Q: I suffer from hyperacidity. Can you suggest a cure for this?

Hyperacidity, acid reflux, and a burning sensation have become very common issues. They need attention – popping an antacid is not the solution, and in fact you’re making things worse with frequent antacids. Let’s look at some causes of acidity:

Mental stress is a major reason for acidity. The brain and gut are strongly interlinked, so thoughts and emotions have a direct impact on the gut.

Long gaps between meals: The stomach is constantly releasing some amount of acids and when there’s no food in it for a long time, the acid has nothing to act upon and that’s when you feel the excess acid in stomach.

H. Pylori (bacterial) infection: This happens because ideally the entrance of the stomach is supposed to close after the food reaches the stomach but due to the infection, this opening does not close properly and the contents in the stomach tend to propel up.

Having medicines for a long time and drinking less water are also causes.

Most of us turn to antacids for instant relief. But that’s not a good thing. These antacids block the acid-producing cells of the stomach. We need our stomach to produce acid for the breakdown of proteins, to kill harmful microorganisms in food, to help in absorption of vitamin B12, absorption of minerals and more. Long-term use of antacids has a bad effect on the stomach cells that produce enzymes, and promotes bacterial overgrowth in the gut.

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Another important reason to say no to antacids is that you could easily get habituated to them. As these drugs don’t address the root cause, the issue is not resolved and you only get temporary relief.

Here’s what you can do about hyperacidity without taking medicines:

• Drink at least three litres of water a day. Implement this for a month and see the difference.

• Have tonic water, plain soda – this will help in giving you instant relief by buffering the acids. Cola drinks are a big no because of its insane sugar content.

• Use more of turmeric, ginger, fennel seeds and liquorice. These help to protect the gut lining from getting damaged. Liquorice can be added in infusions, soups.

• Avoid foods that instigate acidity for you. Observe the incidences of acidity and note the food you ate before the incidence.

• Avoid spicy food.

• Learn to tackle stress. Find your way of revitalising your thoughts and emotions to lower stress. Find what activity works for you and set time aside daily to work on it.

Rashi Chowdhary is a nutritionist, diabetes educator and creator of The Protein Bake Shop. Got a problem? Our fantastic panel of renowned experts is available to answer all your questions related to fashion, well-being, nutrition, finance and hypnotherapy. Email your queries to friday@gulfnews.com.