Hyperacidity (Amlapitta) is one of the most common diseases seen in society. It is seen in all ages, all classes, and all community. Hyperacidity refers to a set of symptoms caused by an imbalance between the acid-secreting mechanism of the stomach and proximal intestine and the protective mechanisms that ensure their safety. The stomach normally secretes acid that is essential in the digestive process. When there is excess production of acid in the stomach, it results in the condition known as acidity.
Hyperacidity Diet (Ahara)
- Spicy food habits like eating samosa, burger, pizza, and Chinese food. Excessive use of chilly, clove, mustard, garam masala powder (spice mixture), garlic, etc. in the diet.
- Salty and sour foods like chips.
- Eating of stale, fermented foods (dosa, Uthappa, idli, etc. bakery food items).
- Excessive intake of fast food.
- Excessive intake of Oily foods, pickles.
- Intake of food and beverages in its hot condition like soups.
- Excessive intake of tea/coffee.
- Lesser intake of water, dry food.
- irregular meal times.
- Repeated food intake (before the digestion of the previously taken food).
- Incompatible food like taking nonveg., pizza followed by a milkshake.
- Skipping meals.
- Eating too late at night.
Signs and symptoms
- Heart &chest burn (retrosternal burning)
- Sour or bitter belching.
- Throat burn
- Regurgitation of food or sour substance
- Gaseous distention of abdomen
- Heaviness in abdomen
- Aversion towards food.
- Pain in the abdomen.
- Chest pain.
- Bad breath.
- Foul-smelling loose motions.
- Severe burning sensation over feet, hands
- Mouth ulcer
- Fatigue (especially in legs)
- Itching all over the body
As the saying goes “Prevention is better than cure” it is better to avoid all the causative factors of acid-peptic disorder (amlapitta).
- Avoid excessive salty, oily, sour and spicy foods
- Avoid heavy and untimely food
- Avoid smoking and alcohol intake
- Food should consist mainly of bitters like bitter gourd, matured ash gourd
- Include barley, wheat, old rice and green gram in the diet.
- Avoid overcooked, stale and contaminated food.
- The food must be properly cooked
- Follow mental relaxation techniques
Line of treatment
- Avoid causative factors
- Palliative treatment – As the disease is of Pitta origin, all measures are undertaken to pacify pitta.
- Panchakarma treatment When the patient cannot be well managed with oral medications ‘Panchakarma procedures’ like Vamana (emesis) or virechana (purgation) whichever is needed should be administered. In chronic cases, Asthapanavasti (medicated enema) is indicated.
Some important single drugs useful in Amlapitta
- Shatavari – 3 gm twice a day with milk
- Yashtimadhu – 3 gm twice a day with milk
- Amalaki (Indian gooseberry) – 3 gm twice a day with water
- Sunthi (dry ginger) – 1- 3 gm twice a day with water
- The Infusion of coriander seeds (Dhanyak) taken with sugar twice a day.
- Water obtained from green fruit of Coconut 100-500 ml to be taken twice a day.
- Powder of Amla 3-6 gm BD with water.
- Powder of Shatapuspa (Saunf) (Anethumsowa) with sugar mixed in a glass of water – 20 ml twice daily for 1 week or till the symptom subsides
- Chewing of half a teaspoon of fennel seeds after food
Do’s and Don’ts
- Follow the meal times.
- Light food, Coconut water, articles having cooling properties
- Vegetables like white pumpkin, bitter gourd, matured ash gourd, leafy vegetables except for Methi
- Wheat, old rice, barley, green gram, sugar candy, cucumber,
- Fruits like gooseberry, dry grapes, black grapes, sweet lime, pomegranate, fig, dry fig,
- Take an adequate amount of fluids like pomegranate juice, lemon juice, amla juice, sweet lime juice, Medicated water with ushir (wala) or coriander seeds, or laja (puffed rice). Warm water.
- Dadimpak (sweet preparation made of pomegranate). Moramla (jam made from amla), gulkand (jam made from rose petals) with milk
- A cup of lukewarm milk after every two or three hours.
- One teaspoonful of ghee with warm milk
- Take adequate sleep & rest
- Practice Yoga, Pranayam, meditation & exercise regularly
- Avoid excessive spicy, sour and salty substances
- Avoid fried and junk food items
- Do not remain hungry. Avoid fast.
- Do not overeat, take small frequent meals
- Avoid untimely and irregular food habit
- Avoid foods containing an excess amount of garlic, salt, oil, chillies, etc. very often.
- Avoid rice curd and sour fruits.
- Avoid lying down immediately after food and in the supine position. The best-recommended position is left lateral
- Avoid, smoking, alcohol, tea, coffee and aspirin type drugs.
- Avoid stress
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