Acidity

December 01, 2008

Do you have acidity? If you do, just read on before you take your next OTC drug.

Acidity occurs when there is an excess secretion of acid in our stomach. To digest the food eaten our stomach has certain gastric glands which secrete various acids including hydrochloric acid. The enzymes from the stomach act along with these acids to help proper digestion. Normally, the acid level is controlled and an increase in this level leads to acidity, also known as hyperacidity or acid dyspepsia.

Acidity can be mainly caused by the food you eat. Acids are released to the stomach when food enters it. When we eat heavy food items which are not easily digested the level of the acid secreted also increases.  Acidity may occur if you continuously eat such foods and more acid gets secreted regularly. Other factors including stomach ulcers or even cancers may show symptoms like acidity. Hence chronic acidity should not be neglected and left untreated. Heart burn or Acid-reflux may also occur in people who have acidity. Acid reflux is a condition when the stomach acids enter the food pipe causing a burning sensation in the chest and a sour taste in the mouth.

Do not ignore the symptoms

  • Stomach pain
  • Cramps in the stomach
  • Restlessness with nausea and vomiting
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • Constipation and indigestion
  • Fullness in the stomach and gas
  • Stiffness

Proper Care

Watch on what you eat as a precautionary measure. Acidic people should avoid eating spicy and heavy food which might trigger off an attack. Also reduce the intake of citrus fruits like orange or lemon. Some people may develop lactose intolerance. Some people find relief eating a little plain curd with their daily meal or having a glass of warm milk before you sleep while some cannot tolerate milk products at all.

  • Forget oily and fatty foods.
  • Limit spicy foods.
  • Limit red meats.
  • If you have constipation eat fibre-rich foods.
  • Eat food at regular intervals and do not remain hungry. Carry a packet of biscuit or a piece of fruit always.
  • Quit smoking and drinking. It increases the risk of acidity and heart burn.
  • It is wise to avoid beverages like coffee and tea and food items which are sour. For instance, tamarind, pickles, vinegar, curd etc.
  • Help your digestive process by taking a stroll in your garden.

Home Remedies and Ideas

There are umpteen home remedies you can try for acidity. Different people find different remedies helping their individual problems.

  1. Two teaspoon full of Indian gooseberry taken a twice a day is a good remedy for acidity.
  2. Eat a banana and enjoy a glass of warm milk every morning. This may help both acidity and constipation. Also, banana is a great source of instant energy which is highly nutrient.
  3. Crush a piece of ginger, squeeze out some juice and have it along with equal amount of honey. Do this twice a day.
  4. Drink coconut water once in a  while.
  5. Water can be boiled with aniseed and left overnight. Drink a few gulps of the stained solution with a teaspoon honey thrice a day.
  6. Some people like sucking on a clove to fight acidity and nausea.
  7. Chewing holy basil can work great.
  8. Also, if you dare, try eating a piece of raw garlic.

- Aparna K V

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