Acidity is generally caused by an imbalance between mechanisms of the secretion of acid in the stomach, and protective mechanisms that ensure the stomach’s safety. The stomach secretes acidic fluid that helps in digestion process. But when the stomach exceeds the production of the acid by glands present within it, it results in the situation termed as acidity. Acidity is referred to hyperacidity.
Acidity refers to a set of symptoms caused by an imbalance between the acid secreting mechanism of the stomach and proximal intestine and the protective mechanisms that ensure their safety. The stomach normally secretes acid that is essential in the digestive process. This acid helps in breaking down the food during digestion. When there is excess production of acid by the gastric glands of the stomach, it results in the condition known as acidity.
In acidity, there is a movement of gastric juices (carrying acid) from the stomach into the lower esophagus (food pipe). This condition mainly arises when acidic contents in stomach (hydrochloric acid) move upward into the esophagus and making it dysfunctional.
Symptoms of acidity
1. Burning sensation or pain in the stomach after one to four hours of a meal
2. Feel hungry frequently
3. Constant pain in upper abdomen
4. Belching, nausea, bitter taste in mouth, vomiting and loss of appetite
5. Heartburn is characterized by a deeply placed, burning pain in the chest behind the sternum (breast-bone). It occurs after meals and is precipitated by increase in intra-abdominal pressure like straining or lifting weights.
6. Dyspepsia is a burning or an aching pain in the upper abdomen, sometimes described as a stabbing sensation penetrating through the gut.
Causes of Acidity
Due to some problems in the functioning of the digestive system
Sometimes excessive intake of alcohol also leads to acidity
Acidity also arises either by keeping stomach empty for long time or skipping breakfast
Eating foods rich in fats like chocolates also causes acidity
Pregnancy, aging or obesity can also cause acidity
The body secretes bicarbonate into the mucous layer, which neutralizes the acid. Hormone-like substances known as prostaglandins help to keep the blood vessels in the stomach dilated, ensuring adequate blood flow.
Eating junk foods, oily and spicy foods also leads to burning sensation in stomach and
Chest area and causes acidity.
Excessive exposure to sun and heat.
Aspirin and antHnflammatory drugs.
The primary cause of acidity is credited to inappropriate food habits of modern man.
People today hardly ever think about compatibility of food.
Excess acid secretion can also cause acidity and ulcers, when the normal protective lining of the stomach and duodenum (the part of the intestine that joins the stomach), is damaged. The resulting ulcer is called gastric ulcer if it is in the stomach and duodenal ulcer if it is in the duodenum.
Prevention mainly consists of avoiding the known causative factors like alcohol consumption, spicy foods, drugs like NSAID's, steroids etc. Patients with highly nervous and emotional disposition and those involved in high-stress jobs must be given psychological treatment. Avoiding non-vegetarian diets is also useful in minimising symptoms of acidity.
Acidity Treatment and Advice
1. Eat fruits like apple, watermelon and banana
2. Avoid fried food, pickle, hot and spicy food
3. Take your meals on time
4. Drink plenty of water
5. Don’t skip your meals.
6. Avoid garlic, onion, pepper, radish and cabbage
7. Eat green and leafy vegetables
8. Take light meals that make it easy for digestive system to quickly digest the food you eat.
9. spicy, salty and acidic should be avoided.
10.Smoking and alcohol consumption must be stopped.