Acidity or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common health issue which millions of people all over the world experience. And if you happen to be one of them, you are probably aware of the unpleasant sensation it can have as though your chest and throat are on fire! It is important to know what this condition is really all about.
What is Acidity/Heartburn?
The oesophagus is the tube that joins the throat to your stomach and the one responsible for pushing down foods in rhythmic waves. The moment food reaches our stomach, acids and enzymes break these foods down. Stomach acids are relatively impressive and important as they are specially made to help dissolve the foods we eat, and our stomach has a special lining that protects it from being affected by acid. But in the case of acidity or heartburn, some of these stomach acids travel back up into the oesophagus, thereby, leaving an uncomfortable burning sensation in the chest and the throat.
Additionally, the reason why acidity or acid reflux is also referred to as ‘heartburn’ is that acid reflux causes symptoms that are similar to that of a heart attack when in reality, has nothing to do with the heart. This pain which starts in the chest or under the breastbone gradually rises and oftentimes, it even reaches the jaw. Acidity is usually frequent and worse during the evenings, when bending over or when lying down. Unpleasant feelings aside, symptoms such as a bitter taste in the mouth that may appear acidic and foul may be experienced as well.
Occasional acid reflux is normal for an average person but a frequent experience can result in long-term problems, including inflammation and stricture in the oesophagus or even cancer. Reducing or eliminating acid reflux can however help prevent complications in the future.
What Causes Acidity?
From eating spicy foods to caffeine intake to genetics, there are numerous factors that contribute to acid reflux or heartburn. This is also why it is often difficult to single out or know what triggers acid reflux. Other factors include irregular eating habits, regular smoking, and consumption of alcohol. The chances of developing acid reflux are higher in pregnant women and those with asthma or excess body weight. Acidity or heartburn can be quite uncomfortable and frustrating at times as it prevents you from enjoying your meals and living a normal life.
While there may be numerous over-the-counter modern medications available to aid with this condition, you can also find relief in certain lifestyle changes and natural remedies for acidity which are much safer and healthy for the long term.
So, here are some simple and effective tips to help you get relief from acidity:
1. Avoid Overeating
Eating too much food at once can put pressure on the lower oesophageal sphincter, a ring-like muscle on the oesophagus that acts as a valve to prevent the acidic contents of the stomach from rising. This muscle, which is normally closed, is weakened when consuming too much food thereby causing acid to squeeze through the opening which in turn results in acid reflux. Avoiding large meals is an ideal way to minimize the problem.
2. Maintain Healthy Weight
The diaphragm is a muscle that is located above the abdomen and the one responsible for strengthening the lower oesophageal sphincter which prevents stomach acids from getting up into the oesophagus. When you are overweight and have too much belly fat, the pressure in your abdomen increases to a point where the lower oesophageal sphincter gets pushed upward and away from the diaphragm's support. This condition is known as a hiatus hernia. This is the main reason why individuals who are obese are at an increased risk of acid reflux and heartburn. Losing belly fat can be a great way to relieve acid reflux symptoms and promote a healthy body.
3. Cut Down on Carbonated Beverages
Several studies have shown the association between carbonated beverages with increased reflux symptoms and that individuals with GERD or acid reflux are advised to lower their carbonated beverage intakes. When compared to drinking plain water, it is also shown that consuming carbonated drinks causes people to belch more than usual. This weakens the lower oesophageal sphincter and increases the amount of acid escaping into the oesophagus, thereby promoting acid reflux. Cutting down or avoiding carbonated drinks altogether can be a great way to reduce acid reflux.
4. Avoid Raw Onion
It has been proven that consuming a meal containing raw onion can considerably increase acidity or heartburn and belching, unlike an identical meal that has no raw onions in it. The fermentable fibre in onions causes more gas production in the stomach which then leads to constant belching. Studies have also suggested that raw onions can also cause irritation on the lining of the oesophagus which can worsen acidity or heartburn. The result may vary but if your symptoms are worsened after eating raw onions, it is best to avoid it.
5. Try Herbal Tea
Drinks such as coffee and alcohol are known to increase the symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn. Herbal Teas are an excellent replacement for these beverages as herbal teas are mostly decaffeinated and are much healthier for the overall health besides reducing the symptoms of acid reflux. Preserva’s Daily Diagemax Tea offers an ideal natural solution for reducing acidity, heartburn and other digestive-related problems, all with the calming and healing power of potent Ayurvedic herbs. It is nutrient-rich and a great way to improve digestion and support overall health.
6. Aloe Vera Juice For Acidity
Aloe Vera Juice is one of the best home remedies for acidity and heartburn relief. This is because Aloe vera is known to be naturally soothing and contains anti-inflammatory properties and is loaded with powerful vitamins as well. Regular consumption of fresh Aloe Vera Juice can be a great way to overcome acidity.
Extracting your own Aloe Vera Juice might not be your cup of tea. That is why we make sure to include fresh Aloe Vera in our healthy Diagemax Juice, along with Guava, Curcumin and Gooseberry to aid with any kinds of digestive problems. Uniquely formulated to bring forth the best and healthiest blend, the juice acts as an excellent natural antacid and effectively treats acidity, heartburn, bloating, etc while promoting good quality overall health.
Although many prescription medications might bring short-term relief when it comes to acidity and heartburn, the simple tips listed above can be just as effective in relieving acid reflux symptoms and can be much safer and healthier in the long run. Acidity or heartburn is quite common, but also relatively easy to treat if you are dedicated enough to following these simple tips listed above.
Disclaimer- This content provides general information and should not be considered as medical advice from a health professional. Proper consultation with a doctor is advised if you are frequently experiencing symptoms of acid reflux.
Aloe vera is an evergreen, succulent, perennial herb that grows in tropical climates and has its origins in the Arabian Peninsula.
Cinnamon, a mild brown coloured bark, belongs to the family Lauraceae. It is widely used as a spice and is native to South America and Southeast Asia.
Cumin aka Cuminum cyminum is a flowering plant that belongs to the plant family Apiaceae. It was originally grown in Middle East and India.
Ginger, scientifically known as Zingiber officinale, belongs to the plant family Zingiberaceae. Turmeric and cardamom also belong to the same botanical family.
Gooseberry or Amla (Emblica officinalis) comes from the family Euphorbiaceae and is widely scattered in Europe, Himalayan mountain range and other parts of India, North America and Africa.
Guava aka Jamphal is a tropical fruit that belongs to the plant family Myrtaceae. Its scientific name is Psidium guajava.
Coriander or coriander sativum is a herb from the Apiaceae family. It is also known as cilantro or Chinese parsley.
Curcumin is a bioactive ingredient of turmeric and is known for its medicinal properties. Turmeric is a familiar dietary spice.
Fennel is scientifically used as Foeniculum vulgare. It is a flowering plant with feather-like leaves and umbrella-like yellow flowers.
Mint is also known as Mentha and belongs to the Lamiaceae family. It is largely found across North America, Europe, Australia, Africa and Asia.