Acidity can strike anyone and anywhere. Whether you are in the middle of a meeting or are on vacation spending heartful time with your friends or family, you can experience the symptoms of acidity. It is one of the most common gastroesophageal disorders. If you experience acidity once in a while it may not indicate any health issues but if you suffer from chronic acidity where the symptoms occur at least once per week you may need to visit a doctor to know the exact cause of it. GERD is a condition that develops when reflux of stomach contents causes troublesome symptoms. Studies have reported that the prevalence of GERD in India is around 20%, which is attributed to changing dietary habits, and lifestyle.
The best way to deal with acidity is to know about the factors that put you at risk of this condition. Alternatively, if you are aware of the condition or know about its symptoms, then grabbing an antacid can help you to get rid of it quickly. In most cases, the symptoms of acidity are often ignored unless the condition becomes severe. So ultimately, you end up booking an appointment with your doctor to get it treated. The point here is if you know about the symptoms, it becomes easy to treat any condition, including acidity.
Let’s learn about the six symptoms of acidity which you should be aware of and never be ignored!
6 Signs And Symptoms Of Acidity/Acid Reflux
The symptoms of acidity occur when the contents in the stomach repeatedly back up in the esophagus. As the symptoms depend upon the organs affected by the stomach acid, people with acidity may end up experiencing different symptoms. The severity of the symptoms may also vary.
1. Heartburn: It is one of the most common symptoms of acidity. It is caused when the excess stomach acid leaks out of the stomach into the esophagus leading to a burning sensation in the chest. In some cases, it can also lead to pain in the chest which is accompanied by burning sensation in the throat, which is a sign of acid reflux. This feeling can last for a few minutes to several hours.
2. Regurgitation: In some cases of acidity, people may experience regurgitation. The person may feel liquid, undigested food, bile or stomach acid moving up and down in the throat. It is that feeling when a person may burp only to get a taste of the last meal, similar to the feeling of being pukish. You can experience this symptom suddenly or after having heavy meals, post exercising or bending after eating anything. Around 80% of people with GERD may experience this symptom with varying degrees of severity.
3. Sour taste in the mouth: Have you ever experienced a feeling of sour taste in the mouth? If yes, then this could be a symptom of acidity. Seen in most people suffering from acidity, this happens because the contents of the food along with stomach acid and bile may rise all the way to the back of your mouth or throat. This causes a sour or bitter taste in the mouth, which commonly happens along with regurgitation.
4. Difficulty in swallowing: Medically known as dysphagia, difficulty in swallowing is one of the common symptoms of acidity. This is because, excess of stomach acids in the stomach may cause a feeling of fullness. It can not only delay the movement of food through the food pipe but also hinder digestion of ingested food. Moreover, it can make the person feel like food is sticking to the food pipe which further hinders the passage of food.
5. Sore throat: As acidity causes the stomach acid to move up to the mouth, there are chances that the acid can irritate the vocal cord or the voice box. This constant irritation of the throat can lead to sore throat or hoarseness. If acidity is experienced at night then the condition may subside after lying down. However, if it occurs in the morning, there is a high chance that condition might worsen during the course of the day. In such a case, an over-the-counter antacid might come to your rescue.
6. Indigestion: Also known as dyspepsia, indigestion can also be considered as a key symptom of acidity because it can lead to a feeling of discomfort and burning sensation in the upper middle part of the stomach. In some cases, pain in the chest and upper abdominal region is also seen. The other symptoms that are commonly seen along with indigestion is bloating, nausea, burping or upset stomach. This symptom may also indicate peptic ulcers, GERD or any chronic condition of the stomach, so do not ignore it.
Tips To Fight Acidity/Acid Reflux
-Avoid excess intake of oily, spicy and salty foods and carbonated drinks
-Eat small, frequent meals and opt for low-carbohydrate and high fibre diet
-Say no to alcohol and limit intake of coffee as well
-Avoid eating late at night and always chew your food properly
-Do not exercise or sleep immediately after meals -Keep a tab on your weight and drink loads of water
-Try home remedies such as ginger, cold milk, mint, etc to get rid of acidity
-Opt over the counter (OTC) antacids to fight acid reflux
The symptoms of acidity are often easy to deal with the use of antacids or home remedies. However, if you experience severe chest pain or chest discomfort or heartburn that seems different or worse than usual, then consult a doctor. Also, if you experience these symptoms more than twice a week or on a regular basis, do not think twice before visiting your doctor’s clinic to know the exact cause and get it treated.
1. Vaishnav B, Bamanikar A, Maske P, Reddy A, Dasgupta S. Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease and its Association with Body Mass Index: Clinical and Endoscopic Study. J Clin Diagn Res. 2017 Apr;11(4):OC01-OC04. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5449826/
2. Kahrilas PJ. Regurgitation in patients with gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2013 Jan;9(1):37-9. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3975977/
3. Wang HY, Leena KB, Plymoth A, et al. Prevalence of gastro-esophageal reflux disease and its risk factors in a community-based population in southern India. BMC Gastroenterol. 2016 Mar 15;16:36. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4791779/