What is Acidity?
The food ingested reaches the stomach, and the gastric glands secrete the necessary acids for the appropriate digestion of the food. When these glands secrete more gastric juices than required, the person feels a burning sensation below the sternum or breastbone. This needs medical attention and is commonly known as acidity.
Acidity, in medically termed 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 most typical 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.
Ayurvedic treatment for Acidity and Gastritis
In Ayurveda, hyper-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 to a longer extend.
The disease is classified into two categories as per Ayurveda – Adhogha Amlapitta and Urdhwaga Amlapitta. Both these have distinct symptoms. Treatment at Sitaram for Urdhwaga Amlapitta is Vamana, and Adhoga Amlapitta is Virechana. If the condition is very chronic, doctors also advise Vasti to the patients. Along with the treatments, doctors also suggest ayurvedic medicine for GERD and gastritis at the retreat.
As we understood, acidity occurs due to excess secretion of acids by the gastric glands in the stomach; we have to tackle these by simple diet, lifestyle, and using home remedies for acidity. If not controlled with these, they will have to consult a doctor and take medications.
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 quickly develop acidity symptoms.
- skipping meals or having food at irregular times.
- eating food just before sleep.
- excess consumption of spicy food.
- eating diet less in fibres.
- a long gap between the meals results in an empty stomach, and excess secretion of acid may happen.
- Excessive consumption of particular 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 acidities in the stomach, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, medicines for hypertension, certain antibiotics, anxiety and depression medicines.
- Stomach diseases like GERD, tumours, 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
Healthy eating habits: the foremost step towards acidity treatment is following a healthy eating habit. 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 a minimum of 2-3 hours between the food and sleep. Buttermilk prepared with cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper and coriander leaves gives the best results of acid reflux cure. Add cumin seeds to your regular diet as they work excellently in acid reflux treatment. They are suitable acid neutralizers and aid better digestion.