We have heard people complaining about having a burning sensation in the chest or they say they have got acidity? But ever wondered what is acidity or how its caused? Let’s understand what is acidity and How is acidity caused? Acidity or acid reflux is a very common condition affecting many, some on a day to day basis. Young people are complaining of acidity more. Due to a sedentary lifestyle, high consumption of unhealthy foods there has been a significant rise in the number of people suffering from acidity. This condition is identified by heartburn felt around the lower chest area or the sour is caused by the stomach acid flowing back up into the food pipe. Very few people realize the unhealthy eating habits and poor lifestyle choices that cause this condition
Symptoms of Acidity
- Patients experience a burning sensation in the stomach, a burning sensation in the throat and heart.
- Frequent burping or hiccups for no apparent reason
- Burning sensation and pain in the chest
- Prolonged sour taste in the mouth or bitter-tasting acid that backs up into your throat and mouth
What are the causes of acidity?
The food we eat passes down the oesophagus into the stomach. The gastric glands in the stomach create acid i.e. HCL (Hydrochloric acid with pH <4) which is necessary to digest the food and to kill any germs. Acidity occurs when the gastric glands produce a large amount of acid, more than what is needed for the digestion process.
In some, the amount of acid is high, or the end of one's food pipe is open. There is a valve between our food pipe and stomach, which keeps this area closed, but in some cases, this area is not closed, it remains open, and because of that, the stomach acid bounces up again and again.
How to reduce acidity?
The food that we consume tends to affect our Gut health. It’s very important that one should follow a healthy lifestyle, eating habits as well as proper sleep pattern.
- Especially people who work late at night, do not have a sleeping routine, tend to have acidity problems. Also, people who consume lot of spicy, oily, sour and fermented food, coffee, and tea have a tendency of acidity issues. so, people who are facing acidity issues should try to keep control of their taste buds or if necessary try to avoid eating such food.
- It’s also important to exercise at least for half an hour as it will help to digestion as well as the movement of the intestine, preventing the acidity problem.
- Cold milk helps to relieve acidity to some extent. It should be consumed in the limit as it may lead to rebound acidity.
- If you have acidity sometimes, it is not necessary that every time you visit a doctor. You can buy over the counter drugs, easily available antacid such as Digene, Gaviscon. But if you are having acidity repeatedly, go to your specialist and do the examination and take medicines prescribed by your doctor.
- Sometimes medicines can also cause acidity.
Acid reflux is not a severe condition. But chronic acidity can cause other health problems or can damage the oesophagus. Acidity can be confused with other chest related problems that can be fatal. It is advisable to visit your healthcare provider if the symptoms of acidity are persistent even after taking medication.