Acidity is a common name referred to regurgitation of acid or partly digested food from stomach into food pipe or mouth.
Water Brash / Heartburn:
Heartburn / water brash is burning sensation behind the breast bone or sternum. It is due to regurgitation of sour fluid from the esophagus into the oral cavity. It is normal when it occurs occasionally but frequent and severe heartburn is a manifestation of some esophageal dysfunction.
Small or big erosion in the mucosa (lining) of the stomach.
- Stress and tensions.
- Emotional factors like fear, anger, tension etc.
- Overeating, large meals.
- Alcohol,Cigarette smoking.
- Irregular eating habits.
- Certain drugs like, aspirin, antibiotics, pain killers etc.
- Bending, lying down or physical exertion soon after eating.
- After eating certain food like- onion, coffee, tea, tomatoes, citrus fruits, spicy, pepper, chilies, deep fried food, aerated drinks.
In case of heartburn other causes include:
- Hyper acidity.
- Duodenal ulcer.
- Reflux of gastric contents into esophagus.
- Inflammation of esophagus, abnormal functioning of esophagus, distention of esophagus.
- Genetic factors
- Increased secretion of acid in stomach.
- Blood group O.
- Druginduced- long term consumption of aspirin, antibiotics.
- Type“A” personality – aggressive, anxious, and ambitious.
- Prolonged stress and anxiety.
Sign and Symptoms:
- Sour eructation, belching.
- Burning in chest after eating.
- Vomiting of sour / undigested particles.
- A feeling that food is getting stuck after swallowing.
- Heartburn / Water Brash:
- Burning sensation in middle of the chest or upper abdomen.
- Aggravated after large meals, stooping or bending after eating.
- Spontaneous appearance of fluid in mouth, which may be salty, sour or bitter.
- Discomfort in stomach, aggravated by hot or cold foods, citrus juices and alcohol.
Pains are related to meals. –
- Gastric ulcer- pain is worst after eating.
- Duodenal ulcer- pain temporarily better by eating so has to get up at night to eat again. Individual is healthy.
In absence of pain – recurrent bouts of heartburn, anorexia, nausea and vomiting.
- Treat the causes- take measures to relieve tensions and stress from life.
- Relax for about 20 minutes before and after eating.
- Eat bland food; less hot food add little or no oil to your food- bland boiled vegetables.
- Eat fresh fruits and salads, ash gourd juice.
- You can have takmaria, commonly known as falooda seeds (Impatiens balsamina), they have cooling effect and helps in digestion in hot weathers.
- Avoid citrus fruits, coffee, tea, raw vegetables, meat extracts, condiments spices and apple.
- Avoid canned and processed food- they contain chemical irritants.
- Avoid fried food and fats - you can include sesame oil, mustard oil, oily fish,linseed oil, skimmed milk and low fat milk products in your diet in small quantities.
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol.
- Eat meals at regular intervals, at regular time.
- Do not overeat; eat small meals at short intervals, little food at every 2 hrs.
- In snacks you can have biscuits (not the cream ones), toast with / without butter,sandwiches, light cake, curds, butter milk, ice creams, custards and puddings.
- Avoid drinking immediately before meals and drink sparingly during the meals.
- Do not exercise, bend, stoop / sleep immediately after meals.
- Avoid drugs like painkillers, antibiotics, aspirin, NSAID, steroids.
- Drink cold milk before retiring to bed.