CASE STUDY : Acidity

Acidity & heartburn are the forerunner of not just the duodenal & stomach ulcers but also cancer of the stomach. Ulcers are caused by a bacteria –the heliobacter pylori.  

Symptoms :  

Its pain feels like a burning sensation that radiates upwards. Heartburn is most often the result of gastric juices refluxing up into the oesophagus above the stomach. The discomfort of heartburn usually gets worse if you lie down because this makes it easier for the gastric juices to back up. Many a time it is mistaken for the cardiac pain-the pain before heart attack. It also is characterized bys our belches & a burning sensation in the stomach.  

Why it occurs :  

Overeating or not eating properly, not chewing the food completely results in the production of the excessive acid as the digestive juices tend to get forced into the oesophagus causing the sour taste. 

Avoidance Measures : 

  •  Over the counter digestive aids & antacids are generally effective & safe. Antacids work by neutralizing excess acids in the stomach. They are made from a mixture of magnesium hydroxide & aluminium hydroxide (one constipates and the other tends to produce diarrhea) combined they counter each others effects.
  •  Acid blockers (also called H2 blockers, drugs like Tagamet, & Zantac) are often prescription drugs that inhibit the release of acids in the first phase. Best option is to take an antacid for immediate relief combined with an acid blocker for extended relief. After all a single dose of dose of acid blocker last for nine to twelve hours. An important difference is that antacids stay in the gastro-intestinal tracts and aren’t absorbed systematically & therefore might result side effects-depression, headache, or confusion.  

  •    Take simple food and eschew all spicy & fried foods Water dilutes the acidic state of the system so drink it in plenty. An abdominal mud pack placed for 20 minutes everyday is beneficial as well.
  •      In case of chronic acidity take only butter milk for a week. This will serve as an alkaline cleanser & a neutralizer of the acidic state of the system. After this initial stomach wash , take a well balanced diet, with a predominance of raw foods. Also take plenty of fruit juices so as to flush out the acidic residues. Juices of citrus fruits such as lemons & oranges are especially beneficial since they attack bacteria & prevent fermentation. 
  •     On remaining untreated it results peptic ulcers. So to prevent it take at least 2 bananas as they contain vitamin U an anti ulcer factor. Bananas also neutralizes the acidity of the body juices & mucilage in them coats the lining of the stomach. This protects the lining of the stomach from the effect of the ulcerating hydrochloric acid secreted in the stomach. Raw cabbage & cabbage juice mixed with carrot juice as well have the same effects.
  •     Untreated Acidity may lead to Acidosis .It may also result due to the depletion of the alkaline reserve on account of diarrhea, diabetes & certain pulmonary disorders.     
  •  Orange juice, taken in quantities is an excellent blood cleanser due to its speedy effect on the acidic conditions of the body. Carrots & celery being rich in minerals also have an effective alkaline reaction. 
  •  The common thought goes that oranges , lemons harm the acidity cases, but these citric acid containing fruits-oranges, tomatoes, grapes, lemons have malic acid, traces of oxalic acids which combine with the sodium and potassium to form either sodium or potassium malate, citrate or oxylate. These end products are then oxidized in the body & an alkaline ash content from potassium and sodium is left behind. This increase in blood alkalinity reduces the acid components such as phosphates, urea, & ammonia. Grapefruit is especially useful one in this context.
  • Raisins because of their highly alkaline nature are useful for maintaining the acid alkaline balance of the body. By reducing the urinary ammonia they reduce the urine acidity as well. Moreover the organic acid of raisins is completely oxidized during the period of digestion.

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