Acidity: Symptoms, Treatment, and Home Remedies
What Is Acidity?
The esophagus transports the food we eat to our stomach. Acid is produced by the gastric glands in your stomach, which is essential for food digestion. A burning feeling can be felt below the breastbone when the gastric glands produce more acid than is necessary for the digestive process. Acidity is the name given to this state. A condition known as acidity, sometimes known as acid reflux, is characterized by heartburn that is felt in the lower chest region.
Who Gets Acidity?The most typical sign of acid reflux is a discomfort or burning sensation in the chest. While most people experience pain, they are unaware that acidity is primarily caused by bad lifestyle choices.
Symptoms of AcidityThe lower esophageal sphincter, a valve at the end of the esophagus, malfunctions when food enters the stomach, causing acid reflux. Then you experience acid backwash, which causes a sour taste in your mouth and throat after it travels back up through your esophagus. The symptoms of Acidity are:
- Heart Burn: A burning ache or discomfort that may go from your stomach to your chest, abdomen, or even up into your throat is known as heartburn.
- Regurgitation: A backflow of sour or bitter-tasting acid into your mouth or throat
- Dysphagia: Having trouble swallowing or feeling like food is stuck in your throat
- Sudden Hiccups: Frequent burping or hiccups that occur without apparent cause
What Causes the Problem of Acidity?The diagnosis of acid reflux disease is based on symptoms like heartburn, especially if dietary adjustments, antacids, or drugs that block acid diminish these symptoms. But first, let's identify the root causes:
- Abdominal Pressure: The abdomen is under too much pressure. This increased pressure causes heartburn for some pregnant women practically every day.
- Food types: Specific food varieties (such dairy, spicy, or fried dishes) and eating practices.
- Medication: Medication includes painkillers, sedatives, antidepressants, and medications for allergies, high blood pressure, asthma.
- Hiatal Hernia: An abdominal hernia. The upper portion of the stomach protrudes into the diaphragm, obstructing normal meal intake.
Diagnose & Treatment for Acidity
You might have gastroesophageal reflux disease, sometimes known as GERD, if you frequently experience heartburn or acid reflux. You'll need to visit your doctor to find out for sure.
- Endoscopy: To check for damage, your doctor will insert a lengthy, thin tube and a small camera into your digestive tract. It will pass through both your esophagus and throat.
- Ambulatory acid probe test: This test calculates how much stomach acid you have had during the last 24 hours. Your doctor will put a catheter—a lengthy, thin, flexible tube—through your mouth or nose and down your throat.
- X-rays: You'll ingest a liquid called barium that is chalky. It will cover the interior of your stomach, upper intestines, and throat. Your doctor will be able to spot any issues with these organs on an X-ray more easily as a result. The next day, you might feel bloated or a little queasy.
- Manometry: To evaluate how your esophagus moves and how it pushes acid upward, your doctor will insert a long, thin tube into it. Testing of esophageal motility is another name for this.
The treatment for acidity is as follows:
- Over the counter medications: Depending on the results of the examination and testing, your doctor may advise using one or more over-the-counter medications to treat your illness.
- Prescription Drugs: Your doctor might prescribe greater doses of proton pump inhibitors or H-2 receptor blockers if over-the-counter medications haven't relieved your symptoms after a few weeks.
- Changes in Lifestyle: There are a few things you can do to reduce GERD symptoms like heartburn or acid reflux and help prevent other attacks, such as giving up smoking and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Complications of Acidity
GERD can occasionally result in difficulties. Some of them have the potential to be dangerous, particularly if they go untreated. These issues are interconnected in many ways. Let's examine some of the most severe health problems that might result from GERDs in greater detail.
Frequent acid reflux can result in esophagitis, an inflammatory disorder of the esophagus. Swallowing is challenging and occasionally unpleasant due to esophagitis. Additional signs include:
- Unwell throat
- Raspy voice
Esophageal strictures and ulcers can develop as a result of untreated chronic esophagitis. It might also make you more susceptible to esophageal cancer.
