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#1 2023-07-09 00:04:48

Jai Ganesh
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Registered: 2005-06-28
Posts: 46,703

Acidity

Acidity

Gist

Acidity is a medical condition that is caused due to excess production of acid. This acid is produced by the glands of the stomach. Acidity causes signs such as ulcers in the stomach, gastric inflammation, heartburn, and dyspepsia.

Summary

Acidity or acid reflux is a common problem that most of us face, some on a day-to-day basis. Most times, acidity is accompanied by gas. The reverse can also be true. The most common cause of acid reflux is the consumption of unhealthy food accompanied by alcohol and smoking. Food that has a lot of fat and spice results in a burning sensation in your chest, which is a common symptom of acid reflux.

When the symptoms are mild, home remedies aid in relieving the discomfort caused by the excessive acid produced. You can also take control of acid reflux with few lifestyle changes. But if the symptoms are severe, you may need immediate medical attention.

Acid reflux is not a severe condition. But chronic acidity can cause other health problems that can damage the esophagus. Acidity can be confused with other chest-related problems that can be fatal. It is advised to visit your healthcare provider if the symptoms of acidity are persistent even after taking medication.

Details:

What is Acidity?

The food we eat goes into our stomach through the esophagus. The gastric glands in your stomach create acid, which is necessary to digest the food. When the gastric glands create more acid than needed for the digestion process, you can feel a burning sensation below the breastbone. This condition is commonly known as acidity.

Acidity, also called acid reflux, is a condition that is characterized by heartburn that is felt around the lower chest area. It is a common condition that occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe.

The most common acid reflux symptom is a burning sensation in the chest or pain. While most people suffer in pain, they do not realize that poor lifestyle choices are the primary reason behind acidity.

When acidity symptoms occur more than twice a week, your doctor may diagnose you with Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Chronic acidity may lead to serious risks that include:

* Esophagus damage: Esophagus is the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach and when acid moves back up and enters the esophagus, it sets the stage for esophageal ulcers, oesophagitis, esophageal strictures, and Barrett’s Oesophagus.
* Esophagus cancer: There is an increased risk of esophagus cancer, which is more likely if you have a history of the condition in the family.
* Cavities/tooth decay: Acid reflux can wear down the enamel of your teeth and lead to cavities.

Causes of Acidity

Acidity is caused due to excess production of acid in the stomach by the gastric glands. Factors that cause acidity include:

1. Unhealthy Eating Habits

* Skipping meals or eating at irregular times
* Eating just before sleeping
* Overeating
* Consumption of spicy food
* High intake of table salt
* Diet low in dietary fiber

2. Excessive Consumption of Certain Food

* Drinks such as tea, coffee, carbonated drinks, soft drinks
* Extremely spicy food
* Fat rich food such as pizza, doughnuts, and fried food

3. Side-effects of Certain Temporary Medications as Well as Existing Medications.

It includes medications such as

* Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs
* Medicines for high blood pressure
* Antibiotics
* Depression and anxiety medications

4. Stomach Disorders

Stomach disorders such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, tumors, peptic ulcers, among others.

5. Other Acidity Causes include:

* Consumption of non-vegetarian food
* Excessive stress
* Lack of sleep
* Frequent smoking
* Lack of physical exercise
* Frequent consumption of alcohol

People who suffer from medical conditions such as asthma, diabetes, and connective tissue disorder are more prone to acidity. It is also a common problem in people who are obese, pregnant women, or women who are nearing menopause.

Acidity Symptoms

Acidity symptoms differ from one person to another. Most things that contribute to gas also lead to acidity meaning gas and acidity symptoms are almost similar.

While the most common acid reflux symptoms are chest pain and burning sensation below the breastbone, there are other symptoms that are uncommon.

Acidity symptoms include the following:

* Burning sensation and pain in the stomach
* Burning sensation and pain in the throat
* Difficulty swallowing or the sensation of food being stuck in your throat
* Frequent burping or hiccups, for no apparent reason
* Burning sensation and pain in the chest
* Regurgitation: Prolonged sour taste in the mouth or bitter-tasting acid that backs up into your throat and mouth
* Post-meal heaviness
* Nausea
* Constipation
* Indigestion
* Bad breath
* Restlessness

Hyperacidity Symptoms Include:

* Heartburn: Persistent pain or discomfort that moves from your stomach to your chest and sometimes even up to your throat.
* Chronic discomfort in the upper abdomen
* Bloody or black stool, often accompanied by bloody vomiting
* Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat
* Weight loss for no apparent reason

While acidity symptoms in the chest are most times diagnosed as acidity, it is always recommended to visit your healthcare provider if the symptoms are persistent.

Your doctor will diagnose either by taking an X-ray of the esophagus and the stomach or with an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy and suggest treatment.

How to Treat Acidity?

Thankfully, acid reflux is a condition that’s quite easy to control. That said, it does require a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Let’s discuss this a little more in-depth.

1. Medication

There are several over-the-counter medications available for the treatment of acidity. And while this may work in the short run, we recommend consulting a doctor and creating a long-term plan of action based on the conditions underlying causes.

2. Sleeping time and position

Maintaining a gap of at least 2-3 hours between your mealtime and sleep time is important. It allows food to digest properly and prevent avoid reflux.

Believe it or not, the height and angle of your bed could actually impact your acidity. This is because you are more prone to developing acid reflux when your stomach is in the same line as your esophagus. To prevent this, raise the head of the mattress by 10 cm – 20 cm by placing a few rolled-up towels at one end of it.

3. Try to lose weight

As touched upon before, obesity could cause severe acidity. Hence, it’s important you take the necessary steps required to prevent it. Start by exercising at least 4 times a week and try to avoid deep-fried, fatty, & relatively unhealthy food by replacing it with a good amount of fiber, protein, and healthy fats.

4. Visit a nutritionist

If you experience heartburn on a regular basis, it is probably a good idea to consult a nutritionist. They will give you a better understanding of the food that triggers you and will help you create a well-rounded diet plan suited to your personal requirements. Diet modifications will not only help in keeping acidity under control but also will help in healthy weight loss over a period of time.

Acidity Treatment

When you visit your healthcare provider, your symptoms are considered to determine whether you have acidity or if it is a complication of some other serious problem This is based on your condition and the depth of the acid reflux problem,

* You will be prescribed an antacid that contains aluminum, calcium, or magnesium
* Your doctor may also suggest the use of histamine blocking agents (H2 receptor blockers) such as cimetidine, nizatidine, ranitidine, and famotidine
* If the condition is severe, they may prescribe proton pump inhibitors
* If the condition is extremely severe, your doctor may suggest Vagotomy surgery that helps to reduce the production of acid in the stomach.

Your healthcare provider may suggest certain do’s and don’ts based on your health, which can help you control acidity.

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It appears to me that if one wants to make progress in mathematics, one should study the masters and not the pupils. - Niels Henrik Abel.

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