Acidity is known by several names, and the most common names are Acid Reflux and Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. An Acidity can cause chronic heartburn and persistent indigestion, along with other related issues in a person.
Sometimes specific foods can make a person uncomfortable as they do not suit their body, and this can cause an Acidity. Other times, specific conditions like a pregnancy can also be the cause for acidity.
It is normal for any individual to occasionally experience acidity due to eating specific foods, or overeating or not eating for a long time. However, when this becomes an everyday phenomenon, it becomes a problem.
An Acidity is not otherwise considered dangerous but if it is chronic and happens every other day, or maybe even more than once a day it can be extremely uncomfortable and make it very difficult to go about day to day activities. Experiencing symptom of acidity more than once a week can suggest that a person needs medical attention as they have an Acidity disease.
It is not even possible to ignore Acidity as it only gets worse with time, which is why it should be treated as soon as possible otherwise it will only increase in intensity. If not treated, the chest pain, angina, and heartburn that one experiences during an Acidity can be so extreme that it can be mistaken for a heart attack. If this becomes an everyday problem, one might even normalize it and as a result, an actual stroke may be mistaken for a heartburn, which can be fatal.
In the initial stages of Acidity, lifestyle changes are mostly sufficient in treating it. However, later on, medication may be required. In extreme cases, surgery may be the only option to relieve the situation.
Acidity can happen to patients of varying strengths and cause different levels of discomfort among them.
Patients may experience few or most of these symptoms in varying levels of strength as per how their condition is.
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Acidity may be caused due to several reasons. While some of these are more common and easy to deduce, others may be much more complex and not very obvious. If a patient experiences serious acidity problems, it is important to consult a doctor and identify the specific condition of the patient.
The following unhealthy eating habits can be the cause of an Acidity in many patients.
The following unhealthy lifestyle choices can be the cause of an Acidity in many patients.
The following foods are very acidic in nature, which is why consuming them in bigger quantities and often times may cause an Acidity.
Sometimes an Acidity may be caused due to other health conditions that a patient has. These can be:
Sometimes an Acidity may be caused due to certain medications that a patient takes which do not sit well with them. These may be:
There are certain physiological conditions which can be the cause of a chronic and persistent problem of Acidity. These need immediate attention and treatment upon diagnosis.
Since many of the causes of Acidity Disorder are based on unhealthy lifestyle choices and unhealthy eating habits, they can be easily prevented.
The treatment of GERD is rather easy in the initial stages or if it is a case of mild acidity. Lifestyle changes and avoiding unhealthy eating habits is the treatment prescribed to the patients.
Antacids can also be taken for instant relief since these are over-the-counter products.
Cases of moderate or intermediary acidity require a doctor’s advice who can adequately decide what course of treatment should be taken by the patient.
Patients are usually told to follow a diet that does not cause their condition to get worse and lifestyle changes are required. Medicines may also be prescribed to neutralize the acidity.
Severe acidity can cause many problems for patients, it can be caused due to serious complications like dysfunction of the Lower Esophageal sphincter, hiatal hernia, or hyperproduction of acid in the stomach.
The first step to treating severe acidity is using medications. Proton pump inhibitors are often used to treat the problem. However, operating on the problem area may also be needed. As per the requirement, this will be suggested by the doctor.
When a person has a serious Acidity, following the precautions is helpful but not sufficient, and other methods of treatment may be required.
A surgery may be needed in the case of physiological conditions which can be repaired artificially.
Medication for acidity is easy and mostly effective. Patients can use them after self-diagnosis as they are not dangerous and available over the counter.
There are several home remedies which can be used to treat the problem of an Acidity.
Some of these are:
Risk factors are responsible for causing a Acidity since they predispose a person to it. The following conditions can increase the risk of Acidity in a person:
The treatment of Acidity is important when it is diagnosed because this minor looking problem can develop into something much more serious. The cause of the problem needs to be fixed since prolonged occurrence of the problem can lead to other complications, some of which are listed below:
Esophagitis happens when the gastric acid produced by the stomach repeatedly comes in contact with the esophagus it can cause an injury in the lining. The acid is strong enough to corrode the surface, especially if the situation is prolonged.
Esophagitis causes several symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, bleeding through the mouth, a burning pain in the chest, etc.
Barrett’s esophagus is a specific condition which is caused due to prolonged GERD. In this situation, the esophagus is deformed and abnormal changes are noticed in the lining. The condition also leads to a change in the kind of cells which are found in the esophagus. An upper endoscopy is used to diagnose this condition, which is more likely to happen in those who have had heartaches, chest aches, and general acidity for over ten years.
