Have you ever felt a burning and pain in your throat and stomach? Did you ever wonder what does it mean? How is acidity caused? Read on this point-by-point write-up to get in detail about the condition.
We often hear people saying, ‘I have acidity problems.’ And, they immediately take an antacid for instant relief. Taking a pill for your problem is not a permanent solution either. It could give you temporary symptomatic relief, but, it cannot treat the problem from its root cause.
Before consuming over the counter pill, it is essential to understand the cause behind your suffering. Understanding your body signals allows you to cure it without visiting any doctor or hospital.
What is Acidity?
Your stomach naturally produces gastric or hydrochloric acid (HCl) to help digest and break down food. And the acidity arises when there is excess production of these acids.
In our body, different parts could have different pH. Like, the stomach linings have pH in the range of 1 to 3. This acidic pH helps to withstand a high acidic environment. Whereas, our esophagus has pH ranging in the value of 7.
When the feel the acidity arising, it means the excess acid may move up from your stomach to your esophagus. Hence, you may experience symptoms such as a burning sensation in the chest when this pH drops below 4.
Normally gastric glands in our stomach secrete hydrochloric acid to break down the food. It becomes a hitch when it is secreted in excess or when you skip a meal. Due to this, acid from the stomach starts coming up.
Here are the major causes behind acidity;
- Unhealthy eating habits like skipping meals, irregular meal timings, eating just before sleep, low fiber diet, or high intake of salt can be the reasons.
- Excessive consumption of several foods like tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, and eating more heavy, oily, and deep-fried things.
- Excessive stress
- Lack of sleep
- More consumption of raw onion and citrus foods
- Smoking or frequent consumption of alcohol
- If the person has some stomach disorders like gastroesophageal reflux disease, tumors, or peptic ulcers, it could also be the reason for forming acidity.
- Several medications like antibiotics, antihypertensive, or anti-depressants drugs can induce acidity.
Also called Reflux, acidity is a condition characterized by heartburn that is felt around the lower chest area, a burning sensation in the chest, and pain (1).
When acidity symptoms occur more than twice a week, your doctor may diagnose you with Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
- Burning sensation and pain in the stomach, chest, and throat.
- Frequent burping or hiccups for no apparent reason
- Difficulty swallowing or the sensation of food being stuck in your throat
- Regurgitation: Prolonged sour taste in the mouth or bitter-tasting acid that backs up into your throat and mouth
- Post-meal heaviness
- Bad breath
If you observe Hyperacidity, there are several symptoms like
- Severe discomfort in the upper abdomen
- Bloody or black stool
- Dry cough or sore throat
- Some people may observe weight loss for no specific reason
There are several risks involved if the chronic acidity observed for longer duration or frequency.
- Esophagus Damage – When acid moves back up and enters the esophagus, it sets the stage for esophageal ulcers, oesophagitis, esophageal strictures, and Barrett’s Oesophagus. Sometimes, an increased risk of esophagus cancer.
- Acid reflux can wear down the enamel of your teeth and lead to cavities.
If you are suffering from acidity every other day, and unable to understand its cause, visit a doctor for better supervision and guidance.
Natural Remedies for acidity
Though it is a common problem that most of us face at least once in our life, we would recommend trying out home remedies before consulting your doctor. It is most important to keep your digestive system on track.
If your digestion is good and you are eating nourishing meals on time, you can easily keep acidity at bay.
On the other hand, if your digestion is weak, your system will not be able to process even light food items. It could lead to various digestion related problems.
Due to the weak digestive system, when food is not digested well, it leads to such problems as acidity, constipation, heaviness in the stomach, burps, etc.
- A glass of warm or lukewarm water every morning, and after every meal
- Include a fiber-rich diet in your food
- Fresh lime juice before an hour of your meal
- A glass of buttermilk could help to ease the acidity
- Munching basil leaves or boiling them in water and drink
- Eat more food items like banana, cucumber, yogurt, and cold milk
- Coconut Oil – 2 glasses a day
- Watermelon Juice during breakfast
- Consuming apple cider vinegar with a glass of water every day can be a great remedy.
Amla is a coolant fruit which helps to relieve acidity. It is rich in fiber, Vitamin C, and various antioxidants. Due to this, it helps to improve digestion and cure acidity.
How to consume it?
- 1 teaspoon amla powder
- 100 ml of water
- Drink 100 ml water mixed with one teaspoon amla powder two times a day one hour before your meals.
- When amla is in season, instead of amla powder you can consume one fresh amla fruit every day.
- Amla powder is readily available in any local Ayurvedic shop or grocery store. If not possible, you can order it from amazon. The link to order is below.
Must read – 8 ways to get rid of acid-forming foods
Licorice Root herbal drink
Licorice is rich in compound glycyrrhizin, which helps to relieve constipation, heartburn, acidity, and other digestive issues.
How to use it?
- 1 small licorice root, dry
- 1 cup of water
- Combine licorice root and water in a saucepan.
- Boil it for five minutes.
- Strain and pour it in a cup.
- Serve it hot.
Licorice root is also available in local Ayurvedic shops or grocery stores. If not available at local shops near your place, you can order licorice tea from the amazon.
- Do not drink more than twice a day.
- Avoid drinking licorice tea if you are suffering from high blood pressure.
Must read – 24 most-hydrating drinks to boost your immunity
You can support and improve your digestive system by consuming spices like
- Cumin seeds
- Carom seeds
How to use it?
You can either use them in your cooking or boil it in water for better and quick results.
- ½ teaspoon ginger, freshly grated
- ½ teaspoon cumin seeds
- ½ teaspoon carom seeds
- ½ teaspoon coriander seeds
- ½ teaspoon fennel
- 200 ml cup water
- Combine all the ingredients in a saucepan.
- Boil until it reduces to 100 ml.
- Consume in the morning and evening one hour after your meals.
Do not drink it more than once in a day. Because of the heating potency, these spices may aggravate the heat, which can increase acidity. Avoid drinking it in extremely hot weather.
- Drink 8 glass of water at right time every day
- On-time eating habits. Basically, you have to improve upon irregular eating patterns.
- Quit smoking and minimal alcohol consumption is recommended
- Avoid sleeping just after your meal. Avoid sleeping on your right side.
- Live stress-free life
- Follow the mindfulness approach to stay active
- Keep your weight healthy.
I can understand, this is the pandemic situation and we have been gifted with a chunk of disturbances on physical, financial, and mental levels.
Acidity is not a severe condition. But it needs attention.
I will urge you to have several change-overs in your routine and adopt a healthy lifestyle to lead a healthy life. You just need to call for Healthy eating, Fitness, and a Stress-free approach.