What is Acidity?
The food ingested reaches the stomach and the gastric glands secrete acids which are required for the appropriate digestion of the food. When these glands secrete more gastric juices than required, the person tends to feel burning sensation below the sternum or breastbone. This needs medical attention and is commonly known as acidity.
Acidity, in medically termed as Acid Reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease). In this condition, the patient feels heartburn, around the chest area because the acids in the stomach flow back up into the food pipe. The commonest symptom is a burning sensation in the chest associated with mild to severe pain. When these symptoms last more than a week, it is diagnosed as GERD- Gastroesophageal reflux disease. Chronic acidity may lead to serious health risks.
What are the causes of acidity?
Acidity happens due to excess production of acid by the gastric glands in the stomach.
Factors the leads to acidity include:
- Unhealthy eating habits: Improper eating habits can easily develop acidity symptoms.
- Skipping meals or eating at irregular times
- Eating food just before sleep
- Excess consumption of spicy food
- Eating diet less in fibers
- A long gap between the meals results in empty stomach and excess secretion of acid may happen
- Excessive consumption of certain food
- Excess intake of tea, coffee, carbonated drinks or soft drinks and alcohol
- Extremely spicy food, Junk food, non-vegetarian food items, and fried items.
- Side effects of certain medications
- Some medicines tend to produce acidity in the stomach such as Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, Medicines for hypertension, certain antibiotics, anxiety and depression medicines.
- Stomach diseases like GERD, tumors, gastric/peptic ulcers can also lead to acidity.
- Other causes include
- Excessive stress
- Lack of proper sleep
- Frequent smoking
- Lack of physical exercise
What are the symptoms of acidity?
- Burning sensation and pain in the chest, stomach and occasionally in the throat
- Feeling difficulty in swallowing, or sensation of food getting stuck in the throat
- Lack of appetite
- Repeated burping or hiccups without any particular reason
- Regurgitation: the gastric juices back up to the throat and mouth leading to a bitter taste.
- Feeling very heavy after every meal
- Symptoms of nausea are the most common
- Bad Breath
- Feeling restless
- Dry throat
Ayurvedic approach to Acidity
In Ayurveda, acidity is correlated to Amla pitta. Amla pitta is caused due to imbalance of pitta dosha, where there is a state of increased acidity in the digestive tract that irritates the gastric mucosa. This condition when left untreated leads to an ulcer. Amla pitta causes pain, reduced appetite, burning in the stomach and chest. Acidity treatment in Ayurveda is much beneficial and helps to manage the condition for longer extend.
Best Home Remedies for Curing Acidity
As we understood acidity occurs due to excess secretion of acids by the gastric glands in the stomach, we have to tackle the effect of these by simple diet, lifestyle and using home remedies for acidity. If not controlled with these then will have to consult a doctor and take medications.
Here we are listing a few home remedies for acid reflux –
- Healthy eating habits – The foremost step towards acidity treatment is to follow a healthy eating habit which can easily help to trigger the situation. Avoid overeating as it increases the risk of acid reflux.
It is advised to take food in less quantity at regular intervals. Excess consumption of spicy, hot and sour food should be avoided. Avoid sleeping or lying down immediately after food intake. Leave a gap of minimum 2-3 hours between the food and sleep.
- Ginger tea – Regular use of ginger tea checks the symptoms of acidity. Ginger relives the discomforts in the stomach, including stomach cramps and acid reflux.
Boil the squeezed pieces of ginger in water and consume before the meal. This is one of the best medicine for acidity in stomach.
Cinnamon – Cinnamon acts as a natural antacid to the stomach and helps to settle. It is said to improve the digestion and absorption rate in the body.
Boil the water and add pinch of cinnamon powder and one or two clove buds into it and consume twice daily.
- Buttermilk – Butter milk is one of the best remedies for acid reflux cure. Butter milk has presence of lactic acid which helps to normalize the acidity in stomach.
Butter milk prepared with cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper and coriander leaves gives best results of acid reflux cure.
- Cumin Seeds – Cumin seeds work excellent in acid reflux treatment. They are regarded as great acid neutralizer, helps to aid good digestion and relives stomach ache. Cumin seeds helps to check the symptoms of bloating abdomen also.
- Aloe vera – Aloe vera is very effective in acid reflux treatment. Consume half cup of aloe vera juice before meal once daily. This helps to reduce heartburn as well.