2. Esophageal ulcers:
The lining of the esophagus can become damaged by stomach acid, leading to a painful ulcer. Esophageal ulcers are this kind of peptic ulcers. It could result in symptoms like:
A searing sensation in the center of your chest
- Difficulty swallowing
3. Barrett's esophagus:
The lining of the esophagus may undergo cellular alterations as a result of ongoing damage to the esophagus brought on by stomach acid. Men are typically affected almost two times as frequently as women. There is a small chance that these gland cells will develop into malignant tumors and lead to esophageal cancer.
4. Esophageal cancer:
Adenocarcinoma of the esophagus is a specific kind of esophageal cancer that is somewhat more common in those with GERD. The symptoms of this malignancy, which affects the lower section of the esophagus, include:
- Having trouble swallowing
- Loss of weight
- Chest pain
- Nausea and indigestion
- Terrible heart burn
Precautions for Acidity
You may be able to reduce acid reflux and prevent complications by adopting the following habits:
- Don't eat specific things: Reflux is more likely to result from foods that are greasy, fatty, acidic, and spicy. Other foods with a history of causing reflux include peppermint, tomato sauce, garlic, onions, citrus fruits, and dark chocolate.
- Modify your dietary patterns: Try to consume your meals at least two to three hours before you lie down or head to bed. This will give your digestive system some time to process the meal you just ate. Furthermore, consuming smaller meals and chewing thoroughly can help prevent excessive reflux.
- Reduce your weight: Being overweight in the centre of your body might force your stomach up, which makes it simpler for acid to rise into your esophagus.
- Limit your consumption of alcohol and caffeine: Caffeine and alcohol both contribute to acid reflux.
- Give up smoking: The sphincter that separates your esophagus from your stomach must close properly once food enters your stomach, which is more difficult when you smoke.
- Sleep with your angle: Place some blocks under the head of your bed if acid reflux and heartburn occur at night so that your upper body is a little higher than your stomach.
- Dress more loosely: Additionally compressing your abdomen, tight-fitting clothing might push the contents of your stomach upward.
Side Effects of Acidity
Most of the time, occasional acid reflux isn't linked to serious or long-lasting consequences. Acid reflux can cause esophagitis, ulcers, strictures, aspiration pneumonia, and Barrett's esophagus if it happens regularly and is not addressed. Here are some of the side affects you may face if you have acidity.
- A cough or hiccups that keep coming back: Gastroesophageal reflux, in which stomach acid flows up into the food pipe, can be brought on by persistent hiccups.
- A hoarse voice: Because of Acidity you voice can feel very uncomfortable, or your voice will sound breathy, raspy, or strained, or will be softer in volume or lower in pitch
- Bad Breath: Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach contents into your esophagus, including unprocessed food, bile that has been regurgitated, and stomach acids. This might result in unpleasant breath.
- Bloating and Feeling Sick: Bloating, discomfort, feeling overly full, nausea, and gas are typical symptoms. It typically occurs after eating or drinking. A change in lifestyle can frequently be beneficial. Medical problems including gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are among the other causes.
Home Remedies for Acidity
Here are some methods to lessen and even prevent your symptoms if you're looking to stop acid reflux or get rid of heartburn quickly:
1. Eat a ripe banana first:
A banana has a high potassium content, making it a relatively alkaline food. And because of this, your esophagus may not be as irritated by stomach acid, claims the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics.
2. Keep a food diary and stay away from trigger foods:
As previously noted, specific meals and beverages can cause heartburn and acid reflux. By keeping a food and symptom journal, you can help identify the precise items that are most likely to cause you problems.
3. Refuse to overeat or consume food too soon:
Being mindful of your mealtime portion sizes can help prevent heartburn.
