1. I am yet to come across any patient who might have come what ever reason not to complain that they suffer from acidity. This mean almost every body has self diagnosis of acidity which obviously can not be true.
2. Everyone who has the self diagnosis has different home made remedy. If there are so many cures for one condition surely one solution does not work for all.
3. Most people self medicate with acidity tablets. If a study is conducted actual number of acidity medications sold in India might be more than lolly pops!!! This might be a fact.
4. Foods that cause acidity. Different people list different foods. You do to have to listen to too many. If you listen the foods that need to be avoided from 100 people maximum then you will not be left with anything to eat. So it is plain obvious foods do not cause acidity. It also means you do not have to avoid any food on advise of others.
5. One thing is sure to cause acidity is food habits. As long the spice is with in normal limit and food is consumed on time there is no need to avoid any food. So as much as possible food needs to be consumed on time.
6. Most important thing we need to understand is that acid is produced by everyone in the stomach so it is absolutely necessary to digest food completely. With out acid you will not be able to digest food properly and hence taking acid suppression tablets for long term might lead to deficiencies.
7. Acid produced in the stomach can give burning sensation if stomach is empty for long time. This is because acid which is meant to digest food will start to very slowly digest inner lining of stomach which is mucosa (Toughest layer and most acid resistant layer of the stomach). If this goes on for long time then it will lead to ulcer. Hence it is important to eat at regular time so that acid digests the food which it is meant to be digest and not stomach.
8. Acid is not meant to come into oesophagus at all. There are different mechanisms to prevent acid from coming into oesophagus. When one or all these mechanisms are disrupted then acid comes into esophagus. This will cause burning sensation in the chest and at times can mimic heart attack. Treatment for this can be to reduce acid production with Proton pump Inhibitors (PPI) or correction of disrupted mechanism and there recreating natural mechanisms to prevent acid from coming into chest. (Hiatus hernia/LAX LES -- See separate blog)
9. As discussed previously prolonged acid suppression might lead to nutritional deficiencies. In these scenarios one might have to consider surgical option as permanent cure for acid reflux. Surgery does not reduce the acid production but it is effective in treating acid from reaching chest by recreating the lost natural defense mechanisms.