Are you tired of feeling the burn? Did you know that stomach acid is powerful enough to dissolve metal? That's right, your stomach acid has a pH of about 1.5-3.5, which is similar to the acidity of battery acid! But don't worry; your stomach has a special lining that protects it from being dissolved by its own acid.
While stomach acid is important for digesting food, too much of it can lead to discomfort & heartburn. What to eat in acidity? How to cure acidity permanently? That's where z with some simple lifestyle changes & dietary remedies can help. Keep reading to learn in detail.
What Is Acidity?
Acidity is the backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus, which can cause heartburn. It is also known as acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). On the other, Hyperacidity (also known as acid hypersecretion) refers to the excessive production of acid in the stomach caused by factors such as an improper diet, unhealthy lifestyle habits, & excessive mental & emotional stress.
Acidity is called Amlapitta in Ayurveda, which translates to "sour bile." It is caused by an imbalance of the Pitta dosha, which can also affect the Vata & Kapha doshas.
Causes Of Acidity: How Acidity Affects The Three Doshas In Ayurveda:
The primary cause of acidity is the malfunctioning of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a circular muscle located at the end of the esophagus that prevents stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus. When the LES doesn't close properly, acid reflux occurs, & stomach acid flows back into the esophagus, causing the symptoms of acidity.
According to Ayurveda principles with symptoms of acidity:
1. Pitta Dosha: Acidity is mainly caused by Pitta getting worse. Pitta's extreme heat & acidity can irritate the digestive tract, resulting in heartburn & acid reflux symptoms.
2. Vata Dosha: Vata, which governs the movement of the body & mind, can be affected by an excess of Pitta. The heat generated by Pitta can cause Vata to become imbalanced, leading to symptoms such as anxiety, restlessness, & insomnia.
3. Kapha Dosha: The excessive heat generated by the Pitta dosha can also affect the Kapha dosha, which governs stability & structure in the body. The imbalance in Kapha can lead to symptoms such as a loss of appetite, nausea, & a feeling of heaviness in the body.
Acidity is considered a Pitta disorder in Ayurveda. If left untreated or poorly managed, acidity can lead to several complications, including:
- Esophagitis can cause ulcers & scars that make swallowing difficult.
- Long-term acid reflux can lead to Barrett's esophagus, a condition that can cause a rare but aggressive form of esophageal cancer.
- Repeated episodes of acid reflux can cause the esophagus to narrow, making it difficult to swallow, a condition called an esophageal stricture.
- Acid reflux can cause respiratory problems like chronic cough, asthma, & pneumonia.
- The acid from the stomach can erode the enamel on teeth, leading to tooth decay & other dental problems.
Acidity Home Remedies: How To Cure Acidity
How to control acidity? Or how to reduce acidity? Treatment of acidity aim is to reduce the symptoms of acidity (Amlapitta) and restore the balance of Pitta. Here are some common acidity home remedies for acidity problems:
Diet Plan for Acidity:
Here are some dietary recommendations for individuals suffering from Acidity (amlapitta):
- Eat a Pitta-pacifying diet: The Pitta-pacifying diet involves eating foods that are cooling, soothing, & nourishing to the body. This includes foods such as sweet fruits, vegetables, grains, & dairy & cooling spices such as fennel, coriander, & cumin.
- Consider probiotics: Probiotics effectively restore a healthy gut flora balance, alleviating acidity symptoms. Is curd good for acidity? Yes, curd, also known as yogurt, can be beneficial for acidity as it contains probiotics that can help improve digestion & reduce inflammation in the stomach. However, individuals with lactose intolerance or milk allergies should avoid consuming these products.
- Avoid Pitta-aggravating foods: Foods that are spicy, sour, & acidic can aggravate Pitta & worsen the symptoms of Amlapitta. Avoiding or limiting the intake of foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, hot peppers, vinegar, & fermented foods is essential.
- Chew thoroughly, eat smaller, & more frequent meals: Smaller, more frequent meals can help prevent digestive system overload & decrease acid production in the stomach. Chew your food thoroughly & avoid eating too quickly.
- Avoid lying down after eating & eating late at night: Eating late at night can disrupt digestion & aggravate Pitta, leading to symptoms of Amlapitta. Before lying down or going to bed, wait at least 2-3 hours after eating. This can prevent stomach acid from flowing back into the esophagus.
