Acid reflux is when stomach acid splashes up from the stomach into the esophagus. Whereas, GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) is severe or chronic acid reflux that can lead to complications, such as cancer. At the entrance to human stomach is a valve, which is a ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Normally, the LES closes as soon as food passes through it. If the LES does not close all the way or if it opens too often, acid produced by your stomach can move up into your esophagus. This can cause symptoms such as a burning chest pain called heartburn. If acid reflux symptoms happens often, contact your doctor to confirm it is acid reflux what you have.
Acidity is a term used for a set of symptoms caused by excess production of acid by the gastric glands of the stomach. The stomach normally secretes hydrochloric acid which is required for the breakdown and digestion of food we eat. Acidity causes symptoms like dyspepsia, heartburn, gastric inflammation and ulcers in the stomach.
One common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm, a muscle that separates stomach from the chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in our stomach. However, if we have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into your esophagus and cause symptoms of acid reflux disease.
Acidity is generally a consequence of several external factors like eating habits, fad diets, stress, smoking and alcohol consumption, lack of physical activity, irregularity in eating pattern. The incidence of acidity is higher in countries where individuals eat more of non-vegetarian, oily and spicy foods.
Reasons for acidity or acid reflux:
- Eating large meals or lying down right after a meal. Eating a heavy meal and lying on your back or bending over at the waist.
- Being overweight or obsessed and over eating.
- Snacking close to bedtime -eating spicy chips, chips, popcorn, salty foods etc.
- Constantly munching on certain foods- such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy or fatty foods.
- Drinking certain beverages- such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea.
- Smoking habit and drinking alcohol.
- Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications.
- The onset of menopause.
- Extreme stress.
- A history of colitis or ulcers.
- Constipation and less bowl movement.
- Burning in the stomach
- Burning in the throat
- Sour taste
Here are Top Home Remedies for acidity that actually work;
1. Eat and drink slowly. Do not gulp in large amounts of water at once.
2. Boil ginger in water and add honey to the strained liquid and drink to reduce acid and gas formation in stomach.
3. Chewing ginger soaked in lime juice also prevents burps.
4. Buttermilk mixed with fenugreek powder and ginger helps remove gas.
5. Boil few cloves of garlic with cumin seeds in water and add milk and sugar to it.
6. Add cardamom or citrus peels or cloves to tea and boil for 10 minutes before drinking it.
7. Eating papaya regularly prevents gases to form in the stomach.
8. Mix baking soda and lemon juice in water and drink to avoid burps.
9. Soak peppermint leaves in water and drink the mixture. Mint has calming effect on stomach lining.
10. Crush garlic and ginger and add it to milk before consuming it.
11. Do not drink carbonated drinks and avoid using straws for any drinks.
12. Quit smoking – smoking causes acidity and increases ulcer.
13. Avoid those foods that create gas – like cabbage, broccoli, besan powder etc.
14. Drink cold milk: Milk has a high amount of calcium that helps it prevent acid build up and absorbs the excess acid produced, thereby reducing the symptoms of acidity.
15. Cumin seeds: According to Ayurvedic doctors chewing cumin seeds (jeera) has a calming effect on irritated stomach nerves and helps heal ulcers.
16. Cloves: Bite one clove- the pungent taste in the mouth secretes excess saliva, which in turn aids digestion and beats the symptoms of acidity.
17. Indian gooseberry or Amla: Apart from high content of vitamin C, amla is also kapha and pitta pacifier. Consuming raw or dry powder of amlas helps in healing the injured stomach lining and oesophagus.
18. Centella leaves: Indian centella (Hydrocotyl javanica) or Indian pennywort leaves (3-4) can be chewed every morning or if you are familiar with preparing yogurt dishes or chutney using these leaves – then it also helps to reduce acidity.
19. Holy Tulsi: Tulsi leaves known to induce mucous in the stomach and has antiulcer properties. Drink Tulsi and ginger tea once or twice a day to reduce acidity.
20. Eat banana: Banana is rich source of potassium and helps to keep the acid production under control. It also helps in easy digestion and reduces constipation, which is one of the reason for acidity and acid reflux.
21. Yoga: Four yoga poses helps to overcome acid reflux. Bridge pose, plough pose, diamond pose and reclined bound angle pose -all these four poses are highly recommended to overcome acid reflux symptoms.
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