What Causes Hyperacidity and How to Prevent It
Stomach is one of the most important digestive organs of our body. It helps in digestion through secretion of hydrochloric acid. Due to irregular routine or bad habits, at times, production of hydrochloric acid in stomach cells (also known as gastric cells) increases that leads to feeling of heartburn and sour eructation. This condition is known as acidity or acid reflux. In medicinal terms, this condition is called Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Ayurveda calls it ‘Urdhvag Amalpitta’.
What is hyperacidity?
Excessive (or over) production of hydrochloric acid in stomach is known as hyperacidity. It is a chronic disease that requires both dietary precautions and medications along with the complete abstinence from cigarettes and alcohol.
What are the symptoms of acidity or hyperacidity?
Acidity or hyperacidity can be found out through the following symptoms:
- Heartburn or continuous burning sensation in the region of chest
- Sour eructation
- Nausea and vomiting
- Tiredness (in rare cases)
- Pain and feeling of tightness in the chest (in severe cases)
- Noticeable decrease in appetite
What are the causes of acidity/hyperacidity?
Various factors are responsible for acidic stomach. Lifestyle and bad habits play a vital role in developing hyperacidity in the body. Major causes of hyperacidity include:
- Diet: It is one of the most important causes of acidity. Excessive use of foods that are rich in fats (sweet and oily) or spicy in taste can lead to hyperacidity.
- Psychological factors: Stress leads to physical and mental disturbances. Psychological conditions like anxiety, depression, and anger are also responsible for hyperacidity.
- Eating irregularities: Frequently irregular eating along with excessive use of leafy vegetables and water, skipping of breakfast, etc. irregularities cause hyperacidity. We need to achieve balance between overeating and less eating to stay away from hyperacidity.
- Adulterated food: Consumption of ‘Maida’, junk food, bakery foods, and adulterated food is responsible for acidic stomach as stomach finds them difficult to digest.
- Sedentary life: Lay down just after taking meal and lack of physical activities can lead to digestive problems like hyperacidity and constipation. Obesity is also a major contributing factor.
- Less sleep: Long working hours followed by less sleep at night cause trouble in digestion that lead us to acidity/hyperacidity. This is the reason people who work in night shifts suffer from hyperacidity.
- Nicotine, alcohol, and carbonated drinks: Excessive consumption of nicotine products (tobacco products), excessive and frequent intake of alcohol, and heavy use of carbonated drinks can lead your body to hyperacidity and other digestive tract diseases.
- Chronic constipation: It is an indicator of digestive system malfunction. Chronic or long-term constipation trouble is a major factor for overproduction of acid in stomach.
- Heavy intake of prescribed drugs: At times, people with multiple systemic diseases have to take many prescribed drugs at once. Eventually, this heavy intake leads them to acidity, and they take antacid drugs to get rid of it, which can make the matter worse.
Several other factors also contribute in excessive production of acid in the stomach. We can broadly say that it is a lifestyle disease.
Health Pack for hyperacidity
Health pack made for hyperacidity contains following herbal supplements:
Divya Mulethi Kwath (300 gm): this helps in trapping the excessive acid secretion. Dosage: Mix one teaspoonful of this medicine and boil it in 400 ml of water. Boil it and reduce it up to 100 ml. Filter it and take it in the morning and evening.
Divya Avipattikara Churna (100 gm): It treats acid reflux naturally. It offers immediate relief from acidity and also useful in chronic hyperacidity.
Divya Mukta Sukti Bhasm (10 gm): It is an age-old and important herbal solution for hyperacidity. It may be take on the daily basis for normal digestive functioning.
Kamdudha Ras (20 gm): It is a classic Ayurvedic formula recommended for acidity and excessive acid secretion in stomach.
Dosage: Mix Avipattikara, Mukta Sukti and Kamdudha well. Take ½ tsp from that mixture twice a day i.e. in the morning and evening before meals.
Divya Haritaki Churna (100 gm): Chronic cases of acid reflux can be treated well with this effective supplement. It offers protection from recurrent attacks of acidity or hyperacidity.
Dosage: Take 1 tsp before going to bed preferably with lukewarm water.
Dietary recommendations for hyperacidity
What, when, and how much to eat is very important for the people suffering from hyperacidity. Here are some important dietary tips that can help the patients of acidity:
- Take milk with sugar and one year old rice in your meal
- Take dinner at least before two to three hours of sleep
- Use cucumber, green banana, and pumpkin on daily basis
- Take fibrous food as they help in digestion
- Eat small meals at regular interval
Herbal and home-based supplements to treat hyperacidity
Cow’s cold milk with or without sugar is considered as the best food supplement to treat hyperacidity. Coconut water can give an instant relief from heartburn or acid reflux. Though sour juices are responsible for excessive acid production in the stomach, Amalaki powder (Emblica officinalis) is one of the best agents to treat acidity. You can take mixture of rice corn, raw sugar and honey in equal quantity to get relief from acidity. Haritaki and Bhringraja (Eclipta alba) powder in equal quantity along with jiggery and warm water can subside acid production and keep digestive tract smooth.
How to prevent acid reflux?
We can find a comprehensive guide about how to prevent acid reflux in both Allopathy and Ayurveda. One should know what causes hyperacidity to prevent this chronic condition effectively. Alcohol, cigarettes, sour drinks like lemon juice, etc. are known as triggers of acidity. In addition, one should avoid tea and coffee in excess to get rid of long-standing acidity or hyperacidity. Spicy and fried food should be avoided as they are also major factors for acidic stomach. In addition, light exercise, regular eating and sleeping habits, and stress-free life are essential to prevent acidity. Pranayam and Yoga are very helpful for achieving healthy mind and healthy body.