We have all suffered from it at some point or the other. Acidity occurs when there is excess secretion of acids in the gastric glands of the stomach. When the secretion is more than the usual, we feel, what is commonly known as heartburn. This is normally triggered by consumption of spicy foods.
While it is not a major condition like diabetes or heart diseases, the discomfort it causes is equivalent or even more. This article talks about symptoms of acidity and how they can be naturally treated at home, foods that cause acid reflux, how yoga helps relieve acidity and Health Total’s digestion plan.
Signs & Symptoms
Acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the acidified liquid content of the stomach backs up into the esophagus. GERD may damage the lining of the esophagus, thereby causing inflammation. If it is not treated at the right time the excessive acid can weaken the defense mechanism of the stomach lining. Ulcers can be formed in the esophagus and stomach. Some symptoms are:
Heartburn: Heartburn is a burning pain that can move up from your stomach to the middle of your abdomen, chest and eventually move into your throat. Some people are naturally prone to heartburn but in most cases, it is not so. Heartburn related to GERD can be accompanied by bloating of the stomach.
Dyspepsia: It is an uncomfortable feeling in the upper middle part of your stomach. The pain might come and go, but it’s usually there for most of the time. It is indicated via symptoms such as nausea post meals, bloating, burping and pain in upper abdomen.
Regurgitation: It is basically a feeling of acid coming back up into your throat or mouth. Regurgitation can produce a sour or bitter taste, and you may experience a “wet burp” or even vomit. In extreme cases, acidity can get so bad that surgery is required. Read about these extreme cases here [Ref].
Acid & Alkaline
A balance between acid and alkaline states in the body is important to obtain optimum health. The pH factor indicates the acidity and alkalinity of the body. The acid-alkaline state of the body determines disease states and plays a critical role in body chemistry. The pH scale [Ref] lies is measured using a scale of 0 to 14.
A perfectly normal pH value is 7.0. Any value below this indicates acidity and values above 7.0 indicate alkalinity. This is the level your body aims to maintain as it provides various systems with the appropriate environment to function.
Acidity Lowering Foods
The acidity and alkalinity of foods take the center stage in most diet plans. To reduce the acidic nature of the body, it needs to be turned towards being more alkaline. By adding foods to lower acidity in your body you increase the chances of your body becoming more alkaline. Here is a list of alkaline foods:
|Brussels Sprouts||Baked Potato||Spinach|
|Stringbeans without formed beans|
|Clarified butter (Ghee)|
|Cod Liver oil|
|Bay Leaf||Lentils||Sea Salt|
|Cayenne Pepper||Cashews||Ginger Root|
|Sesame/Sunflower Seeds||Basil||Pumpkin Seeds|
|Granola (unsweetened) Oatmeal||Cilantro|
|Wild Rice||Soy Sauce|
|Sweeteners/Vinegars||Baked Apples (unsweetened)|
|Apple Juice||Grapefruit Juice||Mineral Water|
|Grape Juice||Pineapple Juice||Ginger Tea|
|OrangeJuice||Apple cider vinegar|
Acidity can be easily managed by making a few lifestyle changes. For example, foods that we eat play a major role in managing the acidity levels. Hence, nutrition has magical healing powers. Experts, too, say the best way to get healthier passes through our kitchen as you can easily get relief of acidity the natural way. Here are healthier ways that people affected by acidity should adopt:
Acidity Causing Foods
How acidity is triggered?
|Junk food||Deep fried foods||Foods rich in oil and butter remain in the stomach for a long time and trigger more acid production.|
|Caffeine||Chocolate, tea, coffee & soft drinks||Caffeine containing foods are highly acidic and stimulate the production of gastric acid.|
|Citrus fruits||Lemon, orange, sweet lime & grapefruit||Citric acid in citrus fruits can increase the already acidic medium of the stomach.|
|Alcohol||Wine, beer||Alcohol usually relaxes the muscles, but large amounts can irritate the stomach lining and bring the digestive process to a halt.|
|Soda||Carbonated drinks||The bubbles of carbonation tend to expand once they reach the stomach and create pressure on the esophageal sphincter, causing it to open the wrong way and result in heartburn.|
|Spicy foods||Paprika, vinegar, pepper, chilies & cinnamon||Though moderate amounts of spices are good for the digestive tract, high quantities can stimulate gastrin, resulting in excess hydrochloric acid in the stomach.|
You can say goodbye to acidity by tweaking your lifestyle, especially your diet can influence this acid-alkali balance. Here’s how:
Opt for foods low in fat but high in protein. If given an option to choose between grilled chicken sandwich and paneer sandwich, go for the protein sandwich. Eating at regular intervals is also a trick so that you give something to your stomach acid to keep working on.
It is important to eliminate foods from your acidity diet that cause burning sensation in your throat or bring out the acidity attack. Notice if it makes a difference.
To counter acidity, you need to get at least 8 hours of sleep.
Wearing tight belts can put pressure on your belly. It could make the stomach acid travel upwards into the food pipe and cause heartburn.
One of the most common ailments that affect us is a form of indigestion called acidity where gastric juices are over-produced in our stomach. This can be harmful as they eat away the stomach lining, leading to gastritis. Embarking on a yoga journey can be your first step towards better digestion. Yoga techniques combined with dietary changes can eliminate acidity, balance the functioning of the digestive system and lower stress levels.
Supta badha konasana or reclined bound angle pose: This asana is excellent to support your digestion as the pose relieves gas from the system and also treats chronic acidity.
Setubandhasana or bridge pose: Along with our lack of mindful eating, stress too affects our digestive organs. Hence, de-stressing the mind is as important as strengthening our abdominal organs. Practice back bending postures such as setubandhasana to cool your mind and body.
Halasana or plough pose: This pose is excellent in dealing with acidity. It helps you get a tranquil mind and body that can help control the secretion of gastric juices in your stomach and control acidity.
Vajrasana: Performing this asana for 15 to 20 minutes immediately after your meal can increase blood flow to the stomach and intestines. Vajrasana also aids in the digestion process. If you practice vajrasana regularly, you can clean your entire digestive system.
Health Total Plan
Diet plays an important role in controlling stomach acid. Hence, it is important to eat high fiber meal. Research shows that people who follow high-fiber diet plan are 20% less likely to suffer from GERD.
We recommend including whole grains, fruits, vegetables, beans and nuts in your regular meals. Thin buttermilk, lime water, coconut water, and peppermint green tea help in digestion.
Acidity, known as Amla Pitta in Ayurveda, can strike at any time and at any place. However, the herbal world has remedies for this as well. Not only herbs help soothe the burning sensation of acid reflux, but they also help improve digestion. At Health Total, we use the following herbs to treat acidity:
Amla: Amla is a kapha and pitta pacifier and has a high amount of Vitamin C that helps in healing the injured stomach lining.
Triphala: Triphala has been found effective in treating acidity and acid reflux. It also aids in the normal production of gastric acid.
Avipatikar: It is a classical formula that works wonders for those suffering from hyperacidity and heartburn. Ayurveda recommends Avipatikar Churna due to excess acid. It neutralizes the acid secretion in the stomach.
Kutaj: Kutaj is a useful herbal remedy for treating irritable bowel syndrome. It shows excellent, effective and rapid results. It is a beneficial herbal remedy for diarrhea and dysentery.
Make sure you follow some of these simple home remedies to manage your acidity naturally.
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