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Acidity – Symptoms, Home Remedies, Causes and Treatment

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Acidity – Symptoms, Home Remedies, Causes and Treatment

Gastro Sciences | by Dr. Partha Pratim Bose | Published on 17/04/2023



Overview: What Is Acidity?

Acidity, also known as acid reflux or heartburn, is a common condition affecting millions of people worldwide. It occurs when the acid from the stomach flows back into the oesophagus, causing a burning sensation in the chest or throat. This blog contains information about acidity explaining its symptoms, causes, and treatment. Please note that this blog is only for informational purposes and does not replace the significance of a doctor’s consultation.

What Are The Symptoms Of Acidity?

Acidity is often confused with other health conditions which cause similar symptoms. However, it is only after a comprehensive diagnosis, one can really associate the symptoms with acidity. People with symptoms of acidity may experience the following -

  • Burning sensation in the chest or throat
  • Regurgitation of sour or bitter-tasting acid in the mouth
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Bad breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Coughing and wheezing

What Causes Acidity?

Acidity occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which is a muscle located at the bottom of the esophagus, relaxes too much or fails to close properly. This allows the stomach acid to flow back into the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation. Some of the common causes of acidity are - 

  • Eating large meals or lying down immediately after a meal
  • Eating spicy or fatty foods
  • Drinking alcohol, coffee, or carbonated drinks
  • Smoking
  • Being overweight or obese
  • Pregnancy
  • Hiatal hernia, which is a condition where a part of the stomach protrudes into the chest cavity
  • Certain medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood pressure medications

What Are The Treatment Options For Acidity?

Acidity can be treated with lifestyle changes, medication, or a combination of both. It is important to discuss your symptoms with the doctor to know what treatment options are most suitable for you. Here are some of the treatment options for acidity - 

  • Home Remedies - There are several home remedies that can help alleviate the symptoms of acidity. While these home remedies can provide relief from the symptoms of acidity, it is important to consult a doctor if you experience frequent or severe acidity. Your doctor can diagnose the underlying cause of the condition and recommend appropriate treatment accordingly. Here are some foods which can help you relieve mild to moderate symptoms of acidity - 
    • Ginger - Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can help reduce inflammation and irritation in the esophagus. You can chew on a small piece of fresh ginger or drink ginger tea to alleviate the symptoms of acidity.
    • Baking soda - Baking soda is a natural antacid that can help neutralize the acid in the stomach. Mix one teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it to get immediate relief from acidity.
    • Apple cider vinegar - Apple cider vinegar is an acidic solution that can help restore the pH balance in the stomach. Mix one tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of water and drink it before meals to prevent acidity.
    • Aloe vera - Aloe vera is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can soothe the inflammation in the esophagus. Drink aloe vera juice to reduce the symptoms of acidity.
    • Fennel seeds - Fennel seeds are a natural digestive aid that can help prevent acidity. Chew on a few fennel seeds after meals to promote digestion and prevent acidity.
    • Bananas - Bananas are rich in potassium, which can help reduce the symptoms of acidity. Eat a ripe banana to get relief from acidity.
    • Chamomile tea - Chamomile tea is a natural anti-inflammatory agent that can soothe inflammation in the esophagus. Drink chamomile tea before bedtime to reduce the symptoms of acidity.
  • Medications - Over-the-counter antacids, such as Tums, Rolaids, and Maalox, can help neutralize stomach acid and relieve the symptoms of acidity. Proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), such as omeprazole, lansoprazole, and esomeprazole, can also reduce the production of stomach acid and heal the esophagus.
  • Surgery - In severe cases of acidity, surgery may be recommended to tighten the LES and prevent the reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, acidity is a common condition that can cause discomfort and pain. By making some lifestyle changes and taking medication, the symptoms of acidity can be relieved. If you are experiencing frequent or severe acidity, it is important to consult a doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.

FAQs

How to cure acidity permanently?

Acidity can be treated in both natural ways as well as surgical methods. While surgical options aim to treat stomach disorders for long-term benefit, home remedies can be effective to relieve symptoms of acidity. Cold milk, coconut water, black cumin seeds, buttermilk, ginger, etc. can provide long-term health benefits.

How to cure acidity at home?

Here are a few helpful tips for treating acidity at home - 

  • Avoid foods that trigger acid reflux and heartburn
  • Maintain a balanced diet
  • Avoid overeating
  • Avoid late-night meals and eating before exercise
  • Encourage more alkaline foods in the diet
  • Wear loose-fitted clothing
  • Take adequate sleep
  • Stop smoking
  • Reduce stress

What foods to avoid during acidity?

Avoid the following foods which can trigger acidity - 

  • Fried food
  • Fast food
  • Pizza
  • Potato chips and other processed snacks
  • Citrus fruits
  • Chocolate
  • Peppermint
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Chilli powder and pepper
  • Fatty meats
  • Cheese
  • Tomato-based sauces