How to Cure Acidity Permanently
Acidity is a medical condition wherein acid is produced in excess in the body. The acid is produced in the stomach by the glands present. Further, the term 'acidity' is generally used to refer to acid reflux, a medical condition wherein acid produced in the stomach moves up and enters the esophagus. The main symptom of acidity or acid reflux is a burning sensation in the chest area or the throat.
In terms of chemistry, acidity is a characteristic of a substance that is acidic in nature and turns blue litmus paper red and acidity is measured on a pH scale.
Acidity causes an imbalance of pH in the body. However, acid produced in the normal range helps digest food as described below:
The food that we eat from the mouth enters the esophagus (food pipe) and from esophagus it enters the stomach. To aid the digestion of food, gastric acid is produced by gastric glands in the stomach. The gastric acid is Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) which not only helps digest the food but also kills germs. The acidity occurs when the gastric glands produce more gastric acid than is required for digestion.
Further, there is a lower esophageal sphincter (LES) at the end of the esophagus where it joins the stomach. The sphincter usually remains closed and prevents the food from moving back into esophagus. But, in some cases, the sphincter does not close properly and the excess acid produced by the stomach bounces up into the esophagus or food pipe actually causing acidity or a burning sensation in the chest area or throat. Generally, the kidneys and lungs are not able to remove excess acid in the stomach and eventually one has to suffer from acidity in this case.
Types of Acidity
Respiratory acidosis: It occurs when more CO2 is present in the body than required. The major causes for this type of acidity are asthma, injury to the chest, obesity, excessive alcohol consumption, and abnormal chest structure.
Metabolic acidosis: It occurs when the kidneys are unable to flush out excess acid in the body. Further, when more gas is produced or it gets trapped because of eating spicy or large meals then it tends to release through a burp. The trapped gas may cause stomach pain.
Symptoms of Acidity
Causes of Acidity
Some of the common causes of acidity are as follows:
Furthermore, people who work late at night and don't follow a fixed sleeping schedule are more prone to acidity.
Acidity is normal if it occurs occasionally. However, if it occurs more often, it is a serious health issue and you must consult the doctor. The chronic acidity doesn't go away itself. It should be treated at the early stage, else, it may cause severe complications such as ulcers and inflammation in the esophagus.
Precautions for Acidity
Here are some methods that are quite simple to follow to prevent acidity.
Difference between Acidity and Gas
Acidity: In this, the body produces more gastric acid than required for digestion and it usually causes heartburn.
Gas: Gas is produced in the intestine or colon and it helps in the digestion of food. A normal adult releases gas nearly 20 times a day either through the rectum or mouth.
How is acidity diagnosed?
Some of the common methods used to diagnose acidity are as follows:
pH monitoring: It is used to check the acid level in the esophagus. In this method, a device is put into the esophagus and left there for around 2 days to measure the amount of acid present in the esophagus.
Barium swallow: It is used to trace out the narrowed esophagus and ulcers. In this method, a solution is used and an x-ray is taken.
Endoscopy: This method involve the use of sedatives or anesthesia. A long, flexible lighted tube fitted with a tiny camera is inserted through the mouth and stomach tissue is checked.
Best Treatment for Acidity
Mostly, it is treated with antacids that contain aluminum, calcium or magnesium. However, H2 receptor blockers are also used often such as nizatidine, famotidine, ranitidine, and cimetidine. In some cases, Proton pump inhibitors are also prescribed by doctors in case of severe acidity. Further, there are also lots of home remedies to cure acidity such as eating bananas, drinking cold milk, and consuming cumin, cardamom, cloves, mint leaves, ginger, and more.
Who does not need treatment?
Not all need the treatment for acidity as in most cases the symptoms are normal and mild discomfort is curable by over-the-counter medications such as antacids. It can also be treated with lifestyle modifications without requiring a doctor's consultation.
Who needs treatment?
In some cases, the symptoms of acidity are severe and one must seek treatment under a doctor's consultation in this case. Here are the conditions that show treatment is needed:
How to Cure Acidity Permanently
You may not get permanent results from the treatment. But, medicines provide immediate relief from the symptoms. However, lifestyle changes and avoidance of triggering factors may help in getting a permanent cure.
Acidity Post-treatment Guidelines
The treatment of acidity is followed by some post-treatment guidelines which are as follows;
Side Effects of Acidity treatment
Although medicines may provide immediate relief from acidity, some side effects have been observed with the long-term use of these medicines such as renal failure, bone fracture, heart attack, dementia, and more.
Natural Ways to Cure Acidity
There are lots of natural ways to cure acidity to a greater extent, some of which are as follows:
Almonds: The intake of almonds helps neutralize stomach juice and thus provides relief from acidity as well as helps prevent it. You should chew almonds when you are not able to take your meal as it prevents excessive secretion of gastric acid.
Banana and Apple: The antacids found in banana helps prevent acidity and eating a few slices of apple before going to bed provides relief from heartburn.
Coconut water: It is very helpful in acidity. The coconut water turns the acidic level of our body's pH alkaline. It also produces mucus in the stomach that protects the stomach from the bad effects of excessive acid production. The fibre-rich coconut water also promotes digestion and prevents the reoccurrence of acidity.
Basil leaves: The basil can provide you relief from acidity owing to its soothing and carminative properties. You can eat a few leaves of basil or boil a few leaves in a cup of water and then let it cool and then take its sips frequently.
Fennel: Fennel also helps reduce acidity owing to some oils found in fennel. One can chew fennel (sauf) after eating a meal or can also drink fennel tea which is very helpful in indigestion and bloating again due to oils found in it.
Cinnamon: This spice is a natural antacid for acidity and can also improve your digestion and absorption of food. Drinking cinnamon tea also helps heal infections of the gastrointestinal tract. Further, this spice is rich in lots of nutrients and offers lots of health benefits.
Buttermilk: It is considered sattvic food in Ayurveda. So, after eating your meal don't take your dose of antacid, you can drink a glass of buttermilk instead. The lactic acid found in buttermilk helps normalize acidity in the stomach. Further, you can add some ground black pepper or ground coriander leaves into it for better results.
Jaggery: It improves intestinal strength owing to its high magnesium content. Further, it improves digestion and makes the digestive system more alkaline which helps reduce the acidity of the stomach. Jaggery also helps maintain the normal body temperature thus cooling the stomach. You can suck a small piece of jaggery after a meal or can drink jaggery drink in summer.
Clove: Cloves help prevent the formation of gas in the gastrointestinal tract owing to their carminative nature. You can add cloves to foods like kidney beans or black gram as these foods tend to cause flatulence.
Cumin Seeds: They help neutralize excess acid produced in the stomach. It also improves digestion and provides relief from stomach pain. You can crush roasted cumin seeds and add them to water and drink it after a meal.
Ginger: It has digestive and anti-inflammatory properties that help neutralize gastric acid. One can chew a slice of ginger or drink ginger juice two or three times a day to get relief from acidity.
Cold milk: Milk is rich in calcium which helps prevent the buildup of acid in the stomach. People who are lactose intolerant may try other ways to reduce acidity.
Enough sleep: Get proper sleep, at least 7 hours at night to make sure you don't fall victim to acidity.
Sleep on your left side: When you sleep on your left side, the chances of acid reflux are reduced to a great extent.