicy, coffee, carbonated beverages acidic and fatty foods.
Spilt your meal: Do not stick to 3 times regular meals. Spilt in 5 portions so that pressure and reflex can be avoided.
Don’t lie down after eating: Take atleast 2 hours to reach your bed after eating because the food will be flown back to the oesophagus. Try to eliminate acidity triggering foods for some weeks, examine and reintroduce.
Lose weight: Excessive fat pressures the abdomen region thus pushing the gastric juice into the oesophagus. Try to reduce weight if you are overweight.
Avoid certain medicines: some OTC pills such as ibuprofen paracetamol sedatives may induce acidity and other prescription drugs like sedatives, calcium channel blockers beta blockers develop acidity.
Try to wear loose clothes around the waist and the stomach region as it can reduce tension around these areas.
What are the natural ways to reduce acidity?
The Indian kitchen comprises of various ingredients which can be used for getting relief from the problem of acidity. Some of the best home remedies for acidity are given below :
1) Banana and apple: Bananas contain antacids that naturally fight against acidity and intake of few slices of apple before bedtime helps in relieving heartburn or reflux
2) Coconut water: while drinking coconut water the body ph level turns alkaline and it produces mucus in the stomach. Mucous prevents the stomach from the severe effects of excessive acid production. this fibre-rich water supports digestion and prevents the remittance of acidity
3) Enough sleep. go for atleast 7 hours continuous sleep
4) Cinnamon: Cinnamon has natural antacid properties which provide relief not only from acidity but also from gastritis. Making cinnamon tea with a half teaspoon of cinnamon powder in water and boiling it and drinking it two times a day relieves acidity
5) Basil leaves: Instant relief in problem of acidity can be provided by drinking basil leaves tea or chewing basil leaves due to its soothing properties
6) Apple cider vinegar: It helps in treating acidity as it has an alkalizing effect on the stomach. Mixing one or two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar in water and drinking twice a day will help in taking care of acidity
7) Buttermilk: It is the simplest and the best home remedy for treating acidity. consuming buttermilk is a big advantage as it contains lactic acid which inhibits stomach acidity
8) Cumin seeds: the cumin seeds are a great source of acid neutralizer thus providing necessary relief from with the problem of acidity. Adding roasted and slightly crushed cumin seeds will provide necessary relief and drinking it after the meal will help in easing down the symptoms of acidity
9) Baking soda. It is very helpful in neutralizing the acid present in every individual’s stomach. Mixing a spoon of baking soda with water and drinking it before the fizzing stops prove it to be advantageous in healing acidity problem
10) Ginger: The neutralizing and anti-inflammatory properties of ginger help in alleviating the problem of acidity. Drinking a ginger tea or simply chewing a slice of ginger can provide a desired effect on the acidity
11) Fennel seeds. The carminative properties of fennel help in providing relief from the symptoms of acidity. Simply chewing fennel seeds or drinking hot water with fennel seeds can help in attaining the desired positive effect.
12) Cold milk: Drinking cold milk also helps in relieving the symptoms of acidity and works from the root cause by neutralizing the acid produced by the lining of the stomach which is essential for digestion of food. The gastric acids within the stomach get neutralized by the cold milk.
When should you see a gastroenterologist for acid reflux?
Though acid reflux is common in all, do visit a gastroenterologist if the symptom is recurrent. This potential condition will not disappear on its own. Untreated acid reflux or GERD will lead to oesophageal inflammation, ulcers and cancer too.
Immediately consult a doctor when
1) Symptoms persist for more than 6 weeks
2) Decreased appetite
3) Heartburn with nausea and vomiting
4) Unable to swallow
5) Chronic hoarseness and wheezing
6) Nighttime symptoms that affect the quality of sleep.
During the visiting doctor will examine your oesophagus, stomach and duodenum to determine the cause and will provide you with the treatment.
Follow these home remedies and include them in your daily diet to get relieved of the symptoms of acidity in the long run.