Sometimes strictures or obstructions may be formed in the esophagus because of the constant acid contact in the food pipe. These can make swallowing or even drinking water very difficult for the patient.
The treatment for this condition requires dilating the esophagus and the various strictures formed in the passage.
Chronic acidity and Gastroesophageal reflux disorder can be the cause of cancer in a patient. The cancer complications in the situation are explained below:
Habits like smoking and consuming alcohol also put one at increased risk of this cancer.
Myth #1: Pregnant women always experience acidity so they should ignore it.
Fact: pregnant women are more likely to experience acidity and Acidity, however, this should not be ignored. Acidity can be extremely uncomfortable. A doctor can help pregnant women deal effectively with the situation and completely avoid the discomfort that comes with an Acidity.
Myth #2: It is normal to experience heartburns when one has the problem of Acidity.
Fact: While heartburn is a common symptom of an Acidity, this does not mean that heartburns should be ignored by the patient. Heartburns are a sign of severe acidity, and can also be caused due to other cardiovascular complications.
Myth #3: Acidity is only caused due to eating unhealthy foods. Starting to eat healthily can fix the problem
Fact: Acidity may be caused due to several reasons, one of which may be eating unhealthy. However, this is not the only reason for experiencing acidity. There are several lifestyle problems which may be causing a person’s acidity problem, as well as several physiological issues. It is important to diagnose the problem correctly and then find an adequate solution.
Myth #4: Home remedies are sure to fix GERD.
Fact: home remedies can be very useful in treating the problem of gastroesophageal Acidity. However, sometimes they may not work, and this is why the proper diagnosis of the cause of the Acidity is important. Medication and surgery may be the only resorts in case of a very severe Acidity problem.
Myth #5: Acidity is a lifestyle problem, it is not caused due to any pathogen.
Fact: acidity is usually a lifestyle problem, but there are a specific bacteria which may also cause the disease. This is the bacterium strain called Helicobacter pylori. An infection caused by this particular bacteria can well be the cause of acidity.
Myth #6: Milk-based and dairy products calm down the acidity one is experiencing.
Fact: cold milk and other drinks can help in relieving symptoms of acidity, however, this not always true. Foods with high-fat content are notorious for worsening the acidity problem. Sometimes milk-based food can be very rich in fats, and this is why they may worsen the patient’s condition a well.
Myth #7: Only fat people always have acidity.
Fact: This is not correct at all. Any person can experience the problem of an Acidity due to unhealthy eating habits. This myth is based on a stereotypical assumption that people who are overweight or obese always have unhealthy eating habits. Obesity can have several reasons, and may well not have anything to do with the person’s diet at all. Thin people, even those who are underweight, are equally prone to acidity depending on the kind of eating habits that they have.
Myth #8: Gastroesophageal Acidity is a lifelong problem.
Fact: Gastroesophageal Acidity is not a lifelong problem. It is not chronic, however, it may be persistent. The only reason that a person will have to struggle with an Acidity problem for their entire life is that they would not be getting treatment for it. The treatment for GERD is very simple, it only requires one to take precautions in their day to day life, and use antacids and other medications when they need to. With proper care being taken, there is a very low possibility of a patient experiencing Acidity.
Ans: There are several ways in which Acidity may be diagnosed.
Ans: The following tests are used to diagnose Acidity:
Ans: Yes, it is possible to treat Gastroesophageal Acidity with diet and lifestyle changes. By avoiding habits that worsen or trigger the condition, and eating healthy by avoiding fat and acidic content, a person can substantially improve their GERD problem.
Ans: Yes, it is possible to treat Acidity with medications. The kind of medications used are either antacids, digestion aids, or proton pump inhibitors.
Ans: When a person eats food and then it reaches the stomach, gastric acid is produced to help digest it. As a conditioned response, the stomach produces acid when a person eats. Hence, going to bed just after eating can cause the acid to flow into the oesophagus and cause acidity.
Ans: Mint is known to be beneficial for an Acidity problem since it soothes and relieves the stomach.
Ans: fibrous foods like whole grain, fleshy fruits, etc. can be very helpful for those with an Acidity problem, since they can help absorb and reduce the potency of gastric acid in the stomach.
Ans: Yes, these products are very useful in instantly relieving Acidity symptoms since they are antacids. They are alkaline in nature which is why they neutralize the acid quickly.