Often people complain – ‘I have acidity issues.’ But have you ever wondered what it actually means? What are the common symptoms that happen to an individual with acidity? Is the disease curable? For all these questions, we have to understand what is acidity.
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
Acidity and Ayurveda
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. Ayurvedic management can completely cure Amlapitta.