Acidity and GERD
Acid reflux is the flow of stomach acid back into the oesophagus.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the oesophagus. The liquid can inflame and damage the lining of the oesophagus although visible signs of inflammation occur in a minority of patients. The regurgitated liquid usually contains acid and pepsin that are produced by the stomach.
A common symptom is a heartburn – a burning discomfort felt anywhere from the stomach up into the chest and throat.
Acid reflux can become a serious, chronic condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. GERD can have several unpleasant symptoms that include difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, dry sore throat, and coughing, as well as heartburn. Depending on their severity, these symptoms can significantly impair daily quality of life.
In normal digestion, the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and closes to prevent food and acidic stomach juices from flowing back into the oesophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the oesophagus.
Hiatal hernia and GERD
A hiatal hernia may weaken the LES and increase the risk for gastroesophageal reflux. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach moves up into the chest through a small opening in the diaphragm (diaphragmatic hiatus). The diaphragm is the muscle separating the abdomen from the chest. Recent studies show that the opening in the diaphragm helps support the lower end of the oesophagus. Many people with a hiatal hernia will not have problems with heartburn or reflux. But having a hiatal hernia may allow stomach contents to reflux more easily into the oesophagus.
Coughing, vomiting, straining, or sudden physical exertion can cause increased pressure in the abdomen resulting in a hiatal hernia. Obesity and pregnancy also contribute to this condition.
GERD is caused by frequent acid reflux.
When you swallow, a circular band of muscle around the bottom of your oesophagus (lower oesophagal sphincter) relaxes to allow food and liquid to flow into your stomach. Then the sphincter closes again.
If the sphincter relaxes abnormally or weakens, stomach acid can flow back up into your oesophagus. This constant backwash of acid irritates the lining of your oesophagus, often causing it to become inflamed.
Conditions that can increase your risk of GERD include:
- Bulging of the top of the stomach up into the diaphragm (hiatal hernia)
- Connective tissue disorders, such as scleroderma
- Delayed stomach emptying
- Poor posture (slouching)
- Rapid weight gain
Factors that can aggravate acid reflux include:
- Eating large meals or eating late at night
- Eating certain foods (triggers) such as fatty or fried foods, mint flavourings
- Drinking certain beverages, such as alcohol or coffee
- Diets high in acid
- Diets high in spices
- Diets high in sugar
- Taking certain medications such as Calcium channel blockers, Theophylline, Nitrates, and Antihistamines.
- A burning sensation in your chest (heartburn), usually after eating, which might be worse at night
- Frequent Heartburn
- in the lower part of the mid-chest
- behind the breast bone
- in the mid-abdomen
- worsen after eating, lying down or bending over
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Regurgitation of food or sour liquid
- A sensation of a lump in your throat
- Persistent dry cough
- Hoarseness (especially in the morning)
- A feeling of tightness in the throat
- Repeated vomiting, coughing(children)
If you have nighttime acid reflux, you might also experience:
- Chronic cough
- New or worsening asthma
- Disrupted sleep
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
- Barium swallow
- Continuous oesophagal pH monitoring
- Oesophageal manometry
Acidity can be cured by consuming antacids that contain aluminium, calcium or magnesium.
Many times, H2 receptor blockers (histamine blocking agents) like nizatidine, famotidine, ranitidine and cimetidine are used.
Proton pump inhibitors are also prescribed.
Acidity Treatment in Ayurveda
In Ayurveda Prevention is Better than Cure. So, avoid all the Causes And Risk Factors which cause acidity.
- Parvalpanchamrit ras
- Sutshekhar Ras
- Kamdudha Ras (with pearl),
- Lilavilas Ras
- Amalpittantak Ras
- Powder Avipatikar
- Powder Sitopaladi
- Powder amla
- Gilo satav
- Amalaki Rasayan
- Amalpitantak Loh
- Sarvatobhadar loh
All these medicines should be taken under the supervision of a registered Ayurveda Specialist.
Acidity Natural treatment
Studies show that Lifestyle changes, Dietary changes, Exercises, Yoga-asana, and Home Remedies are very effective in acid reflux and may significantly reduce your symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux.
GERD is first treated with over-the-counter (OTC) medications, such as antacids. Conventional medicine is the most common form of GERD treatment.
However, there are some home remedies you can try to reduce instances of acid reflux. Lifestyle or dietary modifications may be effective as well.
Acidity natural treatment is simply changing your dietary habits or the way you sleep. It may significantly reduce your symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux by improving your quality of life.
Yoga For Acidity
What’s the role of Yoga in Acidity?
An increase in stress and anxiety leads to an increase in acid secretion in the stomach. More acid may mean more opportunities for reflux to cause symptoms.
Researchers went on to explore the relationship between yoga and stress, and it has been found that yoga might help lower the body’s stress response. They found some evidence that yoga may be an effective treatment for GERD(even peptic ulcers) along with acidity natural treatment.
So incorporate yoga into your acidity natural treatment plan.
The best yoga poses for acidity include—–
It is one of the best stress-management technique to promote tranquillity and keeps anxiety at bay. Regular practice of meditation alongside yoga will bring about a sense of balance in Pitta for smoother, more effective digestion.
Even 10 minutes of daily deep breathing can be hugely beneficial.
Maintain a healthy weight :
Excess weight put pressure on your abdomen, pushing up your stomach and causing acid to reflux into your oesophagus.
Stop smoking :
Smoking decreases the lower oesophagal sphincter’s ability to function properly.