- Stay well-hydrated: Toxins in the body can be flushed out, & digestion can be aided by drinking lots of water. However, it is essential to avoid cold drinks, alcohol, & caffeine as they can worsen symptoms. Drinking cold beverages can dampen the digestive fire or Agni, leading to poor digestion & worsening symptoms of Amlapitta. It is essential to limit or avoid the intake of these substances.
- Mindful eating: Mindful eating practices such as eating in a peaceful environment without distractions & taking time to enjoy meals can also help reduce acidity symptoms.
Herbs and Supplements for Acidity:
Various herbs can help reduce the symptoms of Amlapitta and restore the balance of Pitta. Here are some common herbs used in Ayurveda for Amlapitta:
- Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) is an anti-inflammatory herb that helps reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and soothes the stomach lining. It also helps regulate the acid levels in the stomach.
- Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare) is a cooling herb that helps reduce inflammation and improves digestion. In addition to calming the nerves in your stomach, this herb is excellent for preventing and treating nausea and vomiting.
- Amla (Emblica officinalis) is a good vitamin C source with antioxidant effects that assist digestion, reduce inflammation, and protect the stomach lining.
- Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is a warming herb that helps improve digestion and reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. It reduces nausea and vomiting, helping treat Amlapitta.
- Coriander (Coriandrum sativum) is a cooling herb that helps reduce inflammation in the digestive tract. It helps manage Amlapitta by improving digestion and reducing stomach acidity.
- Triphala is an Ayurvedic herbal formula made up of three fruits - Amalaki, Haritaki, and Bibhitaki. It aids digestion, reduces inflammation, and protects the stomach.
- Stay calm & avoid exposure to direct sunlight: Managing Amlapitta requires avoiding direct sunshine & hot temperatures. Extreme heat can increase Pitta, resulting in acid reflux, heartburn, & inflammation in the digestive system. Stay calm & avoid direct sunlight, especially during peak hours.
- Sound sleep: Getting enough sleep & maintaining a regular sleep schedule can help reduce stress & prevent the aggravation of Pitta dosha. Aim for 7-8 hours of sleep per night.
- Exercise regularly: Regular exercise can help improve digestion, reduce stress, & maintain a healthy weight. However, avoid excessive exercise or strenuous activities that can cause fatigue or increase heat in the body.
- Practice good hygiene & avoid exposure to toxins & pollutants: Maintain good hygiene habits such as washing h&s regularly & avoiding exposure to environmental toxins & pollutants. This can help reduce the risk of infections & inflammation in the stomach & digestive system.
- Maintain a healthy weight: Obesity or being overweight can increase the risk of acid reflux & other digestive issues. Maintaining a healthy weight through a balanced diet & regular exercise can help prevent acidity symptoms.
- Avoid tight-fitting clothing: Wearing tight-fitting clothes can put pressure on the stomach & increase the risk of acid reflux. Wear loose-fitting clothes that allow for proper digestion & movement of the body.
- Avoid strenuous exercise: Strenuous exercise can aggravate Pitta & cause symptoms of acidity. It is recommended to engage in moderate exercise & avoid intense workouts that can lead to overheating & dehydration.
- Be stress-free: Emotional stress is another significant factor that can aggravate Pitta & worsen the symptoms of acidity. Stress-management techniques such as meditation, yoga, & deep breathing exercises can help manage stress & reduce Pitta in the body.
Ayurvedic Therapies For Acidity:
Ayurvedic therapies such as Panchakarma, which involves cleansing the body through massage, steam, and herbal remedies, can help balance the Pitta dosha. Here are some common Ayurvedic therapies used for Amlapitta:
- Abhyanga (Ayurvedic massage): This therapy involves a full-body massage using warm herbal oils. It helps improve digestion and reduces stress.
- Shirodhara: This therapy involves pouring warm herbal oil over the forehead in a continuous stream. It helps calm the mind and reduce stress, which can contribute to Amlapitta.
- Virechana (Purgation therapy): This therapy involves using herbal laxatives to cleanse the digestive system and eliminate toxins from the body. It helps improve digestion and reduces inflammation in the digestive tract.
Acidity In Pregnancy
Acidity during pregnancy is a common problem & occurs due to hormonal changes that cause the muscles in the digestive tract to relax, leading to acid reflux. In addition, the pressure of the growing uterus on the stomach can also cause it. Pregnant women can alleviate the symptoms of acidity by eating small, frequent meals & avoiding spicy, fried, or fatty foods. It is also essential to maintain good posture & avoid lying down after meals.
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