4. Steer clear of eating just before working out, eating before bed, and late meals:
A full stomach when lying down might cause acid reflux and aggravate heartburn symptoms. To give your stomach enough time to empty before night, avoid eating three hours before going to sleep. Additionally, you might want to wait at least two hours before working out.
Food to Avoid For Acidity
1. Fast food:Fried or high-fat foods are frequently thought to cause acid reflux attacks and aggravate GERD symptoms. Esophageal sphincter relaxation and delayed stomach emptying caused by fatty foods increase the risk of acid reflux.
2. Dairy Products:
Consuming dairy products made from cow's milk is one of the most prevalent causes of acid reflux, in both GERD sufferers and non-patients. Dairy consumption has been associated with GERD, and although it doesn't directly cause acid reflux, it can exacerbate some symptoms.
3. Fatty Meat:
Fatty meat may make acid reflux worse. Because they take longer to digest, the stomach doesn't empty as quickly, which increases the risk of acid reflux. Additionally, eating fatty foods.
4. Citrus Fruits:
Because citrus fruits contain a lot of citric acid, eating them causes your stomach to produce extra acid. As a result, your stomach feels fuller, which raises the possibility of reflux.
What If Medication or Lifestyle Changes Don't Help?
A general practitioner (GP) may recommend you see a specialist for one of the following conditions:
- 1. Diagnostic tests to determine the source of your symptoms, such as a gastroscopy where a thin tube with a camera is passed down your throat.
- 2. A procedure called a laparoscopic fundoplication, which is performed on the stomach to reduce acid reflux
When Should I See My Doctor?
If you get acid reflux symptoms two or more times per week or if medicine doesn't provide long-lasting relief, it's time to visit your doctor. The diagnosis of acid reflux disease is based on symptoms like heartburn, especially if dietary adjustments, antacids, or drugs that block acid diminish these symptoms.
Acidity Related FAQs:
Q1. What Is the Role of Acid in Our Stomach?
Your stomach's lining produces stomach acid, also known as gastric acid, which is a watery, colorless fluid. Due to its strong acidity, it aids in the simpler digestion of meals. As food travels through your digestive system, this makes it easier for your body to absorb nutrients.
Q2. Does Poha Cause Acidity
Poha is regarded as a food that generates acidity, thus yes, it can induce acidity.
Q3. Is Pudin Hara Good for Acidity
According to Indian Ayurveda, Pudin Hara, an Ayurvedic medication for indigestion, gas, and acidity, comprises Pudina Satva as its primary constituent and is believed to provide prompt relief from stomach conditions like indigestion, gas, and stomach pain.
Q4. Is Curd Rice Good for Acidity
In Carrot Curd Rice, you'll see that the proportion of alkaline vegetables is significantly higher than the amount of rice, which is a great step to prevent and reduce acidity. Since curd contains probiotics, it may reduce stomach acidity.
Q5. Is Clove Good for Acidity
The carminative effects of clove enhance peristalsis. When a clove is bit, its strong flavor causes a lot of saliva to be secreted, which helps with digestion and combats acidity.
Q6. How to Treat Acidity Headache
It may be possible to get rid of acid reflux and headaches with simple lifestyle adjustments and over-the-counter drugs. Your doctor may recommend drugs to treat both symptoms if these are insufficient.
Heartburn is a bothersome condition that can be brought on by several different things. Making a few easy modifications to your food and lifestyle may also be helpful, even though there are numerous drugs and therapy alternatives available to reduce heartburn.
With DPU Hospital, Get Your Acidity Issues Resolved!
Visiting a GERD specialist may be helpful if lifestyle modifications are unsuccessful in curing certain GERD symptoms. Medical testing that identifies the underlying reason for your symptoms can be performed by a GERD specialist. They can also offer suggestions on how to manage GERD. Visit the DPU Hospital, where our patients' care and requirements are our top priorities. The digestive tract, the liver, and related illnesses fall under the purview of our gastroenterology department, a medical super specialization. Should you be worried about GERD. Our medical professionals are here to help you get back to living healthily.