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Acidity or Heartburn


Acidity is a general term which usually refers to regurgitation of acid or partly digested food from the stomach into the food pipe (oesophagus) or mouth. It happens when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe. The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, a strong acid that helps break down food and protect against pathogens such as bacteria. The lining of the stomach is specially adapted to protect it from the powerful acid, but the oesophagus is not protected. A person may feel a soreness which is due to fermentation of food in the stomach or over secretion of acid. Heartburn describes a burning sensation behind the breastbone or sternum.
It is very important to get diagnosed before getting serious issues. Some of the important symptoms are that there can be burning in the chest after having food and the patient may feel sour eructation and belching. Sometimes, we get a feeling that food is getting stuck even after swallowing. Many people doesn’t care even when they feel such discomforts. This makes the problem worse and complicated. Apart from the internal reasons, there are so many external reasons too that can cause acidity or heartburn. Stress and irregular eating habits are two important reasons which can be the causes for acidity. Overeating, obesity, alcohol and cigarette smoking are some issues related to our lifestyle which can be dangerous reasons for heartburn. Sometimes, medication too can cause issues. Certain drugs like aspirin, antibiotics etc. can sometimes be the core reason for acidity. Too much of bending, or simply lying down or excessive physical exertion after eating is not good for health and this can create digestion issues in the physical system. Some of the important food items that can cause acidity or heartburn are tomatoes, citrus fruits, onion, coffee and tea.
Acidity or heartburn can be treated or controlled to a certain extend by following some basic human activities. In this busy world, stress is one of the unavoidable things in a person’s life. But this can be dangerous as it can be the root cause for many of the serious disease conditions. You need to recognize the signs of stress and identify its causes. At work, you should learn to avoid long working hours and should learn to not accept unrealistic demands. You should teach yourselves to set realistic goals and accept changes and challenges optimistically. The principal characteristic you need to imbibe is that you shouldn’t take the work stress back to home. Home should be a place where you can relax and rely upon. Make yourselves comfortable at home and air your grievances, share your problems with family and enjoy regular weekend trips to relax your mind and body.
Exerting before and after having food can affect the whole digestion process and thereby cause many major as well as minor health issues. It is highly advisable to have a 20 minutes of leisure time before and after food intake. Always eat slowly and chew each mouthful well. This helps to make the meals session enjoyable. Planning and having meals at regular intervals and frequently at a balanced quantity can reduce the chances of heartburn. There are some key habits which should be avoided for a healthy lifestyle. Try to completely avoid drinking water or any form of liquid immediately after meals. Even when we need to have leisure time before and after food, it is not good to lie down immediately after meals. For a wholesome health care, eat less spicy food, avoid fatty, fried junk foods, and especially those that contain possible irritants such as chemical food additives or hot spices. It is very crucial to avoid alcohol, reduce the amount of coffee, tea etc and these should be completely avoided during an attack. Smoking can seriously affect the stomach lining. It is better to avoid painkillers or medicine which cause acidity. Drinking cold milk at the time of heartburn can help in reducing the effect of the issue.
All the above mentioned tips can be used when acidity is mild or not aggravated. Whenever you feel that acidity or heartburn is getting severe or in an uneasy manner, you should immediately consult a doctor. If discomfort around the chest region is aggravated by exercise and gets better by rest, sudden health consultation should be taken. If you experience any difficulty in swallowing, breathing, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, abdominal pain or black or bloody stools due to heartburn, take opinion from the doctor and proper medication should be taken. If acidity or heartburn occurs daily, that should be taken into serious account and take necessary actions accordingly.

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