Many people blame only food items for their recurrent acid reflux – and with good reason. There are various summer foods, including colas, coffee, foods with excess garlic and onions, that tend to trigger acidity in people. However, there are various other reasons that could lead to acidity as well. Following are the most common causes of acidity and some simple ways to get rid of it:
1. Eating large meals
When you eat large amounts of food in a single meal, your stomach gets filled with the food. This can lead to the reflux of acid into the food pipe.
How to deal with it: In order to deal with this issue, all you need to do is break down your 3 large meals into five smaller at shorter intervals. This would prevent the overfilling of the stomach. Also, do not eat your food very quickly, chew it properly before swallowing.
Our body has small door-like structures at the junction where the food pipe ends and the stomach starts. These doors are called sphincters and they are unidirectional, which means they allow the food to pass from food pipe to the stomach but does not allow the stomach acid to reach up to the food pipe. When there is excessive fat in the body, there is an increased weight on the muscle structure that supports the sphincter of the food pipe. This can cause the sphincter to open up, allowing the stomach content to travel to the food pipe and leading to acid reflux and heartburn.
How to deal with it: You may need to consult a doctor before planning a weight loss programme, as obesity can also be due to some underlying condition such as hypothyroidism. You can maintain your weight by eating a balanced diet, exercising regularly and staying away from fried foods and carbonated drinks.
Smoking is not only harmful to your lungs but can also increase acid reflux in your body. Nicotine, present in tobacco, has the ability to relax the sphincter present in the lower food pipe. This allows the acid from the stomach to flow back into the food pipe, leading to heartburn.
How to deal with it: The only thing you can do in this case is to quit smoking.
4. Certain foods and drinks
Food is considered to be the most common culprit of acidity. Foods such as fatty foods, spicy foods, tomatoes, onions, garlic, mint and chocolate, and beverages like coffee, tea, alcohol and carbonated drinks are known to cause acidity
How to deal with it: Rather than drinking carbonated drinks, you can consume coconut water, watermelon juice and buttermilk which are known to soothe your stomach and counter acidity. You can also drink a glass of fresh lime juice an hour before your meal to reduce the discomfort caused by acidity.
5. Side-effect of certain medications
There are certain medications such as drugs for asthma, calcium-channel blockers, anti-allergics, sedatives, antidepressants and some painkillers which can also lead to acid reflux.
How to deal with it: You can ask your doctor to change these medications if possible or else ask them if you can take an antacid along with these medications.
For more information, read our article on How to control acidity: Home remedies and tips.
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