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Hyperacidity (Acidity)

Synonyms: Dyspepsia, Acid peptic disorder, GERD, Hyperchlorhydria,
Indigestion, Gastritis, Hiatus Hernia, Acidity

What is hyper-acidity?
What are the causes of hyperacidity?
What are the signs and symptoms?
Ayurvedic insights - do’s & don’ts

What is hyper-acidity?

Hyperacidity, also known as Acid dyspepsia, Acidity, Indigestion, Gastritis, Acid peptic disorder (APD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or Amalpitta in Ayurveda.

The stomach normally secretes acid that is essential in the digestive process. This acid helps in
breaking down the food during digestion. When there is excess production of acid in the stomach,
causes an irritation of the gastric mucous membrane, it results in the condition known as acidity or
Acid peptic disorder (APD).
Normally, there are some protective mechanisms against the acid, in the stomach and proximal
intestine. But an imbalance between the protective mechanisms and the level of acid secretion can
cause acidity.

What are the causes of hyperacidity?

Certain condition which causes acidity is as under:

Dyspepsia: To the Greek "pepsis" (digestion) = dys digestion = indigestion, often called Indigestion.
Dyspepsia is considered a functional disease. The abnormalities are believed to be due to altered
function, primarily of the muscles and nerves of the gastrointestinal tract.

There are upper abdominal symptoms which may include upper abdominal pain, bloating (a feeling of
abdominal fullness), early satiety, nausea, or belching. Sometimes people will experience these
symptoms after overeating, or eating foods that disagree with them

Hyperchlorhydria refers to the state in the stomach where gastric acid levels are higher than the
normal range.

Gastritis is an inflammation of the lining of the stomach. Erosive gastritis is gastric mucosal erosion
caused by damage to mucosal defenses. In some disorders the body targets the stomach as if it
were a foreign protein or pathogen; it makes antibodies against, severely damages, and may even
destroy the stomach or its lining. In some cases bile, normally used to aid digestion in the small
intestine, will enter through the pyloric valve of the stomach if it has been removed during surgery or
does not work properly, also leading to gastritis. Gastritis may also be caused by other medical
conditions, including HIV/AIDS, Crohn's disease, certain connective tissue disorders, and liver or
kidney failure.

Helicobacter pylorus colonizes the stomach and the infection results in the development of chronic
gastritis.
GER is also called acid reflux or acid regurgitation, because digestive juices called acids rise up with
the food. The esophagus is the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. The LES is a
ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that acts like a valve between the esophagus and
stomach. When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) opens spontaneously, or does not close
properly stomach contents rise up into the esophagus. Occasional GER is common and does not
necessarily mean one has GERD. Persistent reflux that occurs more than twice a week is considered
GERD. 
Hiatus hernia- This occurs when the upper part of the stomach and LES move above the diaphragm,
a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally, the diaphragm helps keep acid in
our stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia, acid can move up into your esophagus and cause
symptoms of acid reflux disease.

Other Causes of Acidity:

•Excessive alcohol consumption
•Excessive smoking
•Hyper secretion of hydrochloric acid (hyperchlorhydria)
•Reflux of gastric acid (GERD)
•Weakness of the valves
•Gastro duodenal (peptic) ulcer
•Inappropriate food habits
•Eating fried , spicy, salty, fermented food on a regular basis
•Being on an empty stomach for a long time or skipping breakfast
•Eating foods rich in fats, like chocolates.
•Pregnancy
•Aging
•Obesity
•Excessive exposure to sun and heat
•Consumption of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (also known as NSAIDs) such as aspirin or
ibuprofen.
•Blood pressure medications, certain muscle relaxers, steroids, antibiotics, antimalerials,
chemotherapeutic agents etc
•Chronic constipation
•sleepless nights
•Develops after weight loss surgery Banding or Reconstruction of the digestive tract.
•Negative emotions , stress, anxiety
•Develops after major surgery, traumatic injury, burns, or severe infections.
•Chronic causes are infection with bacteria, primarily Helicobacter pylori.
•Certain diseases, such as pernicious anemia, chronic bile reflux, and certain autoimmune disorders.

Common foods that can worsen Acidity symptoms include:
•citrus fruits
•chocolate
•drinks with caffeine or alcohol
•fatty and fried foods
•garlic and onions
•mint flavorings
•spicy foods
•tomato-based foods, like spaghetti sauce, salsa, chili, pasta and pizza
• sodas that contain caffeine
•Milk
•Milkshakes (Milk+Fruit , Curd+fruit)
•Chilled water or soft drinks
•Excess and hot tea and coffee

What are the signs and symptoms?

The main symptoms of acidity are Heartburn and Dyspepsia.

•Heartburn -- a burning pain or discomfort that may move from your stomach to your abdomen or
chest, or even up into your throat. Occurs after meals, more common at night when a person is lying
down. Regurgitation of the gastric contents may also occur.

