How Does Acidity Occur?
Acidity problem arises when the gastric glands of the stomach secrete excess acid, namely, hydrochloric acid. This acid helps in the breakdown and digestion of the food we eat and when excess hydrochloric acid is produced, we tend to have acidity problem.
Types of Acidity
Acid Reflux: There are two types of acid reflux:
- Upright Acid Reflux: Upright acid reflux takes place throughout the day, every one hour when you are sitting up.
- Supine acid flux: This form of acid reflux usually occurs during the night time when the acid flows to the esophagus twice. During the night time, we often find ourselves lying down, so the acid is likely to travel backward. Consult a doctor before your supine acid reflux worsens.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): GERD is a chronic form of acid reflux that occurs throughout the day, every one hour and is basically caused by the malfunctioning sphincter. A sphincter is a ring-like muscle that maintains both contraction and relaxation of the natural body passage as required by the normal human body for proper functioning. When the lower esophageal sphincter is unable to close properly, content of the stomach goes back to the esophagus.
Symptoms of Acidity
Dyspepsia and heartburn are the main symptoms of acidity. Heartburn often occurs after you take your meals and is further aggravated if you indulge in heavy weight lifts resulting in intra-abdominal pressure.
Although you might experience different forms of acidity, symptoms of both the types may appear to be common. Common symptoms of both supine and upright acid reflux include ulcers, sinusitis, hoarseness, tooth decay. Chronic supine reflux can lead to extreme chest pain, numbness in the arms and jaws, long-term damage to the stomach and respiratory tract.
Apart from this, coughing, sore throat, problem in swallowing, and stomach ulcers are the common symptoms of GERD.
Treatment for Acidity
Here are seven ways that will help treat your acidity problem:
- Maintain a healthy Diet: It is important to maintain a proper eating habit. Consumption of spicy, processed food, junks, and high-fat food is not recommended. Eat slowly and chew your food properly.
- Quit smoking and avoid alcohol consumption as it aggravates the heartburn problem.
- Diagnose yourself and visit a doctor. Some of the clinical tests that will be conducted include x-rays, blood tests, and endoscopy.
- Few tips that you can follow to prevent indigestion include: (a) avoid exercising with a full stomach (b) do not wear tight fitting clothes while sleeping (c) wait for at least three hours before going to bed.
- Your body weight also plays an important role. Extra body weight places pressure on the lower esophagus (LES) sphincter that can cause it to weaken over time. If the LES fails to close properly, then you are likely to suffer from acid reflux.
- Acute stress and anxiety over a period of time can lead to acidity. There are some relaxation techniques which you can follow to overcome stress and anxiety.
- Intake of dietary supplements like calcium and digestive enzymes, available in health food stores and drug stores can ease acidity.
Most of us might perceive that acidity is a surficial problem, but when worsened it leads to severe health related issues like ulcers. Therefore, it is advisable to be aware of the symptoms and work towards a proper treatment regimen to root out acidity, once for all.