Last Updated on May 22, 2023 by Shabnam Sengupta
Acidity, also known as acid dyspepsia, is a condition characterised by the excessive production of acid in the stomach. This leads to a range of symptoms including pain and burning in the chest and stomach, flatulence, vomiting, heartburn, and loss of appetite. If left untreated, hyperacidity can lead to more serious complications such as chronic indigestion, gastric ulcers, muscle contractions, bloating, and weight gain. External factors such as irregular eating patterns, smoking, alcohol consumption, stress, and lack of physical activity are common causes of hyperacidity. Certain medications, bacterial infections, pregnancy, obesity, ageing, and fasting can also increase the risk of developing hyperacidity. This condition can severely impact daily activities and overall functionality, making timely treatment essential. In this article, we will discuss acidity, its symptoms and home remedies to deal with it.
What are the causes of acidity?
Acidity occurs when there is an excessive production of acid in the stomach by the gastric glands. Various factors can contribute to the development of acidity, including:
- Unhealthy dietary habits such as skipping meals or eating at irregular times, consuming large meals, eating just before sleeping, and consuming spicy foods.
- High intake of table salt or sodium, which can cause water retention and increase blood pressure, leading to acid reflux and heartburn.
- Excessive consumption of caffeine, alcohol, and carbonated beverages, which can irritate the stomach lining and increase acid production.
- Smoking, which can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter and allow acid to flow back into the oesophagus.
- Stress, which can trigger the production of excess acid in the stomach and lead to acid reflux and heartburn.
- Certain medications, such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), aspirin, and steroids, which can irritate the stomach lining and increase acid production
What are the symptoms of acidity?
Acidity symptoms can vary from person to person and may be similar to symptoms of gas. However, the most common acid reflux symptoms are chest pain and a burning sensation below the breastbone. Other less common symptoms of acidity may include:
- Frequent burping or hiccups without any apparent cause
- Burning sensation and pain in the chest
- Regurgitation: Prolonged sour or bitter taste in the mouth due to acid backing up into the throat and mouth
- Feeling of heaviness in the stomach after meals
- Bad breath
What are the home remedies that help get rid of acidity?
While home remedies can provide temporary relief from acidity, it’s important to note that chronic or severe acid reflux should be evaluated and treated by a healthcare professional. Here are some home remedies that may help alleviate mild cases of acidity:
- Ginger: Drink ginger tea or chew a small piece of fresh ginger to soothe stomach inflammation and reduce acidity.
- Fennel: Chew fennel seeds after meals or drink fennel tea to reduce acidity and bloating.
- Cold Milk: Drink a glass of cold milk to neutralise stomach acid and provide relief from acidity symptoms.
- Cumin Seeds: Roast cumin seeds and then chew them to help reduce acidity and improve digestion.
- Coconut Water: Drink coconut water to help neutralise stomach acid and reduce acidity symptoms.
- Baking Soda: Mix a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it to help neutralise stomach acid and provide relief from acidity symptoms. Note that baking soda should only be used occasionally and not as a long-term solution, as it can cause side effects if used excessively.
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