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.
The sourness is due to fermentation of food in the stomach or over secretion of acid.
Heartburn describes a burning sensation behind the breast bone or sternum.
- Cigarette smoking
- Irregular eating habits
- Certain drugs like aspirin, antibiotics, etc.
- Bending, lying down or physical exertion too soon after eating
- Certain food like tomatoes, citrus fruits, onion, coffee, tea, spicy & fried food can also cause acidity
- Burning in the chest after eating.
- Sour eructations. Belching.
- A feeling that food is getting stuck after swallowing.
DOS & DONT'S
- Recognize signs of stress and identify the causes.
- At work reduce stress by learning to avoid long hours, not accepting unrealistic demands, setting realistic goals, accepting changes optimistically and not taking work related problems home.
- At home air your grievances, share your problems and regular weekend breaks with the family.
- Take time to relax allowing about 20 minutes of leisure before and after eating and make meals enjoyable, unstressful occasions.
- Eat slowly, chew each mouthful well.
- Eat meals at regular timings.
- Eat frequently but in small quantities.
- Do not overeat.
- Avoid drinking immediately before meals and drink sparingly during meals.
- Do not lie down immediately after meals.
- Eat less spicy, avoid fatty, fried food and those that contain possible irritants such as chemical food additives or hot spices.
- Avoid alcohol, reduce the amount of coffee and tea and avoid them entirely during an attack.
- Don't smoke. It will irritate the stomach lining.
- Drink cold milk at the time of heartburn.
- Avoid painkillers or medicine which cause acidity.
- Hot compresses over the stomach are said to improve the blood supply in the area and relax the muscles.