Acidity: How it Occurs, Causes, Symptoms & Prevention - Dr. Ronak Malani

Spicy food is something that everyone loves to eat. But do you have an unpleasant, burning, and swollen stomach after consuming it?

Well, we have all been there. However, stomach trouble is the last way you want to remember a great meal. But, if your stomach gets angry after every greasy and spicy meal, do you need to eat plain khichdi or daliya for life?

What is it and how can you avoid that unpleasant and uncomfortable feeling or a condition called Acidity?

Acid Reflux, often known as acidity, is more common than you might believe!

About 7.6% of Indians report heartburn and/or regurgitation at least once a week. A task force set by the Indian Society of Gastroenterology found the incidence of GERD to be at least 20% in many Indian cities. This means that 250 million people in India are suffering from this disease. (source: IndiaToday)

WHAT EXACTLY IS ACIDITY?

Acidity, often known as acid reflux, is a common condition that affects many Indians. This condition is characterized by heartburn felt around the lower chest area, which is caused by the stomach acid flowing back up into the food pipe. Only a small percentage of the population is aware of the bad eating habits and poor lifestyle choices that contribute to this condition.

HOW DOES ACIDITY AFFECT YOUR BODY?

Acidity, also known as acidosis, is a pH imbalance in the body that occurs when the kidneys and lungs are unable to eliminate excess acid. As a result, acidity develops.

HOW DOES ACIDITY OCCUR?

Acidity occurs when the gastric glands in the stomach produce an overabundance of acid. Heartburn, reflux, and indigestion are typical symptoms. Acidity is usually caused by eating too much spicy food, drinking too much coffee, eating too much, or eating a low-fiber diet.

WHO IS MORE PRONE TO ACIDITY?

People who are prone to acidity are those who:

  • Overeat heavy meals
  • Obese
  • Snacks close to bedtime
  • Consume too much coffee
  • Overindulge in alcohol
  • Women who are pregnant

WHAT ARE THE CAUSES OF ACIDITY?

  • Unhealthy Eating Habits
  • Irregular Mealtime
  • Excess consumption of caffeinated & carbonated drinks
  • Excess stress
  • Lack of exercise
  • Smoking
  • Side effects of certain medicines

COMMON SYMPTOMS OF ACIDITY

The symptoms commonly seen in patients are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Burning sensation and pain in the chest
  • Dysphagia
  • Regurgitation
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Bloating
  • Burping or hiccups
  • Halitosis
  • Dry cough
  • Post-meal heaviness, indigestion
  • Blood in stool and sometimes during vomiting also

CAN ACIDITY GO AWAY ON ITS OWN?

Acidity is perfectly natural if it happens once in a while, but it's a big problem if it happens frequently.

Acidity might be a long-term problem that doesn't go away on its own. Consultation with a doctor is required for early treatment; otherwise, problems such as ulcers, strictures, and esophageal inflammation may develop.

TIPS TO PREVENT ACIDITY

Some simple tips if included in life will surely help in getting rid of acidity.

  • Losing weight
  • Consumption of healthy food and increasing the immunity
  • Maintain a regular eating time
  • Instead of having heavy meals, take small frequent meals at regular time intervals
  • Including fibrous food and avoiding caffeinated drinks like tea, coffee
  • Avoiding alcohol, quitting smoking
  • Doing regular workouts, exercises, yoga asanas and meditation to keep the mind cool and body healthy
  • Trying to avoid medicines that cause acidity

TESTS DONE TO DIAGNOSE ACIDITY

If the patient only has mild symptoms of acid reflux, such as heartburn and chest discomfort, and no further issues, the doctor may find it easier to treat the patient.

Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy is required in some circumstances.

People above 40 years of age and having complaints such as obesity, hypertension & diabetes need to get an ECG done to rule out any doubts before starting with the treatment for acidity.

Timely treatment for acidity will help in avoiding any major complications. If left untreated acidity may lead to oesophageal stricture, Barret’s oesophagus and the chances of oesophageal or stomach cancer increases.

If the condition is more severe, your doctor may treat accordingly taking into consideration all other factors too.

CERTAIN DO'S & DONT'S MAY HELP IN CONTROLLING ACIDITY, LIKE;

  • Keep yourself hydrated
  • Maintaining regular meal time
  • Avoiding late-night spicy food
  • Including juicy fruits and vegetables

In short, acidity is a common problem that most of us face in day-to-day life due to unhealthy eating habits, excess stress and a busy schedule. Some home remedies can help, but if the symptoms are severe, getting treatment immediately from a specialist at the right time can help in getting relief from acidity.

So take proper care of your stomach to keep away from acidity and avoid other complications.

Eat Healthy, Stay Healthy, Avoid Acidity...

At INFINITY GASTRO PLUS, you can make an appointment with our Gastro specialist who are specialized in the treatment of Acidity conditions. For further information CONTACT US ON +91 9978836642.

  • Dr. Ronak Malani

    Gastroenterologist & Colorectal Cancer Specialist