What is Acidity? Reasons, symptoms and treatment

What is acidity | reason  | symptoms | how can you test | home remedies | how can you avoid acidity | general precautions

What is Acidity?

Acidity is not a new disease, but its risk level is increasing due to the ill effects of modern lifestyle. When the gastric gland of the stomach starts to escalate the production of acid, then this condition is called acidity. Acidity is generally caused by bad eating habits, stress, smoking, alcohol consumption, lack of exercise and poor lifestyle. 

Apart from this, acidity mostly occurs to those people who consume more non-veg or like to eat oily and spicy food. When a person suffers from acidity, his body shows symptoms like indigestion, gastric inflammation, heartburn, pain in the esophagus, stomach ulcers and burning in the stomach.

Reason of Acidity

Our gut or stomach produces gastric acid which helps in digestion. The corrosive consequences of these acids are balanced by using the manufacturing of prostaglandins and herbal bicarbonates that are secreted into the mucous lining. This damages the lining of the stomach and causes acidity. Other causes of acidity are as follows-

  • Eating excessively chilli-spicy and oily food.
  • Eating more food and going to sleep after having food.
  • Eating again without digesting the food eaten earlier.
  • Consuming more acidic substances.
  • Being hungry for a long time also causes acidity.
  • Not getting enough sleep can also lead to the problem of hyper acidity.
  • There is also a problem of acid reflux in pregnant women.
  • Consuming excessive salt.
  • Sometimes even due to excessive stress, food is not digested properly and there is a problem of acidity.
  • By taking medicines like painkillers for a long time.
  • Excessive consumption of alcohol, smoking and caffeinated substances.

Symptoms of Acidity

Heartburn: Burning in the chest that persists for a few hours after a meal, or a burning pain or discomfort that may extend from the stomach to the chest or throat.

Regurgitation: Acid with a bitter or sour taste will move back into the throat or mouth which eventually leads to sores in some places.

Other Symptoms: Abdominal bloating, frequent belching, difficulty swallowing, persistent hiccups, nausea, vomiting, always feeling full, sore throat, persistent dry cough, restlessness, dyspepsia and unexpected weight loss, hematoma (hematemesis), bloody or black colored stools

How is acidity tested?

Acidity is tested in various ways.  Some of these techniques are given below-

  1. pH Monitoring: It checks the level of acid in the esophagus. an instrument is inserted into the esophagus by the doctor; It is left there for two days to measure the amount of acid in the esophagus.
  1. Barium Swallow: It helps in detecting narrowed esophagus and ulcers. A solution will have to be followed and then an X-ray will be taken
  1.  Endoscopy: A long, flexible lighted tube with a small camera at the bottom is inserted through the mouth and with the help of the camera the esophagus is examined for stomach problems. This is done with the help of sedation or anaesthesia.

Home Remedies to Control Acidity

Acidity can be treated with the help of some simple natural remedies.

  1. People who often have this problem, drink a glass of lukewarm water before sleeping at night. Avoid drinking water while eating or just after eating food. Do not eat anything for about 15 minutes after having a meal. When the body needs water, it will automatically ask for it.

  1. Tulsi is a panacea medicine in the treatment of acidity. Chew some basil leaves as soon as there is a problem of acidity. You will get instant relief. Apart from this, decoction can be made by boiling basil leaves in water.
  1. Cinnamon is good for digestion. Put half a teaspoon of cinnamon in a cup of water and bring it to a boil. When it cools down, drink it four to five times a day. Cinnamon can be used in salads or soups.
  1. Buttermilk is also an effective remedy for acidity. Buttermilk contains lactic acid, which helps in normalising acidity. Take buttermilk mixed with black pepper and coriander leaves. Apart from this, taking fenugreek seed paste mixed with buttermilk ends stomach ache caused by acidity.
  1. If there is a lot of burning in the stomach, then chew cmarcogesic oils. Another way to use it is- crush the marcogesic oils and eat the same amount of cardamom mixed with it. This will help in getting rid of the problem of acid.
  1. Apart from this, cumin, ginger, jaggery and fennel, taken in any form, help in acidity.
  1. Milk stabilises gastric acid. Being rich in calcium, milk prevents acidity in the stomach.

Ways to avoid acidity

  • Tomato may be sour but it increases the amount of alkali in the body and its regular consumption does not complain of acidity.
  • Consume a cup of pineapple juice regularly after meals.
  • After waking up in the morning, drink 2-3 glasses of cold water regularly and do not eat anything for about an hour.
  • Minimise the intake of tea and coffee.
  • Instead of eating a lot of food in one go, eat in small quantities 2-3 times.
  • Apart from pomegranate and amla, other citrus fruits should be avoided.
  • Eat papaya fruit for breakfast.
  • Do yoga and pranayama.
  • Do not consume junk food, foods containing preservatives at all.
  • Stay away from oily and chilli-spicy food, eat simple and less spicy food as much as possible.
  • Do not sleep immediately after a full meal. Take food about two hours before bedtime.
  • Make a habit of walking after having food.

Precautions for Acidity

  • Take the following precautions to prevent acidity.
  • Avoid foods that cause reflux ie spicy food, coffee, carbonated drinks, acidic and fatty food.
  • Split your meals. Do not stick to regular food 3 times. Divide it into 5 small portions to avoid pressure and reflux.
  • Do not lie down immediately after eating: Lie or sleep only after at least 2 hours after eating as the food will flow back into the esophagus.
  • Try to eliminate the foods that trigger acidity for a few weeks, check and start again.
  • Excess fat puts pressure on the stomach area, thus pushing gastric juices into the esophagus. If you are overweight then try to lose weight.
  • Try to wear loose clothes in the waist and abdominal region as it can reduce the tension around the areas.
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