Contributed by: Rachana Arya
One of the most common ailments in society is acid reflux. Also known as hyperacidity, it affects people of all ages, social backgrounds, and communities. It is a medical disorder that refers to a combination of symptoms induced by the production of an excess build-up of hydrochloric acid in the stomach by the gastric glands during digestion. Acid reflux can have a negative impact on your quality of life. It can also make sleeping difficult. It may compel you to eat at some times of the day and refrain from eating foods that you might normally enjoy.
Let us explore some common questions about this discomforting condition.
FAQ #1: What are the causative factors of acid reflux?
Some of the factors that lead to hyperacidity include:
- Poor eating habits
- Erratic meal timings
- Stress and anxiety
- Excessive weight
- Eating spicy, fried, and junk foods
- Excessive consumption of caffeinated beverages
- Physical inactivity
- Going to bed immediately after meals
- Smoking and alcohol abuse
- Continued usage of certain medications
- Disturbed sleeping pattern
FAQ #2: What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
Some of the signs and symptoms of acid reflux include:
- Bitter or sour belching
- Nausea and vomiting
- Throat irritation
- Aversion towards food
- Mild chest pain
FAQ #3: How can I cure hyperacidity?
If you’ve been experiencing frequent episodes of acid reflux, you should try the following:
- Eat sparingly and slowly
- Avoid spicy, salty, oily, and sour food
- Refrain from consuming chilly, cinnamon, clove, mustard, garam masala powder
- Do not drink carbonated beverages
- Stay up after eating meals
- Don’t move too fast
- Sleep on an incline
- Lose weight if it’s advised
- Quit smoking
- Avoid stress by following mental relaxation techniques
FAQ #4: Is milk good for acidity?
While the protein and calcium in skimmed milk may help to buffer stomach acids, full-fat milk may aggravate heartburn. Nonetheless, you can experiment with low-fat or skim milk, or even convert to a milk substitute if you like.
FAQ #5: Is hot water good for acidity?
Nothing beats a warm cup of water for dissolving and dissipating the food you’ve eaten that your body might have had trouble digesting. It also aids in the digestion of food by energizing the digestive tract and making digestion easier. If you’re suffering from stomach problems such as constipation, acidity, it is recommended that you should keep sipping warm water for immediate relief.
FAQ #6: Should I consult a doctor for acid reflux?
If you have acid reflux symptoms two or more times a week or if symptoms are severely interfering with your life, it is a huge red flag. More often than not, it is best to consult a doctor if you find yourself reaching out for an antacid every other week.
FAQ #7: Can acid reflux disease be treated with dietary changes?
One of the most effective ways to treat acid reflux disease is eating the right kinds of food and avoiding the foods and beverages that trigger symptoms. Some dietary modifications that can be very helpful in relieving acid reflux and its symptoms include:
- Avoiding spicy food with high-fat content
- Eating small and frequent meals
- Eat a well-balanced and nutritious diet
- Regularising meal patterns and timings
- Restricting the intake of carbonated beverages
FAQ #8: Can acid reflux disease be treated with lifestyle modifications?
Some lifestyle changes are said to be very helpful in relieving acid reflux and its symptoms, including:
- Maintaining a healthy weight
- Avoiding tight-fitting clothes—especially around the belly
- Elevating the head of your bed
- Being physically active
- Maintain a proper sleeping pattern
- Limiting consumption of alcohol
- Quitting smoking
FAQ #9: Can acid reflux disease be treated with medications?
Acid reflux can usually be managed with over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn/acid indigestion drugs. These antacids help to neutralize the excess stomach acid and tame hyperacidity.
FAQ #10: Can acid reflux cause health problems?
Although acid reflux isn’t dangerous or serious in itself, it can affect your daily eating and sleeping habits and make life uncomfortable. Moreover, long-term hyperacidity can lead to serious health problems like esophagitis, ulcers, dyspepsia, heartburn, gastric inflammation, ulcers in the stomach, and Barrett’s esophagus.
FAQ #11: Is there a cure for acid reflux in Ayurveda?
Several Ayurvedic herbs have amazing properties to combat hyperacidity. These herbs are loaded with antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties to pacify the acid secretions in the stomach and for treating all types of digestive woes.
FAQ #12: Is there any test for acidity?
The stomach acid test is a test to evaluate the amount of acid in the stomach. It also determines the level of acidity in stomach contents.
As the saying goes, “prevention is better than cure,” so avoiding all of the causal elements of acid reflux which are ‘Hurry, Worry, and Curry’ is always a good idea.
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