Beat the Acidity and the Morning Reflux

Acidity, or heartburn as it is also called, results from excessive acid production from the cells lining the walls of our stomach. It can also be caused by inadequate utilization of the acid produced.

First of all, one must put away the bias about 'ACID'. It is the most essential factor for the digestion of the food we eat and thus it is necessary (in fact, is there anything in our body which is not necessary? Nature is great!). Acidity results from improper functioning of our digestive system.

Imagine this scenario - your stomach wall has got cells that are programmed in such a way that whenever you eat any food (or even think of it, anticipating eating it in a while), these cells start secreting the acid that is needed to breakdown the food for digestion. If you eat sufficient amount of the food, the acid will be used entirely and you will have no acidity as well as will have a perfect digestion. But what if the acid produced is disproportional to the food intake? Either because you eat less (as in fasting or fad-diets or long work hours) or because there is an excess production (after smoking or eating spicy food-tea-coffee or alcohol intake or not taking enough sleep)? - it will keep some acid lying in the stomach, causing acidity. Simple!

The point where our food-pipe (esophagus) meets our stomach, a special tight muscular band helps to keep the door closed, so as to prevent the acidic contents of the stomach from entering the esophagus. When we swallow food, this sphincter relaxes to let the food alone to pass down to the stomach, after which it closes immediately like a spring-action. If this mechanism collapses, the acid from the stomach will spill into the esophagus once we lie down... causing the morning reflux. If it continues, it can even erode the esophageal wall (which is not used to acid like the wall of stomach) and cause structural damage.

Now having explained all this, is it really mandatory to write down 'Dos and Donts to avoid acidity'? or are we sensible enough to use our common sense to learn it ourselves? Ok! OK!

The key is...

  • to have small and frequent meals
  • to avoid food items that cause aggravation
  • to eat at least an hour before you go to bed provided you spend that time in upright position, instead of lying like a couch-potato
  • to have enough rest, food and water (anything in excess or absence will harm you)
  • do not eat a lot of antacids... they disturb the acid balance further