How you can detect the big ‘A’ problem
Is Your Body Too Acidic?
SIGNS YOUR BODY IS TOO ACIDIC & HERE’S WHAT TO DO TO CORRECT IT
In our last article, we had spoken about acidity and its triggers. Just as a recap, let’s briefly take you through it.
What is acidity?
Our stomach produces hydrochloric acid to breakdown and digest food we have consumed. In order to control the amount of acid being produced, it is necessary to eat at regular intervals and avoid food that can trigger an unnatural reaction, like oily and spicy food. But, when the food being consumed cannot match the levels of acid being produced (usually when there are long intervals between meals), it leads to excessive secretion in the gastric glands and this, in turn, causes heart burn.
What are the factors that cause acidity?
Well, for starters, it is important to know that acidity can be triggered by internal and external factors. Internal factors can range from bad eating habits to digestion issues that come naturally to you. External factors, ofcourse, lie in the nature of the food you consume. Let’s do a quick breakdown of both.
- Our hectic work lives have heavily contributed to irregular eating habits. Sometimes, people prefer to skip meals altogether or forget to eat because of stress. Also, fad diets have become a craze and they don’t necessarily promote the right eating habits. Another habit that is vastly popular in Indian culture is fasting. And we all know what happens during a fast. Stress, by itself is a big contributor to acidity problems.
- Oily food, spicy food, milk products, tobacco, alcohol, the list is endless. It’s astounding how our stomachs are sensitive to most things we love to eat. They act as aggravators and disrupt the body’s natural digestion process.
Now that we have run you through the basics of acidity, it is important to know that like several other ailments that affect the body, prevention is better than cure. Not many people are aware of this, but acidity can pose serious complications in the long run. The problems might not surface today, but 10-12 years down the line, it might be too late. Modern lifestyle has affected the younger generation to such an extent that doctors, who used to treat patients over 50, are now treating ones below 40. The cause of this shift – faulty eating habits over the last 5-6 years. It’s scary to imagine that kids as young as 5 get lured to junk food and immediately take a liking to it while developing a dislike towards healthy green food.
Also, there is a big problem in the way people deal with acidity. The first thing they think of, when attacked by acidity, is to pop a pill. Anti-acids and other gas-relieving medicines work wonders in the immediate future, but sometimes the problem might have escalated far beyond a medicine’s capabilities. Sometimes, they may help the symptoms subside but not treat the cause.
But, there is a silver lining. If tackled early on, acidity can be controlled and regulated. Here are five early signs of acidity and gastric problems that will help you nip the problem in the bud.
- Chest pain – Imagine sitting in office and suddenly encountering an uncomfortable feeling in your chest. The first thought that runs through your head and pushes you into an utter state of panic is “Heartattack!” It could be one, or it could also be a sign of an onset of acidity problems. Here, what happens is that the stomach acid splashes into the esophagus as a result of the acid reflux. It’s called a heatburn. Always get this condition checked. Even if it’s not a fatal heartattack, it can be an equally serious stomach ulcer problem.
- Bad breath – Have people been subtly hinting that you have bad breath? It might take you by surprise because of your well-kept oral hygiene. However, the problem here isn’t your oral hygiene but your digestive system. If repeated brushing does not solve your bad breath problem, you know its time to visit the doctor.
- Coughing and Sore Throat – People usually relate sore throats to cold and flu. But have you experienced coughing fits even when you don’t have the sniffles? This is a symptom of acidity. If your throat tends to hurt only after meals, then that is a cry of help from your digestive system. Also, don’t be fooled by the chronic nature of your cough, as acidity is a known contributor to the problem.
- Nausea – The most common and obvious symptom of acidity. Everyone knows that the feeling of nausea comes from an unstable stomach condition. If the feeling of nausea arises right after meals, it can be attributed to acidity.
- Bitter Taste – Haven’t eaten anything bitter for dinner but still struggle with a bitter taste in your mouth. It’s probably due to acidity. Sometimes, acid escapes from the stomach and finds it’s way to the back on your throat. This leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. Sometimes, on rare and serious conditions, it can also cause choking. This is your signal to run straight to the doctor and get your acidity problem in check.
It’s not that difficult to tackle acidity problems if treated at the right time. If delayed, you might also have to go in for surgery. But we all know we are better off without that option. So read the signs your body is trying to give you and take care of acidity problems at the soonest.