Acidity is a term used for a set of symptoms caused by excess production of acid by the gastric glands of the stomach. The stomach normally secretes hydrochloric acid which is required for the breakdown and digestion of food we eat. Acidity causes symptoms like dyspepsia, heartburn, gastric inflammation and ulcers in the stomach.
Acidity is generally a consequence of several external factors like eating habits, fad diets, stress, smoking and alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, irregularity in eating pattern. The incidence of acidity is higher in countries where individuals eat more of non-vegetarian, oily and spicy foods. Certain medications like non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s)also predisposes individuals to gastric acidity.
People suffering from acidity feel a burning sensation after eating a meal. Sour belching is also commonly seen. Sometimes, constipation and indigestion is also seen in people having acidity. Acidity can be treated with antacids and mainly by making changes in eating and lifestyle habits. A new technique called endostism can also provide relief from acid reflux. This section offers some really good home remedies for acidity which you can try. You can also read the importance of having an alkaline diet to reduce the symptoms of acidity.
Our stomach produces gastric acids to aid digestion. But, their corrosive effects are neutralised by the production of natural bicarbonate and prostaglandins secreted in the mucous lining. When the production of these chemicals is interrupted then it leads to damaged stomach lining which causes acidity.
- Consumption of spicy and non-vegetarian foods
- Smoking and alcohol
- Stomach ailments like peptic ulcers, gastroesophageal reflux disease, stomach tumors, etc.
- Medications like non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Read more about why acidity is rising among youngsters.
The common signs and symptoms that you might experience are -
- Burning in the stomach
- Burning in the throat
- Sour taste
Here are 10 lifestyle tips to get rid of acidity and heart burn.
Usually, acidity is treated with the help of antacids which contain either magnesium or calcium or aluminium containing compounds. These antacids neutralise the excess acid in the stomach thus providing relief from the symptoms. Read about food dos and don’ts for acidity.
Sometimes, histamine blocking agents (H2 receptor blockers) such as cimetidine, ranitidine, famotidine or nizatidine or proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole and lansoprazole can also be prescribed by your physician. In rare cases, surgery (vagotomy) is performed to reduce the acid sensation. Here's how to relieve indigestion,gas and irritable bowel syndrome with yoga.
Here are 10 home remedies for acidity that actually work -
Here's how to use these home remedies for acidity.
Acidity can be prevented by the following methods:
- Don’t consume spicy food (Read: Pickle with every meal – good or bad?)
- Eat more fruits and vegetables
- Eat small, regular meals
- Consume your last meal at least a few hours before sleeping
- Chew tulsi leaves, cloves, saunf, etc.
- Avoid medications like NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs) and steroids
- Reduce stress
Here are 5 reasons why drinking water during your meals is bad for you.