Have you ever found yourself enjoying a delicious meal, wallowed in the glorious pleasure of eating, only to see this joyous state shattered, minutes later, by a burning sensation in your stomach, (accompanied by belching and nausea) that makes you wish you hadn’t eaten anything at all in the first place?. As dramatic as it may seem, the previous situation depicts a dreadful scenario that is more common than you may think, it goes by the name of acidity.
Acidity, a very frequent ailment, suffered by more than 60 million people in the US, consists of several symptoms originated by the abnormally high production of gastric acid, located in the stomach. Such acid (hydrochloric) is crucial for the digestion process, since it helps breaking down the consumed food. Acidity produces distinguishable signs, such as heartburn (a feeling of inner burning in the throat, produces by acid reflux), stomach ulcers, belching, feeling of fullness, dyspepsia (also known as indigestion) and gastric inflammation.
The causes of acidity may range from bad habits like smoking or drinking, preexisting stomach ailments, stress, a sedentary lifestyle, bad eating habits, to simply eating a heavy meal and lying on your back for too long afterwards.
The most common way to treat acidity is the use of antacids, but these should be taken consciously and on certain occasions, since they bring along their share of side effects, even causing, in the long run, the reappearance of stronger cases of acidity. For that reason, several natural remedies are recommended; having the same desired results as antacids but without any side-effects.
Since the stomach is most susceptible at night, because the body stays in the same lying position for a long period of time, while digesting most of the dinner, it is recommended to eat a banana or an apple before bedtime, in order to buffer acid levels during digestion. It is also advised to sleep in a position in which the head is elevated at least 6 inches and not going to bed with a full stomach.
Watching your eating habits is another important aspect; chewing food carefully, at a regular speed, taking normal size bites, and guarding against foods that are high in acid, can help preventing a dysfunctional digestive process.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle, with regular exercise, avoiding alcohol and cigarettes and watching your weight, are also effective ways of fighting acidity, along with popular remedies like chamomile and gingerroot tea.