Common myths about acidity revealed


Lord of Penmai
Jul 5, 2011
Common myths about acidity revealed

Very often, after a heavy meal, we usually pop an antacid to curb that burning sensation in our chest. After a few hours it disappears and we completely forget about it.

But, if these symptoms occur time and again, then you definitely have something to worry about. Commonly called Gastroesophageal Reflux, the condition is characterized by passage of digestive foods and stomach acids up into the esophagus due to a weakened esophageal sphincter. However, there are certain misconceptions and half-truths that act as barriers for the proper cure of this condition. Here they are...

Myth#1: Milk eases acid reflux
Fact: Although, many people recommend milk for soothing the pain of heartburn, the results are actually quite the opposite. It is true that drinking a glass of milk can temporarily ease a troubled stomach by neutralizing the acids. But, the calcium in milk later triggers the production of more stomach acids thereby adding to the original problem. Furthermore, milk is known to be very difficult to digest and to get rid of it, the stomach has to produce extra acids eventually causing more reflux.

Myth#2: Acid reflux medications should be taken for life
Fact: Contrary to what most medicine manufacturers would like you to believe, it is best to steer clear of acid reflux medications as much as possible. This is because the effects of taking such drugs last only for a short while and the symptoms usually return. Moreover, such continuous usage of pills makes a person more prone to developing certain long term side effects. This includes pneumonia and certain bone-related conditions. Hence, try to find some alternative treatment mode with your physician for curing this condition.

Myth#3: Avoid coffee and acidic beverages
Fact: Avoiding the use of caffeine products like coffee or tea should not be imposed on all reflux patients. Although, coffee may trigger the condition in some, there is absolutely no requirement for all patients to stop drinking it. If such products affect your stomach health, then you should surely discontinue their consumption, but if it doesn't, moderation in use should be practiced. Likewise, you should refrain from using acidic beverages like orange juice and alcohol only if they trigger the condition in you. Otherwise, you may continue in moderation.

Myth#4: Avoiding spicy food is a must
Fact: Probably, one of the most common myths associated with acid reflux is that once you are diagnosed with the condition, you have to live your entire life on non-spicy bland food. As with caffeine and acidic products or beverages, moderation in use is the best option. Unless the specific product triggers acid reflux in you, there is no point in giving up and eating a bland limited diet. Instead of giving up on your favorite comfort foods, try to find a balance in your diet habits, avoiding only those that affect your stomach health.

Myth#5: Only people with poor diets have the condition
Fact: Although, the incidence of acid reflux is quite common, researchers are yet to completely understand the mechanism of occurrence. Certain triggering agents may initiate reflux in some people which may not cause the condition in other individuals. You may eat the right foods and lead a healthy lifestyle but still you might end up with acid reflux.

Myth#6: Acid reflux is due to excess stomach acids
Fact: According to specialists, the amount of stomach acids in people suffering from acid reflux is usually normal. It is actually due to the weakening of the esophageal sphincter that this happens. The main role of this sphincter is to prevent the regurgitation or backward flow of the liquids and stomach contents. The sphincter gets weakened due to the prolonged episodes of heartburn making it unable to withstand the pressure of an over-filled stomach. An ideal way to avoid this is to use easily digestible food and that too in moderation.

(Source: Digestive System Disorders)

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