•Dyspepsia- is a burning or an aching pain in the upper abdomen, sometimes described as a stabbing
sensation penetrating through the gut. In rare cases there may be no pain, but only a feeling of
indigestion, fullness, bloating, flatulence or nausea. When the cause is a duodenal ulcer, having a
meal usually relieves the pain. But in the case of a gastric ulcer there may be no change, or the pain
may become worse after eating

•Regurgitation - is a sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up into your throat or mouth.
Common symptoms of acidity
•Bloating
•Burping , Belching
•Feeling full after only a few bites of food
•Nausea
•Vomiting
•Loss of appetite
•Bitter or sour taste in mouth
•Bad breath
•Hiccups that don't let up
•Dysphagia - a narrowing of your esophagus, which creates the sensation of food being stuck in
your throat
•Bloody or black stools or bloody vomiting
•Unexplained weight loss
•Mouth ulcers, glossitis
•Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat
•Headaches, Giddiness

Ayurveda insights - do’s & don’ts

Once you find the cause of the problem you can help yourself.  You can prevent Acidity by simple
Do’s and Don’ts

Don’ts

•Avoid over-eating, irregular eating, eating when earlier food is not digested
•Avoid fried, salty, spicy food, Avoid junk food
•Avoid fermented food and bakery items
•Avoid fatty food such as red meat, pork etc
•Avoid tea and other certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee or tea
•Avoid preserved food
•Avoid drinking too much water with meals
•Eating large meals
•Snacking close to bedtime
•Avoid swallowing food too quickly and without chewing thoroughly
•Avoid fasting
•Don’t suppress natural urges
•Avoid sleeping during the day or lying down right after a meal
•Overcome fear, tension, worries, greed, anxiety
•Avoid regular eating of sprouts
•Never had  fruit and milk or curd and fruits
•Avoid citric fruits, only exception is Amla ( Embelica officinalis, Indian gooseberry)
•Don’t eat garlic and onion in excess.
•Avoid awakening at night, excessive sexual intercourse
•Avoid over exertion and sedentary life style
•Avoid smoking, tobacco chewing and alcohol
•Avoid Tur dal, Grams, peanuts, raw food
•Don’t eat curd
•Avoid fruits and sweet dishes at the end of meal
•Avoid chilled milk
•Don't wear tight clothes or tight belts
•Avoid inducing vomiting in the morning
•Also, ask your doctor whether any medication could be triggering your heartburn or other symptoms
of acid reflux disease.
•Avoid excess use of Antacids , proton pump inhibitors, histamine-2 blockers, H2 blockers etc , don’t
take any such drug without doctors prescription
•Avoid regular use of pain killers, antibiotics

Do’s

•Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day.
•Pay attention while eating
•Keep 3-4 hrs of gap in eating
•Try sleeping in a chair for daytime naps
•Have Mung (green-gram) or masur (lentil) dal in daily food
•Fruits such as Indian gooseberry (amla), Pomegranate, fig, Grape-fruit, and Papaya, Apple can be
taken.
•Have cows ghee in food or cows ghee and candy sugar in starting of meal
•Drink normal water while eating food, don’t drink excess before or after
•Add Buttermilk in your meal (properly churned, sweet and freshly prepared) added with Cumin seed,
Black pepper or Ginger powder. You should take curd and water in 1:4 or 1:8 combinations.
•Sleep in time
•Exercise regularly
•Do Pranayam, Shirodhara, reular abhyanga (body massage), head and foot massage to relive stress
and anxiety
•Do regular Panchakarma specially Virechan( therapeutic purgation  and Raktamokshana (blood
letting or blood donation) in Autumn and if needed under doctors guidance
•Take Amla churna on empty stomach in the morning with water.
•Black plums (Raisins) before going to bed will help in smooth bowl evacuation
•Spices and herbs such as cumin seeds, anise seeds , coriander seeds, fenugreek seed, ginger,
turmeric, mint, cardamom and cinnamon, nutmeg can be added to your food in proper proportion, will
increase power of digestion
•You can take mild purgative (laxatives) before going to bed. Such as Triphala choorna,
Shatapatryadi choona with warm water.
•Some Ayurvedic drugs such as Shankha vati, Hingvashtak Churna, Aamapachak Vati, Avipattikar
churna, Suvarna Sootshekhar Rasa, Praval Panchamrut, Kamdudha Vati, Bhunimbadi Kadha ,
Chandanasava , Kumari Asav  etc can be taken under medical supervision only

Keywords
gastritis, abdomen, abdominal pain, acid stomach, indigestion, belly ache, burning stomach,
dyspepsia, stomach ache, upset stomach, inflammation of the stomach lining, bloating, burning in
stomach, heart burn, stomach irritation, Helicobacter pylori, acute gastritis, chronic gastritis,
stomach upset, acid production, stomach damage, prevention of acidity, causes of acidity, antacids,
acid blockers, proton pump inhibitors, histamine-2 blockers, H2 blockers, heartburn,PPIs, Amlapitta

Hyperacidity