The ABC of Acidity

April 29, 2008

Are you one among those who is habitual to gulping and doesn’t remember what it feels like to chew rigorously? Do you insist on having your breakfast on the way to work rather than having it with your wife on the dining? …Or still worse, do you generally skip your breakfast on an excuse to have an early lunch? Any one or more than one of the above could prove to be disastrous on your digestive system. Or who knows, the disaster may have begun already! Read on to know more.

Acidity or hyperacidity is a common symptom which is observed since ages among human fraternity but is commonly neglected to worsen or cause more severe complications. With symptoms like heart burn, headache and burning sensation in the gastro intestinal tract (maybe you, yourself can add more), acidity disrupts the normal routine in ones life to quite some extent.

The food which we eat passes on to the gastro intestinal tract where it is acted upon by digestive juices and acids to break down complex nutrients to simpler forms. Infact, our stomach has acids to the ph level of 1 which actively take part in the first stage of digestion. Since the level of these acids in the stomach is stable and doesn’t vary , fasting for long time periods may result in an acidity attack as the acids in the stomach have no substrate to act upon. Hence, unusual fasting may not actually help your body the way you assume it to! Moreover, the speed at which you eat is also very critical. Gulping down doesnot help in the normal breakdown process as the food is not in the small particle size of digestible substrate but is only in big chunks. Hence, the acids don’t act on these chunks efficiently and the food remains undigested. This calls for problems like constipation, headache and unused acid causes heartburn too. Hence, the faster you may eat, the longer it might take for you to work productively. Another factor which is a rampant reason for acidity attacks is munching on fatty fast foods, spicy meals and other “rajasik” foods. These call for stronger digestive processes which your body may not be used to and hence the food remains undigested.

Conventional Antacid preparations offer a temporary solution to the problem of acidity by neutralizing the excess acid with a base, generally aluminium and calcium hydroxides. More severe symptoms are treated with H2 receptor antagonists to reduce the histamine released in the body and avoid the development of ulcers. However, there is a more productive alternative of trying to restore the normal body digestion by some naturally occurring foods. This would promote body healing naturally and you would do away with borrowed materials from sources other than natural.

Natural Therapy for Heartburn

Drinking 12-15 glasses of water a day would avoid your stomach to be empty for long and hence avoid acidity reflux. Spasms from hypracidity can be relieved by hot compresses of chamomile or lavender in water. These oils reduce inflammation and hence reduce spasms effectively. If compresses don’t benefit you much, massage with pure oil on the abdomen would definitely improve the results. This is on account of the relaxant properties of the oil which soothes the gastrointestinal tract.

Radish is very effective in reducing acids from the blood as the chlorine liberated from radishes drains these out. Fresh juice of radishes, tomato and carrots could provide you this benefit and add tinge to your taste buds as well. However remember to avoid salt.

Fresh lime water with Rock Salt (Himalayan Salt) just before your meals would prevent constipation and hence restore normal digestive processes. Watermelon (Tarbooza), cucumber (Kheera) and coconut water (Nariyal Pani) are all cooling agents and would be an ideal therapy in hyperacidic conditions.

So keep cool, keep going!!

Treating Acidity and the cause

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