Acidity is that burning, painful sensation in your chest known as heartburn which continues for some hours after consuming a meal. Acidity, whether, mild or severe is a common worldwide ailment that is seeing increased numbers of sufferers every year. The major cause is unhealthy eating choices and destructive lifestyle habits which wreak havoc on the digestive process. No matter how long you have experienced the symptoms of acidity, or how mild they are, you should not ignore it. Long term acid reflux can lead to serious complications and prolonged damage may even cause cancers of the stomach or esophagus.
How acidity occurs
The stomach naturally produces acid to kill any germs we might have ingested. It is when too much acid is produced or when acid starts reversing up the food pipe that you experience unpleasant sensations.
Acidity can occur in two primary ways:
i) The muscle which opens and closes the entrance to the stomach remains partially open or opens more than required. This allows the stomach acid to creep up the food pipe
ii) Too much acid is produced in the stomach due to consumption of certain foods, breakdown of which produces excess amounts of acid.
What are the causes of acidity?
Some of the most common causes of acidity are listed below:
• Unhealthy body weight, especially obesity, which causes undue pressure on the entire digestive system
• Overeating or eating large meals. Alternatively, eating heavy meals too close to bedtime
• Midnight snacking
• Consuming certain medications such as Ibuprofen, Aspirin, muscle relaxants or medicine to control blood pressure
• Overindulging in alcohol, caffeinated beverages such as coffee and tea, sugary drinks such as sodas and packaged fruit juices
• Consuming sugary, starchy, spicy food too often and in large amounts
• Not drinking adequate water regularly
• Too little consumption of fresh fruits and vegetables and fresh, healthy, home-cooked fare
How to tell if you are suffering from acidity
The most common symptom is heartburn. However, you may experience some or all of the following in varying degrees:
• Gas formation
• Tasting bile at the back of your throat
• Persistent hiccups for no apparent reason
• The feeling of food being stuck in your throat which doesn’t disappear no matter how much water you drink
• Weight loss
• A sore throat, hoarseness, wheezing and dry cough
• Losing topmost layer (enamel) from your teeth
• Overly dry or flaky skin, hair loss, and brittle nails
Acidity is such that after a time the discomfort does not limit itself to your digestive system but begins showing adverse effects throughout the body. This is because the pH of your body slowly turns acidic, while the optimum pH level for healthy living is slightly alkaline.
Here are some of the most common foods which trigger acidity:
• High-fat foods – Even healthy fats such as the ones contained in cheese, whole milk, nuts, and avocados can cause acidity. This happens if the body is unable to process them effectively. However, people with healthy metabolism who exercise regularly generally escape the ill effects
• Sodium rich foods – Fried and processed food such as takeout meals which are high in artificial flavoring, preservatives, coloring, and salt
• Mint – In some people mint, which is generally considered healthy can irritate the digestive tract and cause acid reflux
• Certain juices – Lemon, orange and grapefruit juice which contain their own naturally occurring acids may increase the overall acid level of the stomach
• Chocolate – One of the regular culprits, chocolate has been seen to increase acidity in patients
• Spicy foods – These irritate the digestive lining while also slowing down the digestive process. A definite no if you want to avoid acidity
• Beverages – Alcohol, coffee, tea, sodas, and sugary drinks
• Whole milk – Milk is commonly recommended as a home remedy for acidity symptoms, but only low fat or skim milk works
Here are the foods which can help combat acidity:
• Green leafy vegetables. For best results, use fresh produce which is lightly steamed or blanched
• Whole grains
• Low-fat cold milk
• Coconut water
• Cumin seeds
• Basil leaves
Here are some lifestyle changes you should incorporate to deal with acidity:
• Instead of three heavy meals, eat smaller portions at regular intervals throughout the day
• Lose weight through regular exercise
• Elevate the head of your bed during the night
• Maintain a gap of at least three hours between dinner and bedtime
• Avoid night time snacks
• Quit smoking
Acidity can be treated by following a healthy lifestyle and eating habits. For relief from acidity, Gas-O-Fast is the number one option. Available in many different flavors, this Ayurvedic medicine will have feeling relief in no time. Experience the soothing sensation immediately and have a discomfort-free day!
Disclaimer This blog solely intended for the educational/informational/awareness purposes and is not a substitute for any professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Please consult your doctor/healthcare professional before acting on the information provided on the blog. Reliance on any or all information provided in the blog, is solely at your own risk and responsibility. Mankind Pharma Limited shall not be held liable, in any circumstance whatsoever.