Acidity is a common problem faced by many of us in daily life. People staying in urban area are the major sufferers.
One of my employees faces sudden and frequent bouts of acidity on a regular basis. She wanted to know more about it as the doctors never explained much in detail about this small but irritating problem, so here is the conversation between us:
Q: What exactly is ‘ACIDITY’? and how or why it happens?
A: We all call acidity by different names like pitta, heartburn, acidity, indigestion etc.
Our stomach secretes some amount of acid to digest the food. When this acid is secreted excessively, it gives rise to various symptoms of acidity.
Acidity problem majorly depends on what, how much and at what time you eat. Another reason is living a bad lifestyle. Also smoking, drinking alcohol, tobacco chewing can lead to acidity.
Q: What are the symptoms?
A: Symptoms can vary from burning sensation in stomach, sour blenching, gas formation, headache, nausea to severe abdominal pain, vomiting, discomfort etc.
Q: What to do immediately?
A: one can take antacid, milk, aloe juice, plain bottled soda or even baking soda in water for immediate relief.
Q: What should I do to get rid of it forever?
A: nothing comes instant in life, even this problem took years together to actually show the symptoms. So, have patience and start with changing lifestyle and eating habits.
What to take?- It is very important to have a healthy food which is not processed, packed, full of spices, sour, salty, fermented, pickled, instant, ready Made etc. It means one should have lots of fresh salad, lightly cooked and spiced vegetables, fruits, nuts, dry fruits, sprouts, fresh dahi(yogurt), roti( wheat or any grain), rice etc.
When to take? – start your day with 1 banana. Breakfast which is healthy and heavy is compulsory. After that, one should have something every 3 hourly. DO NOT keep your stomach empty for long time. Avoid milk and milk products, beans, citrus fruits, fermented food at night. Having mix veg soup is the best option for dinner along with something light to eat.
Lifestyle changes- include exercise / yoga / walking / meditation / good sleep / relaxation etc.
Home remedies which will help- soak raisins, fenugreek and sugar cubes at night. Make a juice of it in the mixer and have it empty stomach in the morning.
Triphala powder and avipattikar powder (available at ayurvedic stores) will also help a lot. Aloe vera juice (verynutri.com has many varieties in it) does wonders. Last but not the least, have enough water throughout the day.
Q: Is there any complications in long run?
A: if you don’t take proper care, complications will arise. It includes corrosion of inner lining of gut which leads to improper digestion and thus lack of many vitamins and minerals.
Still if you don’t take care then it leads to ulcers and then also if you are turning blind to your problem then this ulcer (in very few cases) can rupture making hole in your stomach.
There are many other complications also where the esophagus becomes narrow due to frequent acid reflux. This condition is known as Barrett’s esophagus.
So, this was a short introduction to acidity. Hope this will help and encourage you all to take necessary steps to live healthy and happy.