Gastroesophageal reflux (GERD) is a digestive disorder characterised by reflux or backflow of your stomach content into your food pipe (oesophagus). It is commonly known as acid reflux or heartburn.
Causes of Acid Reflux or Heartburn
- Weak lower oesophageal sphincter.
- Few conditions like obesity, hiatal hernia, asthma, diabetes.
- During pregnancy.
- Delayed stomach emptying.
- Intake of certain medicines like painkillers, antihistamines, hypertension medications, antidepressants, etc.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux or Heartburn
- Pain and burning sensation in the chest. Burning sensation may extend up to your throat.
- Cough and sore throat.
- Hoarseness of voice.
- Sour belching.
- Lump sensation and discomfort in the throat.
Dos and Dont's
- Include pomegranate, raisins, cucumber, cilantro, coriander seeds, fennel and cumin in your diet.
- Avoid consumption of chocolates, green chilly, capsicum, deep fried oily items, processed and fermented foods.
- Replace curds with buttermilk.
- Stop smoking and alcohol consumption.
- If you are overweight, try to lose excess weight.
- Don’t sleep immediately after food.
- Never overeat. Eat only ¾ th of your capacity.
- Avoid tight fitting clothes.
- Minimise the intake of coffee and tea.
- Don’t drink a lot of water immediately after food.
- Stress and anxiety may worsen your condition. Practise yoga, deep breathing exercise and meditation to reduce your stress and anxiety.
Ayurvedic Medicines for Acid Reflux or Heartburn
The following Ayurvedic medicines are beneficial in treating acid reflux or heartburn:
- Triphala churna
- Avipattikar churna
- Mahatiktam kashayam
- Pravala panchamrita
- Kamadugha rasa
Never neglect the symptoms of acid reflux. Repeated GERD may lead to a precancerous condition known as Barrett’s oesophagus.