Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux disease is defined as a disorder in which mucosal damage is produced by the abnormal reflux of stomach acid into the esophagus or food pipe. This is commonly due to transient or permanent changes in the region between the esophagus and the stomach, referred to as lower esophageal sphincter.
When we eat, food passes down the oesophagus into the stomach. Cells in the lining of the stomach make acid and other chemicals which help to digest food. Stomach cells also make mucus which protects them from damage from the acid. The cells lining the oesophagus are different and have little protection from acid.
There is a circular band of muscle (a sphincter) at the junction between the oesophagus and stomach. This relaxes to allow food down, but then normally tightens up and stops food and acid leaking up (refluxing) into the oesophagus. In effect, the sphincter acts like a valve. Acid reflux means that some acid leaks up (refluxes) into the oesophagus.
Acidity is generally accompanied by heartburn, which is characterized by a pain accompanied by burning in the chest behind the sternum (breast-bone). It occurs after having meals and is caused by conditions associated with excess intra-abdominal pressure like lifting weights or straining. It can also occur while lying down and is relieved when the individual sits upright.
Causes Of Acidity
- Excessive smoking
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Not having meals on time
- Eating fried and spicy food on a regular basis
- Problems in the functioning of digestive system
- Being on an empty stomach for a long time or skipping breakfast
- Eating foods rich in fats, like chocolates
- Inappropriate food habits
- Negative emotions
- Weakness of the sphincter
Symptoms Of Acidity
- Burning sensation or pain in the stomach, 1-4 hours after a meal
- Chest pain
- Prolonged heartburn
- Bitter taste in mouth
- Severe chest pain develops in some cases (and may be mistaken for a heart attack).
Diet Management in Acidity and GERD
- Remain Calm
- you should not lie down soon after you’ve had a meal.
- Eat small, regular meals based on whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grain cereals
- drink 10-12 glasses of water daily.
- Avoid Spicy foods, Citrus fruits, Full fat dairy products , Coffee, tea, chocolate , soft drinks, junk food, Preservative-containing food, Alcohol and smoking