Acidity, also known as heartburn or acid reflux, is a common gastric condition caused by the overproduction of acid in the stomach. This acid can cause inflammation of the stomach lining , pain in the stomach and heartburn. It is characterized by a deep burning sensation in the stomach. 

Causes of Acidity

  • Irregular eating habits
  • Excessive intake of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)
  • Stress
  • Smoking
  • Alcohol consumption
  • Lack of physical activities
  • Excess intake of oily and spicy foods.

Key signs and symptoms of Acidity include:

  • Constipation
  • Nausea
  • Indigestion
  • Heartburn
  • Bad Breath
  • Belching and Regurgitation
  • Excessive vomiting
  • Sour taste in the mouth
  • Restlessness
  • Burning sensation in the throat and gut.
  • Pain in the abdomen or chest
  • Stomach ulcers

Diagnosing acidity and acid reflux involves self-evaluation of one’s symptoms and lifestyle habits. Medical examinations, including serology and histology for H. pylori infection, radiological imaging, upper gastrointestinal endoscopy, esophageal manometry, esophageal pH monitoring, and biopsy can help diagnose Acidity and associated complications, such as Barrett’s esophagus, esophagitis, and strictures.

If lifestyle changes do not help to alleviate symptoms, it is recommended to visit a doctor. If left untreated, acidity can lead to complications such as GERD, gastric ulcers, duodenitis, irritable bowel syndrome, peptic or esophageal strictures, esophageal cancers, or gastric cancer. Therefore, early diagnosis and prompt treatment of acidity are crucial in preventing the onset of complications.

Doctors may prescribe medications to alleviate the symptoms of Acidity. 

If medications don’t help resolve acidity symptoms, the doctor could recommend surgery either by placing a ring known as a LINX device around the outside of the lower end of the esophagus or a surgical procedure called a fundoplication which can help prevent further acid reflux

Dr. Giridhar Reddy
Consultant Gastroenterologist

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