by Marshaneil Soumi D'Rozario | 24TH AUGUST, 2019
Acidity is a common phenomenon plaguing our banal life. Hardly, people realize that unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyle choices is responsible for this condition. Our stomach usually produces gastric acids which aids in digestion.
The corrosive effects of these acids are balanced by the production of prostaglandins and natural bicarbonate which are secreted in the mucous lining. This damages the stomach lining and causes acidity.
Acidity causes signs such as ulcers in the stomach, gastric inflammation, heartburn and dyspepsia. Excerpts from Dr. Srivenu Itha, MD of the Cygnus Institute of Gastroenterology.
1. What is acidity or acid reflux?
Acidity in the stomach is the result of excess gastric acid production that may cause heartburn and other problems. Acidity is of two kinds, one is heartburn and the other is dyspepsia. It can happen in two compartments, one is the chest compartment, resulting into heartburn and the abdominal compartment. The chest compartment experiences reflux, heartburn, and chest pain. Heartburn is caused due to the acid reflux into the food pipe. On the other hand, acidity leads to abdominal burning, bloating, indigestion and constant belching.
2. What are the major causes of acidity?
There are various factors causing acidity of the stomach. These include diet, lifestyle, obesity or excess weight, intake of other medicines or the h.pylori infections:-
Diet: Unhealthy diet like eating spicy or oily food, overeating and eating late night dinners can cause acidity. Fewer intakes of vegetables, fruits, fiber, nuts and salads, drinking excess fruit juices, sodas, alcohol, beverages and cold drinks can increase the symptoms. Preference should be given to fruit over fruit juices as it will cause heartburns. Sleeping immediately after eating should be completely shunned. Eating after regular intervals and cutting down on water intakes to 100ml to 200ml per meal is advisable.
Lifestyle: Lifestyle Changes should be encouraged, adequate sleep approximately 7 to 8 hrs should be taken. Regularity of sleep is extremely important. Rising and sleeping at the same fixed time needs to be maintained. More stress leads to more acidity. When you are stressed out the acid production in your stomach will be more.
Obesity or excess weight: Lack of physical exercise will make you prone to acidity. Do physical exercise regularly and properly. We need to balance our lifestyle.
Medicines: Some medicines can lead to acidity. Indigestion can lead to a damage of the intestine. Older people, consume more aspirin kind of medicines which can lead to acidity. Acidity is a combination of factors. Medicines cannot tie down the factors for long.
H.Pylori Infections: It is a bacterial infection. H.Pylori is normally present in a normal individual. It causes ulcer to some. An endoscopy is conducted on patients to check the presence of this infection. Finally, the treatment is given.
4. Can mental stress aggravate acidity?
The most sensitive part of the body is the stomach and intestines. They react to your emotions. There is a link between your brain and the intestines. When you are stressed you are exhausted or fatigued it causes anxiety to your brain. Similarly, the intestines respond by showing anxiety. When stressed out the output and efficiency becomes less. The intestines also work less and erratically under mental stress. People might face abnormal stool, bloating or constipation in these situations.
5. Can consistent acidity problem lead to serious problems in future?
Acidity cannot lead to serious problem. It is only the fear in the minds of the patients that brings them to a doctor. It has no long lasting effects. It is a harmless entity but emotional anxiety can enhance it. One needs to adopt corrective measures to stop acidity from recurring. The cause needs to be identified for treatment.
6. Please suggest any immediate relief from acidity at home?
Over the counter medicines like Gelusil, Digene can be consumed but overuse of these medicines should be restricted. Using these medicines once a week is acceptable but over usage can affect your kidneys and can have a long term side effect. Correcting all the possible factors responsible for acidity can cure your acidity permanently.
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