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How to Tackle Acidity or Acid Attack

Acidity or Acid Attack and its Causes

Acidity has become a very common health problem now-a-days. Yet one should not take it lightly since acidity can be dangerous if it remains untreated. The more appropriate term for ‘Acidity’ is Acid Peptic Disease (APD).

Some of the common causes of acidity are bad eating habits, not chewing food properly and not drinking adequate water. Eating junk food and spicy food can also lead to acidity. Moreover, eating too fast and eating under tense condition can also cause the acidity. Smoking and consumption of alcohol are some other common causes of acidity. Undisciplined eating habit such as taking heavy meals at odd time, keeping empty stomach for long time or even improper combination of foods can result into acid attack (acidity) as well.

Is Acidity a serious disease – Some of the consequences of Hyperacidity

Prolonged or frequent imbalance of pH can lead to medical problems including symptoms of nausea, headache or digestive disturbance. It can destroy one’s health and bring down energy level significantly.

Severe or prolonged acidity can also have serious repercussions like peptic ulcers and even stomach cancer. In some people, it can even trigger severe Angina (chest pain). Frequent acid attack can also lead to bone health disorders like osteoporosis, tooth decay and kidney stones.

If your body fluids are regularly exposed to large quantities of acid-forming foods and liquids, your body will draw upon its calcium phosphate reserves to supply your phosphate buffer system to neutralise the acid. Over time, this may lead to structural weakness in your bones and teeth and can also lead to osteoporosis.

Drawing on your calcium phosphate reserves at a high rate can also increase the amount of calcium that is eliminated via your genito-urinary system, which is why a predominantly acid-forming diet can increase your risk of developing calcium-rich kidney stones.
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Foods that provide immediate relief to Acid Attack

Cold milk, chlorophyll (a liquid supplement), carom seeds (ajwain), fennel seeds (saunf) and probiotic supplements. Remember antacids tablets or syrup or gel can give you quick relief but their prolonged use actually reduces the efficiency of digestion.

Foods and Acidity

Foods helpful for an Acidity patient

Foods harmful for an Acidity patient

  • Potato
  • Green vegetables
  • Carrot
  • Beetroot
  • Banana
  • Almonds, Chestnuts
  • Dates, Raisins
  • Indian Gooseberry
  • Turmeric
  • Bitter Gourd
  • Basil leaves (Tulsi patta)
  • Rice, Sugary cereals
  • Deserts, Cakes, Pies, Cookies, Any type of sugar
  • Beans, Chilli
  • Red meat
  • Refined products like – white bread, Pasta, etc.
  • Fried fatty foods
  • Alcohol
  • Coffee
  • Aerated drinks
  • Raw salads, pickles

 How to prevent Acidity or Acid Attack ?

  • Do not skip breakfast.
  • Eat smaller, more frequent meals if you experience frequent indigestion. Eat little and after every two hours because large meals may overload the digestive system and trigger more acid release from the stomach to aid digestion.
  • Eat highly alkaline foods like beetroot, carrots, potatoes, spinach, dried figs, raisins and avocado. Medium alkaline foods include almonds, milk, cabbage, celery, mushrooms, onions, apricots, apples, bananas, oranges, peaches and grapes. Eat more vegetables rich with vitamins especially Vitamin B and E.
  • Avoid foods that irritate your stomach, especially anything spicy, acidic, fried or fatty.
  • Quit smoking completely.
  • Drink alcohol in moderation, if at all. Better to quit it totally. Excessive intake of alcohol can irritate the mucous lining of your stomach. Limit yourself to one drink per day if you’re a woman or two drinks per day if you’re a man.
  • Cut down on pain relievers. If you use pain relievers regularly, ask your doctor which medication is less likely to aggravate your stomach problem.
  • Reduce weight. Obesity can slow down digestion and lead to acidity.
  • Exercise. Anxiety and depression can worsen acidity. Exercising releases endorphins (feel-good neurotransmitters) which can alleviate your mood.
  • Manage stress. Stress may make your gastritis symptoms worse. Stress may be unavoidable but you can learn to cope with it. If you have trouble relaxing, try calming activities like meditation and yoga.

Symptoms of Acidity / Hyperacidity

Like every disease there are few symptoms of acidity and hyperacidity too. If you suffer from more than three of the following symptoms, you are suffering from Hyperacidity.

  • Feeling discomfort or pain in the upper abdomen after a meal
  • Painful sensation in the chest area
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Feeling restless after a meal
  • Sour belching with an aftertaste of already eaten food
  • Nausea after drinking water
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation

A simple urine test can be done to confirm Hyperacidity. Testing at 6.5 or below on urine or saliva strips indicates Acidosis. Vomiting and dehydration can alter your body pH too. In such cases it is always advisable to consult a health practitioner to interpret your results. Prolonged acidity is never good and can be highly detrimental.

Keywords: acidity, acid attack, hyperacidity, causes of acidity, foods