Elevate the head of your bed :
If you regularly experience heartburn while trying to sleep, place wood or cement blocks under the feet of your bed so that the head end is raised by 6 to 9 inches.
Don’t lie down after a meal :
Wait at least three hours after eating before lying down or going to bed.
Eat food slowly and chew thoroughly
Avoid foods and drinks that trigger acidity :
Common triggers include fatty or fried foods, tomato sauce, alcohol, chocolate and caffeine.
Avoid tight-fitting clothing :
Clothes that fit tightly around your waist put pressure on your abdomen and the lower oesophagal sphincter.
- Take Coconut Water.
- Take Watermelon juice.
- Avoid Foods That Trigger Acidity.
- Maintain a Regular Eating Time.
- Avoid Smoking and Drinking Alcohol.
- Take Lemon Juice With Sugar.
- Take Buttermilk.
- Cold milk can neutralize acids in your stomach and can give you relief from acidity.
- Have 3-4 almonds after meals. It helps with heartburn since it neutralizes the juices in your stomach, relieving and preventing acidity overall.
- Eat fresh foods, preferably local produce that is seasonal and organic.
- Avoid all pitta aggravating foods, which include tomato sauce, spinach, raw onions, vinegar, alcohol, peppers and chillies.
- Eat on time and avoid skipping meals.
- Avoid stress and anger, as these emotions aggravate the pitta dosha. Do not watch TV, read a book or have a heated conversation during meal times.
- Make sure you get sufficient sleep. But keep a gap of at least 2 hours between meal time and bedtime.
- Ashwagandha is excellent for those who suffer from acid reflux. It helps balance the mind, promotes a peaceful night’s sleep and keeps anxiety at bay.
- For quick relief from acid reflux, drink 200-500ml of fresh tender coconut water twice every day. Aloe Vera juice, particularly the fresh gel taken straight from the leaf, helps in balancing pitta.
- Baked fennel seeds do an excellent job of soothing the stomach. Eat ¼ teaspoon thrice daily, in between your meals.
- Fresh pomegranate juice helps balance pitta and is good for GERD sufferers.
- Another popular Acidity natural treatment is to add a teaspoon of ghee to a glass of milk and drink this before a meal. It coats the stomach lining to protect it against acid attacks.
- According to Ayurveda, adding sweet, bitter and astringent foods to your diet helps bring relief from acid reflux. Add watermelon, split moong dal, green leafy vegetables, banana and cucumbers to your diet.
Ayurveda believes in using natural herbs to cure a variety of ailments, and acid reflux is no exception. Acidity natural treatment includes the use of many herbs. These when added to the diet help in managing Acidity-
- Holy Basil: Known as Tulsi -helps reduce excess acid production. Chew some fresh holy basil leaves to find relief from the pain and burning sensation accompanied by reflux.
- Amla: An Ayurvedic herb, Amla or Indian Gooseberry can cure a variety of digestive ailments. You can have it in the raw form, mix amla powder in water and drink the concoction or opt for juice.
- Coriander: This herb helps neutralize stomach acids and can easily be added to a variety of dishes. You can use the fresh leaves of the herb or use coriander powder in your curries. Adding 1 tablespoon of coriander juice to a half cup of buttermilk is also recommended for relief from acid reflux.
- Liquorice: A strong Ayurvedic medicine for treating acid reflux, liquorice root can be brewed into a tea that is very effective at neutralizing stomach acids.
- Barrett’s oesophagus
- Chronic cough or hoarseness
- Dental problems
- Oesophagal ulcer
- Inflammation of the oesophagus
- Pulmonary fibrosis.
How to prevent acidity?
- Stop smoking
- Avoid acidic foods and beverages
- Reduce weight
- Eat small, frequent meals.
- Wear loose-fitting clothes.
- Avoid lying down for 3 hours after a meal.
- Lie down in head raised position
Acidity Diet Plan
What to eat or avoid in acidity?
Food to avoid or Food to take on in Acid Reflux.
Food To Avoid
The food you can eat
|Almost all whole grains are good for this problem.|| |
· Brown bread
· Brown rice
· Whole grains
Note – They are rich in fibre and thus good for acidity problems.
|High citrus fruits should be avoided |
· All sour fruits
· Musk melon
Note – These are low citrus fruits and they don’t form the gas hence providing relief in acidity
· Taro root (Arbi)
· Green beans
· All gourds are good to have like Bottle gourd, ash gourd, ridge gourd (ghiya, petha & tori etc)
|· Black gram
· Kidney bean
· Yellow lentil
· Green lentil
· Pink lentil
· Soya bean
|NON VEG|| |
|Avoid fried meat products|
Baked, steamed and grilled poultry and meats
Boiled Egg white
|Spices like |
red chilli(lal mirch)
· Green chilli (hari mirchi) · Cloves (laung)· Black pepper (kali mirch)
Note – These spices should be avoided in the acidity problem because they cause
heartburn and stomach upset.
· Fennel (saunf)
· Carom (azwain)
· Fenugreek (methi)
· Cumin (jeera)
· Coriander (dhaniya)
· Mint (Pudina)
|OTHER FOOD ITEMS|| |
OTHER FOOD ITEMS
|· Caffeine |
· Fast foods
· Carbonated drinks
· High-fat foods
· Spicy foods
· Hot drinks
· Tomato sauce
· Herbal tea made from cumin-jeera, coriander-dhaniya and fennel seeds – saunf is good to have.
· Take Indian gooseberry–amla powder daily after meals. · Mixture of Indian gooseberry, fennel and liquorice powder in the quantity of 1 tsp is good after each meal.
· Lentils can be taken which are light to digest.