Acidity is a condition in which the acidified liquid in your stomach goes up towards the esophagus. Acidity symptoms include a sharp but temporary pain felt in the chest, and regurgitation, where the refluxed liquid appears in your mouth. Other more serious signs are nausea and ulcers, and if not treated right away, may even lead to esophageal cancer.
[divider]Acidity Treatment and Medications[/divider]
There are several prescription and OTC medications that are used to treat heartburn and the other symptoms. The following are currently the most popular:
- Antacids: These drugs work by neutralizing the acid in your stomach so there is nothing to reflux. While effective, antacids are not permanent as the acid will re-accumulate after some time. For antacids to be effective you should take it an hour after eating, which is the time when acid reflux begins.
- Histamine antagonists: Since you need to take antacids often to deal with acidity, some people prefer a histamine antagonist like cimetidine. Histamine is a chemical that stimulates acid production and produces heartburn and other acidity symptoms, so what the medication does is block these receptors and prevent acid from being produced.
- Proton pump inhibitor (PPI): This is a type of acidity treatment developed for acid related ailments. PPI works by blocking acid secretion in your stomach, and it also stops acid production altogether for longer periods of time compared to antacids. Not only that, but PPI is very effective in preventing chest pain and provides protection for the esophagus.
One of the most effective ways of dealing with acidity is to change your eating habits, especially if your reflux gets worse after eating. To reduce heartburn you should eat smaller meal portions during the evening and preferably at an earlier hour. Eating smaller portions will reduce stomach distention, and eating at least two hours before bedtime will reduce the symptoms while you are sleeping.
Aside from seeking acidity treatment you should also avoid foods which tend to pressure the esophageal sphincter. These include:
- Caffeinated drinks
- Fatty foods should also be reduced or avoided
These are just some of the more common foods that produce acid reflux and other symptoms. You should pay attention to your diet and if you notice that certain foods cause reflux, avoid it. Besides the ones listed above, other foods that cause acidity symptoms to appear are tomato juice, carbonated beverages, citrus juices, spicy foods and other acidic foods. Because people have different levels of tolerance, it will vary from case to case, so it’s up to you to take note of how foods are affecting you.
Tips and Tricks
One increasingly popular method for treating acidity is by chewing gum. The reason why this is proving to be effective is it stimulates saliva production, which in turn helps neutralize the acid in the stomach. In short, chewing gum helps your body block the acid building up in the esophagus. However, it is not yet clear how effective this is in preventing sudden sharp chest pains usually brought about by acidity.