Stomach acid, Gastric juice, or Gastric acid, is a watery, colorless digestive fluid which is formed within the lining of the stomach. The normal pH concentration of the gastric acid is 1-3. This plays a significant role in digestion of the proteins by activating digestive enzymes in the stomach, which collectively break down the long chain of amino acids of proteins. Sometimes, a higher amount of acid can be produced in the stomach. In this condition, the patient may suffer from symptoms like nausea, vomiting, abdominal pain, bloating, and heart burn. In other words, Acidity comes under Gastro esophageal Reflux Disorder (GERD). This disease happens when acid in the stomach constantly flows back into the oesophagus (the tube connecting your mouth and stomach). The result of acidity is heart burn. Stomach also contains hydrochloric acid which helps in efficient digestion of food and also protects the stomach from unwanted growth of bacteria. So when there is excessive production of such acids, it leads to the disturbance of the gastric glands of the stomach.
CAUSES OF ACIDITY
● Highly spicy foods
● Eating heavy meals close to bed time
● Life style
● Consumption of beverages like alcohol, tea, coffee, carbonated drinks
● Anti-inflammatory medicines
● Some types of antibiotics
● Stress and depression
SYMPTOMS OF ACIDITY
● Pain and a burning sensation in the chest, throat, and stomach.
● Gas or Flatulence
● Bad Breathing
● Nausea or vomiting
● Heaviness in the abdomen after eating
● Frequent burps
● Mimic heart pain (angina)
● Regurgitation of undigested food coming into the mouth
● Sensation of lump in throat
● Eating at odd times
● Difficulty swallowing
● Skipping meals
● Unhealthy eating habits which include, excessive consumption of tea, coffee, cold drinks, spicy, junk, and oily foods
● Pain may reach the rear in many patients
● Stomach ailments like ulcers
● A bad lifestyle, like taking an excessive amount of stress, sleeping less, drinking less water, smoking, etc.
● Many patients with acidity are awakened from sleep because of heartburn or pain.
● Acid-induced erosion of teeth can be caused by prolonged regurgitation of acidity.
● Acidity can cause inflammation in the esophageal blood vessels.
● Prolonged acidity can cause bleeding into the esophagus.
● The bleeding may be severe because of acidity
● Due to acid reflux, swallowed food may grind to a halt in the esophagus, causing severe narrowing.
● The refluxed acidic liquid can cause coughing
● Narrowing of the breathing tubes may lead to an attack of asthma
● Inflammation of the larynx and throat can be caused by recurrent acidity
● The severe acidity resulting in inflammation may result in a raw throat and hoarseness of voice
● Inflammation of the lungs and infection can cause reflux of acidic liquid
● The refluxed acidic liquid also causes aspiration that will result in infection of the lungs and lead to pneumonia. This sort of pneumonia can cause pulmonary fibrosis
COMPLICATIONS OF ACIDITY
DYSPEPSIA AND HEART BURN
Narrowing of the oesophagus (the tube which connects the mouth and the stomach) creates the sensation of the food being stuck in the throat is known as dyspepsia. It occurs after taking food and is brought by excess pressure in the abdomen. In acidity, patient suffers from burning sensation in chest, burping, and chest pain.
Disturbance of the lining of the upper part of the intestine due to over secretion of gastric juices is known as ulcers. In some patients ulcers can be the part of cancer.
DIAGNOSIS OF ACIDITY
● X – RAY TECHNIQUE – This test is performed to check the complications in the oesophagus. In this procedure barium swallow radiography is used which helps in monitoring of oesophagus.
● ENDOSCOPY – In this procedure a small tube with a camera is inserted through the mouth to oesophagus. Endoscopy is used to diagnose the problems in the oesophagus.
● BIOPSY – In this procedure there is removal of small piece from the oesophageal lining for diagnostic purpose. This procedure is done to diagnosis any underlying cancer.
● ESOPHAGEAL MENOMETRY – This test is performed to diagnose acid reflux. In this process a narrow tube is inserted into the stomach through the oesophagus. This test is done to check out the proper function of the oesophagus.
ACIDITY ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
According to Ayurveda Acidity is known as Amalpitta. This is the most common disease faced by people in the society. In Amalpitta, Pitta Dosha is much more involved in comparison to vata dosha and kapha dosha.
CAUSES OF ACIDITY ACCORDING TO AYURVEDA
According to Ayurveda Acidity is a production of AMA (Toxins) in the body which results in heat and sourness in the body. So acidity is caused due to aggravated pita dosha. When kapha is associated with aggravated pitta dosha, acid starts effecting oesophagus. This can be triggered due to excessive eating of spicy and sour foods, smoking, consuming alcohol, excessive consumption of tea and coffee, stress, depression, anger, and sleeping immediate after sleep.