Acidity is a major problem and root cause of many further problems. Acidity issues are directly proportional to your life style. If you have a sedentary lifestyle that is most of the time you are spending sitting on the couch, the activity level is zero or very less, then problems like this arise, which we ignore in the beginning and later become huge.
How acid reflux occurs?
At the entrance of the stomach is a valve, which is a ring of muscle called as LES (lower oesophageal sphincter). Normally, it closes as soon as the food passes through it. But in case of people suffering from acidity, LES doesn’t close or opens too often as a result of which, acid produced by the stomach rises up in the food pipe and causes irritation to oesophagus and stomach. This causes symptoms like heart burn, sour taste in the mouth, nausea. If the acid reflux is more frequent, that is twice or thrice a week, then it is called GERD (Gastro Oesophageal Acid Reflux Disease)
5 Tips to help you get rid of acidity
1. Making changes to your lifestyle:
A very general treatment is to make lifestyle changes. Include any form of physical activity, whether that’s cardio, walk, strength training or swimming. According to the American Council on Exercise, doing 150 minutes of cardio and 75 minutes of strength training in a week is important to maintain a healthy lifestyle and to stay away from all health issues
2. Don’t overeat:
Follow dietary guidelines and refer to myplate.com recommendations. Don’t put a lot of food in your plate in one time instead split your daily eating in frequent 5-6 meals and keep in mind the portion control.
Make sure to have your food at the same time every day- Having food at the same time every day is very important. Erratic eating can have adverse effects on your health. By sticking to a routine, you can keep your mind focused and energy levels up.
3. Chew your food well:
This is one very important tip when it comes to acidity. Slowly eat your food and chew it well. Try not to drink from straws and chew gums because you tend to inhale a lot of air while sucking from straw and chewing gum which causes gas.
4. Don’t lie down immediately after taking meals:
After eating a meal, sit upright for about 2-3 hours or walk around. Lying down immediately will cause the acid to rise up in the throat leading to sour taste in the mouth.
There should be a gap between every meal. Make sure to keep at least 2 to 2 and half hour’s gap gaps between meals for better digestion.
5. Lift your head when you sleep:
You are advised to raise your head and sleep if you have problems like acid reflux or sinus, so people start stacking pillows. I would recommend use a wedge pillow instead.
Stacking pillows will raise only your neck and head while wedge pillow will elevate your head, neck, shoulders and your body till torso.
Antacids in severe cases. People who overproduce acid should not stop taking their medication immediately thinking that you have started eating healthy. Your doctor will lower the dosage with time gradually if required.
Foods that cause heart burn
Here is a common list of foods that cause heart burn in many people. These foods should be avoided. The symptoms with these foods may be similar for some but might not be for others so you need to find out your trigger food by maintaining a journal and note at least for 3-5 days that particular food which causes irritation to food pipe and stomach.
- Tomato products (cooked/ raw)
- Carbonated drinks
- Spicy food
- Citrus fruits
- Oils/ high fats foods/ fried foods
- Salad dressings
- Orange juice
Acid reflux diet (GERD diet)
Eat smartly for acid reflux, Plan ahead so that you don’t have to skip a meal. This is how and what you can eat for maintaining your metabolism, circadian rhythm. Feeding your body at random hours will spoil the process of digestion, appetite and will also spike your blood sugar.
7 Tips That Help with Acid Reflux (Heartburn)
- Daily start your day with 5 raisins soaked overnight.
- Have a good, healthy breakfast that can be eggs, stuffed roti, oat meal, shakes etc.
- Mid-day meal can be buttermilk or chia seed water with my homemade gulkand
- Lunch can be dal rice, chicken curry rice, paneer roti with salad.
- Post heavy meal, I would suggest to chew 1 green elachi (cardamom) and suck on to one laung (clove)
- For the evening tea, there ae two concoctions that you can opt from. First, consume ginger, saunf and mint water. Boil all the ingredients in the water, strain and drink like hot tea. Second, Crush elachi and laung in a mortar and pestle. Add it to the boiling water, add little jaggery if you want. This will give you instant relief from acidity. consume it as a tea.
- Last step to keep in mind is to have early dinner. Don’t eat very close to your bed time. There should be a gap of 2 hours at least before you go to sleep.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can overheating trigger heartburn?
Yes, overheating is one of the major issues of heartburn. When food passes through the oesophagus (food pipe) and reaches the stomach, there is a sphincter at the opening of the stomach which lets the food pass. When this sphincter doesn’t close , it can’t prevent the food and the juices to come back up through the food pipe.
Can being overweight trigger acidity?
Yes, there are many studies which prove that obesity leads to acid reflux.
Can medicines cause heartburn or trigger acidity?
Yes, over the counter or prescribed medicines both can cause heart burn. Medicines especially related to blood pressure, arthritis , anxiety etc
Are there any lifestyle changes that might help with Gerd symptoms?
Yes, there a few things that you can change which will help curb the symptoms of acid reflux. Try eating smaller portions. Eating at regular intervals and same time everyday can help. Try to have at-least 2 hours of gap i between meals. Avoid lying down immediately after meals. Try getting a wedge pillow. Start exercising.
What is the difference between heartburn and acid reflux disease?
Heartburn is very common and is experienced by most people from time to time. People who have acid reflux or heartburn more than twice a week are defined as having acid reflux disease, which is also known as gastroesophageal disease or GERD.
Which foods should be avoided if I have Gerd?
Avoid high fat foods, caffeine, chocolates , alcohol , spicy and fried foods.
Can drinking tea or coffee empty stomach cause acidity?
Drinking coffee or tea empty’s to match is one of the major reasons for acidity. If you are addict to morning tea or coffee just make a little change in your diet, start your day with overnight soaked raisins and then after half an hour, you can have your cup of tea or coffee.
Note: These are some of the general tips that will help you get rid of acidity. Don’t forget to consult with your doctor in case of severe problems. Let me know if you find these tips helpful.