Hyperacidity (Amlapitta) is one of the most common diseases seen in all age groups in the society. 

Hyperacidity refers to a set of symptoms caused by an imbalance between the acid-secreting mechanism of the stomach and proximal intestine and the protective mechanisms that ensure their safety. The stomach normally secretes acids that are essential in the digestive process. When there is excess production of acid in the stomach, it results in a condition known as acidity.

Causes of Acidity

One of the common causes of gas and acidity is eating too much too quickly. Eating a heavy meal and lying down or eating it too close to bedtime can also result in acidity. Drinking fizzy alcoholic drinks, such as beer, can also cause both conditions to co-occur.

Signs and Symptoms of Acidity

  • Heartburn and pain in the chest

  • Nausea

  • Throat burn

  • Regurgitation (the action of bringing swallowed food up again to the mouth) of food or sour substance

  • Vomiting

  • Gastrointestinal disorders, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

  • Indigestion, stomach feeling bloated or heavy

Diet (Ahara) Do’s and Don’ts for Acidity 

  • Eat freshly-cooked meals on time

  • Stay hydrated and drink lots of water throughout the day

  • Avoid skipping meals or eating too late at night

  • Avoid salty, spicy, oily, and junk foods like samosa, burger, pizza, chips, 

  • Avoid excessive use of chilly, cinnamon, clove, mustard, garam masala powder (spice mixture), garlic, etc. in your daily diet

  • Include barley, wheat, rice, and green gram in your diet.

  • Do not eat fermented foods like dosa, uttapam, idli, etc., or fermented foods like bakery items

  • Avoid eating soups and broths when the weather is hot or humid

  • Cut down on your intake of tea/coffee

  • Take an adequate amount of fluids like pomegranate juice, lemon juice, amla juice, sweet lime juice, medicated water with coriander seeds

Regimens (Vihara) to Reduce or Treat Acidity

  • Follow an active, stress-free lifestyle

  • Have a minimum of 7-8 hours of sleep every day

  • Exercise regularly, stay active, and get enough sunlight on a regular basis. Practice yoga, meditation, and pranayama (breathing exercises) to feel fresh and stay happy.

  • Avoid excessive physical, mental, and emotional stress

Ayurvedic Treatment of Acidity and Gas

According to Ayurveda, our body has three different energies or doshas, known as the vata, pitta, and kapha. Acidity is a disease is of pitta origin and all measures undertaken have to pacify pitta.

If symptoms cannot be managed with oral medications, treatments like Panchakarma can be resorted to. In chronic cases of Amlapitta, the Basti Karma treatment might be suggested. In Basti Karma, the medicated oil or herbal decoction is administered through the anal route.