Acidity and GERD
Acid reflux is the flow of stomach acid back into the esophagus.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the stomach contents (food or liquid) leak backwards from the stomach into the esophagus. The liquid can inflame and damage the lining of the esophagus 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 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 esophageal 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 esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the LES is weak or relaxes inappropriately, allowing the stomach’s contents to flow up into the esophagus.
Hiatal hernia and GERD
A hiatal hernia may weaken the LES and increase the risk for gastroesophageal reflux. 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 esophagus. 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 esophagus.
Coughing, vomiting, straining, or sudden physical exertion can cause increased pressure in the abdomen resulting in 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 esophagus (lower esophageal 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 esophagus. This constant backwash of acid irritates the lining of your esophagus, 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 flavorings
- 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, Antihistamines.
Signs and Symptoms of GERD–
- 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
- Sensation of a lump in your throat
- Persistent dry cough
- Hoarseness (especially in the morning)
- Feeling of tightness in the throat
- Repeated vomiting, coughing(children)
- Esophagogastroduodenoscopy (EGD)
- Barium swallow
- Continuous esophageal pH monitoring
- Esophageal 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 causes acidity.
Ayurveda medicines for 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 registered Ayurveda Specialist.
- Barrett’s esophagus
- Chronic cough or hoarseness
- Dental problems
- Esophageal ulcer
- Inflammation of the esophagus
- 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
Food you can eat
Almost all the whole grains are good for this problem.
· Brown bread
· Oat meal
· Brown rice
· Whole grains
Note – They are rich in fiber and thus good for acidity problems.
High citrus fruits should be avoided
· Grape fruit
· All sour fruits
· Musk melon
Note – These are low citrus fruits and they don’t form the gas hence provide 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
Avoid fried meat product
· Baked, steamed and grilled poultry and meats
· Egg white
· Boiled Egg white
red chili (lal mirch)
· Green chili (hari mirchi)
· Cloves (laung)
· Black pepper (kali mirch)
Note – These spices should be avoided in the acidity problem because they cause the heartburn and stomach upset.
· Fennel (saunf)
· Carom (azwain)
· Fenugreek (methi)
· Cumin (jeera)
· Coriander (dhaniya)
· Mint (Pudina)
OTHER FOOD ITEMS
OTHER FOOD ITEMS
· 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 goose berry –amla powder daily after meal.
· Mixture of Indian goose berry, fennel and licorice powder in quantity of 1 tsp is good after each meal.
· Lentils can be taken which are light to digest.