Our Stomach has Acids that help in digesting the food we eat. When digestion is not proper, the Acid levels increase, which leads to Hyperacidity.
In Ayurveda, digestive acids are correlated with Pitta element present in the stomach. Aggravation and imbalance of Pitta causes Hyperacidity. The food is not digested properly and quickly and cannot move through the system aggravating Kapha element. Instead, undigested food sits in the stomach and undergoes fermentation, producing excess gas (aggravated Vaat element) and acid as a result. Gas is belching, flatulence, abdominal pain and/or bloating. Thus, Gas and Hyperacidity, both are indigestion problems. Gas can follow Hyperacidity or can precede it. It’s a vicious circle. All the three body elements Vaat, Pitta & Kapha get aggravated.
HYPERACIDITY IS KNOWN BY THE FOLLOWING SYMPTOMS:
- Gas, Heartburn
- Frequent burps
- Acid regurgitation through the mouth
- Fatigue without physical exertion
- Loss of appetite
- Constipation or Diarrhoea
CAUSES OF HYPERACIDITY:
Faulty dietary habits is the most common cause.
- Overeating or Skipping Meals
- Untimely food
- Not eating while you are hungry will trigger Hyperacidity.
- Intolerance to Certain Foods or Medications
- Eating Incompatible Food Combinations
- Excessive intake of sour, hot, spicy, pungent (pepper onion garlic ginger) & fermented foods & beverages
- Excessive intake of Alcohal or Smoking
- Heavy Kapha provoking foods such as Cheeseburgers, Fried White flour foods, Grinded Urad products, Rabri, High sugar foods, Jaggery.
- Excessive dry or excessive liquid foods
- Excessive intake of water during meals
- Rainy season, extremely hot humid climate
- Stress, anger, impatience
- Certain Health Conditions like old age, obesity
- Retention of natural body urges
Hyperacidity can be mild or severe, and so can be its symptoms. If left untreated, Hyperacidity may lead to complications like Ulcerations in the Gastro-intestinal Tract.
DIET & LIFESTYLE TO MINIMIZE INDIGESTON & HYPERACIDITY:
- Old grains (rice, barley, wheat), split moong daal
- Sweet pomegranate, apple, sweet orange, ber, banana, sweet mango
- Fresh Coconut water or fruit
- Bittergourd (kerala), Spinach (paalak), Sponge gourd (ghiya), Ridge gourd (tori)
- Milk, Fresh butter, Cow ghee
- Coriander, Cumin, Mulethii
- Amla in the murabba form
- Black raisins (munakka) is the best dryfruit in this category. Soak in water for 5-6 hours, take out the seeds and consume in a quantity of 10-20 per day.
- In small amounts- Chene kii mithaai
- Lemonade of Paper Lemon with slight sugar & salt in afternoon.
- YavaaniShaadav/Sitopalaadi 10 minutes before food in a dose of 1- 3 gms with honey 2 or 3 times a day. This improves digestion power. Caution for diabetics and preganancy.
- Asfoetida (heeng), Ajwain, Garlic try to pacify Gas and can be added in slight amount to foods which aggravate Gas. Their excessive intake can cause Hyperacidity.
- Habit of keeping happiness by meditation or stress management techniques.
- Avoid causative factors .
- Vinegar, tomatoes, sour citrus fruits, orange juice, salsa, yogurt (except lassi), onions, garlic, chili peppers, salty fried foods and alcohol all aggravate Gas & Acidity. These foods should be completely avoided until the acid level is brought into complete balance. And if there is an intolerance to these foods, they should be avoided in general.
- Peas, Root vegetables like Colocasia (arabi), Potato,etc. Aggravate Gas
- Avoid any store brought juices as they contain citric acid as preservative which triggers Hyperacidity.
- Avoid late night sleep and not getting enough time to sleep.
– Dr Malika Ahuja