Amidst the hectic schedule of day-to-day life, we often neglect common digestive problems such as acidity. Considering these digestive problems to be minor, we either ignore or tend to treat them by ourselves.
Acidity can cause heartburn -- a burning sensation in the chest, stomach and throat. However, frequent episodes of heartburn (two or more times a week) may be associated with other severe problems like Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which calls for medical intervention.
A sedentary lifestyle and unhealthy eating habits such as irregular meals, skipping meals and consuming spicy, oily and fast-food can cause acidity. Along with this, obesity, stress, smoking, excessive alcohol consumption, and prolonged use of certain medications such as painkillers or nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, can lead to other digestive ailments.
Dr Rajesh Kumawat, Head - Medical Services & Clinical Development, The Himalaya Drug Company, recommends a few modifications in our daily habits that help in managing acidity.
- Drink adequate water throughout the day, preferably 8-9 glasses.
- Reduce the intake of fried, fatty, spicy, and junk food.
- Avoid alcoholic, carbonated, and caffeinated drinks.
- Consume meals at regular intervals; avoid long gaps between meals.
- Include fresh green salad in your diet (consume salad 15 minutes before your meal).
- Consume fresh fruits; however, avoid consumption of acidity-causing citrus fruits (such as oranges and lemons).
- Consume food two to three hours before going to bed.
- Exercise/light physical activity, yoga, meditate on a daily basis.
- Review your medicines (used for other ailments) regularly with your physician.
- Antacids with natural ingredients such as the ones listed below can also be consumed to get relief from acidity.
Indian gooseberry, a herb also known as amalaki or amla, is an antioxidant. It is effective in reducing the acid and normalising mucin (that protects the internal layer of the stomach) content in the stomach and helps in healing stomach ulcers.
Cowrie shell ash or varatika is well-known for its antacid and digestive properties. It is useful for symptomatic relief from gastritis, hyperacidity, heartburn and indigestion. Healthy eating habits and consuming antacids with natural ingredients can help keep acidity and other digestive problems at bay.
In case of frequent and severe acidity, it is advisable to consult your doctor.
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