According to Ayurveda, the root cause of all disease stems from impaired digestion. Many of the recommendations that Ayurveda suggests help to enkindle and balance the digestive fires or agni. With balanced agni, everything taken into the body, from perceived experience of our external environment to the food we ingest, can be properly assimilated and absorbed.
What is Gastric acid?
Gastric acid is one of the main secretions of the stomach. It consists mainly of hydrochloric acid which acidifies the stomach content to a pH of 1 to 2 Role of Gastric acid (HCL) -HCl secretion is required for protein digestion. Renders the stomach sterile against orally-ingested pathogens, prevents bacterial or fungal overgrowth of the small intestine, Encourages the flow of bile and pancreatic enzymes, and facilitates the absorption of a variety of nutrients.
Good health and the presence of absolute immunity depend on the existence of a normal production of hydrochloric acid.
When the stomach contains more hydrochloric acid than normal, the condition is called hyperacidity. This excessive secretion may lead to ulcers in the stomach.
With increasing work load in professional life and due to emotional upheavals, cases of hyperacidity are increasing day by day
Causes of Hyperacidity
Irregular eating habits, Excessive use of the oily and spicy food, Wrong combinations of food items, Excess use of caffeine and nicotine products, Use of Carbonated drinks, Sleeping just after taking meal, Inadequate sleep, Anger, Stress, Depression, Anxiety, Excessive smoking and alcohol consumption, Constipation, Obesity, etc.
Burning sensation or pain in the stomach after 1hr – 4 hrs of a meal, May feel hungry frequently, Heartburn, Belching, Nausea, Vomiting, Bitter taste in mouth, Loss of appetite, Gas/ bloating, Headache, Dizziness, Pain in abdomen after the intake of sugar and starchy products etc.
Antacids can successfully neutralize the “acidity” inside the stomach and symptoms disappear for a moment or hours. However, this gives message to the body that acid produced inside the stomach is less than the average requirement for digestion and next time stomach produces more acid, with higher strength.
Problems with antacid is they suppress the singles of hunger causes, anorexia. Prolong use of Antacids may lead to accumulation of salt (Acid + Antacid= salt) in body which in long run responsible for Skin diseases, Asthma etc.
One should always look for what is causing hyperacidity instead of only symptomatic relief.
In Ayurveda, Hyperacidity is called as Amlapitta and the reason is increased Pitta energy in the body.
Treatment includes to decrease quantity and increasing quality of pitta:
1. Vamana (Emesis therapy) – Is used to expel out vitiated pitta form upper pathway of the body.
2. Virechana(Purgation Therapy) – Use to expel out vitiated pitta from lower pathway of the body.
3. Oral medications.
4. Diet and lifestyle – Plays vital role in the management of hyperacidity.
Above treatments are given according to the body type and the impact of the seasonal changes on the body.