Each of us, at some point, has experienced that uncomfortably strong heartburn sensation in our tummy and chest. You may have particularly felt this after a heavy meal outside or a long night of partying. It becomes difficult to even lie down and all you want to do at such a time is gulp down ice cubes to calm your insides! If you can relate to this, well, that’s what acidity feels like.
Every time we eat food, gastric juices, which mainly comprise of hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes, are secreted into the stomach which help in digestion of the food. Sometimes, the body produces too much of this juice than what is required which causes the excess fluid to reflux into the food pipe or oesophagus. This backward flow of the gastric juices is called acidity or acid reflux. It can trigger symptoms like discomfort or burning sensation in the chest area, known as heartburn. Khatte dakaar or regurgitation occurs when the discomfort reaches the throat area, due to the build-up of bitter/sour acids in the throat or mouth. Other symptoms of acid reflux can be difficulty in swallowing, bad breath, restlessness, nausea, belching, indigestion and constipation.
As the food gets digested, gases are produced in the system as a part of the process which usually pass out in form of burps or flatus. It is a general phenomenon but it can be embarrassing at times, if accompanied with foul smell. In some aggravated situations, when there is excess gas production and/or the gas isn’t able to pass out of the system fully it can cause severe abdominal discomfort. The abdomen would feel swollen up, tight or too full, a condition known as bloating. Often bloating is thought as water retention though both are different terms. It is often caused by some particular foods which doesn’t go well with the system. Therefore, the cause for bloating is very individualistic.
Acidity is a very common ailment in India that has led to anyone and everyone becoming a self-proclaimed expert. However, we mostly hear people talk about people’s struggles with acidity and the home remedies for acid reflux that work for them.
But what is acidity really and what causes it? Is it food-related or lifestyle-related? Does our emotional and mental state play a role in acidity? Could we be feeling acidic and not even know about it? There are many questions about acidity and that many more answers available but which advice should you be listening to?
Let’s start from the very beginning. It’s important to understand what is acidity exactly. If you experience a burning sensation just below the chest area and above the stomach, you are experiencing acidity. Acidity has other names too. It is also known as Acid Reflux, Heartburn, Acid Indigestion and Dyrosis.
So what causes this burning sensation? Whenever we eat, our stomach produces certain acids that help kill germs and break down the food. At times, our stomach produces an excess of this acid, which then moves up the food pipe or esophagus. This extra acid is what causes the burning sensation that is called acidity.
Acidic Foods to Avoid
Apart from extra acid produced by your stomach, at times our eating habits and choices actually make acidity worse. So if you are prone to acidity, it’s best you stay away from spicy foods and over consumption of alcohol and cigarettes. Check with your doctor if a certain medicine prescribed to you worsens acidity.
Apart from this, pregnant women, obese individuals and women nearing menopause also tend to experience acidity more often.
The best and most important way for a gradual acidity cure is keeping yourself informed& updated. So stay tuned for more acidity-related information.