Acidity or "Jalan" is linked to heartburn and formation of gas and bloating in the stomach. It is also called acid reflux or GERD (Gastro esophageal reflux disease). In Ayurveda it is known as 'Urdhvag Amalpitta' . In this disease there is upper movement of gastric juices from the stomach towards esophagus. These juices are Acidic due to the HCl (Hydrochloric acid) secreted from the walls of the stomach.
When Pitta Dosha is aggravated , it causes acidity. When along with aggravated Pitta , Kapha dosh gets mixed up it causes heart burn or we can say - Hyperacidity. Then this leads to the rise of acids in to the esophagus. This is exactly what the
Causes of Hyperacidity:
Excessive production of acids in stomach is defined as
- Excessive and uninhibited use of the fast/junk foods and oily or spicy foods.
- Anxiety, stress, depression and anger
- Irregular eating habits.
- Taking more of Maida( Fine wheat ) products like kulche, Whie bread.
- Excessive use of leafy veggies.
- Immediately sleeping after meals.
- Drinking of excessive water with food.
- Sleeping very late and long working hours.
- Excessive intake of the caffeine and nicotine beverages and products.
- Constipation and dehydration.
- Carbonated drinks like Cold Drink .
- Foods which are rich in fats, such as chocolates cause acidity or acid reflux diseases.
- Excessive intake of alcohol.
- Smoking and staying empty stomach for long time.
- Skipping breakfast also causes acidity.
- During pregnancy and with aging or obesity heartburn problems are observed.
- Bad and irregular eating habits also cause acidity or heart burn.
Symptoms of Hyperacidity:-
- Flatulence (burping or/and belching) .
- Nausea, vomiting, and loss of desire to eat , no appetite.
- Pain in upper abdomen after meal.
- Heartburn and sour belching.
- A sense of abdominal full, distenting or 'bloating'
- Blood vomiting / blood in stool may occur in extremely severe cases
- If gastritis persists for long duration there can be signs of anemia due to less absorption.
Diet recommendation for hyperacidity:
Chasing symptoms with antacids and other medication can be a dead-end street .What to eat , when to eat and how much to eat is an important factor in controlling acidity. The following tips can be helpful:
- The diet should consist of milk with little sugar, and old rice in small quantity at a time.
- Other recommended dietary foods are: barley, wheat, rice (at least one year old), green banana,pomegranate, cucumber, bitter gourd, pumpkin, and cow's milk.
- Eat dinner /supper two hours before sleeping as it gets digested and keeps you healthy.
- Fibers are necessary in the diet as they help in the digestion and avoid constipation.
- Take a balanced diet.
- Eat small meals at a time as it help in early digestion.
Avoid following things in diet :
- Eating fried, fatty, junk foods, and excessive chocolates.
- Foods that are rich in oils and fats. These foods are difficult to digest, so they can make the stomach work to release more acids.
- Consuming sour or stale foods as they already have acidic contents.
- Acidic foods to be avoided are pickles, tamarinds, vinegar, etc. Sweet curd is good for stomach.
- Eating Red meat. Eat only once or twice a month , if needed.
- Too much drinking of tea and coffee can cause hyperacidity. Same is true for other addictions such as excessive smoking and alcohol .
- Drinking water immediately after taking the meals is not good.
- Avoid taking your next meal until the previous meal has ingested.
- Consuming fine wheat (Maida) / Backery Products.
- Taking the frozen foods and chilled drinks.Also avoid chilled water. You can take normal water.
Self Management of Hyperacidity :
Lifestyle Changes in Hyperacidity: Many factors are responsible for good and balanced digestion. Here are some tips to improve your digestion :
- Food must be fresh and you should prefer food grown locally. Take seasonal fruits and vegetables.
- Food should be prepared with a loving and caring attitude.
- Food must be eaten with attention and awareness. Don't do any other work while taking food. Avoid Television also during meal time. Our sense of taste ignites the digestive fire before food ever reaches the stomach.
- Being distracted with books, driving, computers, and phones during a meal negates any hope of a balanced digestive process.
- Eating is best done during Pitta period, between 10 A.M. and 2 P.M.; during this period enzymes are the strongest and digestion will be more effective and easy . Eating at other times will compromise the body’s ability to digest and assimilate nutrition and give energy over a long period.
- Don't work or study till late in night. Lesser sleep will worsen your condition. Get up early and do your works then.
- Avoid immediately sleeping after meal, whether it is a breakfast , lunch or a dinner.
- Walk for half an hour both in morning and evening.
- Don't allow anger to excite your nerves and also beware of anxiety . Don't mess up with your feelings as it leads to generation of harmful or negative hormones.
- Eat easy to digest food. This includes fruits; rice; steamed vegetables; sprouted seeds and grains; well-cooked beans; aged cheeses, yogurt, and cottage cheese; and especially the vegetable juices. Strictly avoid fried food. Stop eating meat.
- Multiple digestive enzyme tablets may help, particularly if you did not follow the advice as above. Betaine hydrochloric acid tablets may also work. Dr. Jonathan Wright's book "Why Stomach Acid is Good for You" says that many people 50 and older need more stomach acid, not less. If your stomach acid is lacking, it can lead to heartburn, indigestion, acid reflux, bloating and gas. Insufficient stomach acid means that pepsin cannot properly digest our protein foods.
- Eat more dried figs, fresh pineapple, and dried or fresh papaya. These foods are loaded with digestive enzymes. Good quality yogurt contains beneficial digestive bacteria.
- Raise your head at night. Sleep on a thicker pillow, or stack up two thin ones. It will be better if you raise your bed by 3 inches from one side where your head is. It will help a lot in avoiding the acid to rise to
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