Ayurveda acid reflux
Today, acid reflux medication is the second most prescribed class of drugs in the US. About 20% of the folks who take antacid medication do not get relief and are commonly prescribed an anti-depressant to de-stress and de-sensitize the nerves. I have written a few articles on the risky side effects of antacid medications that you should be aware of if you are on these medications.
Could the cause of today’s rise in gastrointestinal distress be fast food, eating too quickly and processed foods? Or is it just stress and an unsustainable pace that is causing this?
In this article, I want to describe some of the conventional wisdom regarding possible underlying imbalances that can contribute to occasional heartburn, and a very exciting Ayurvedic understanding of and treatment for it.
How Does The Problem Start?
The conventional understanding is that excess production of stomach acid (hydrochloric acid or HCI) causes occasional heartburn. It is believed that when this acid is produced in excess, it will irritate the stomach lining.
Possible Causes of Too Much Acid
It is believed that excess spicy or processed foods as well as citric fruits, tomatoes, garlic, onions, hot spices, sugar, rich foods, pizza, and fried foods can all contribute to the excess production of stomach acid.
Additionally, day-to-day stress can trigger the release of excess cortisol, a stress hormone, which stimulates the release of excess stomach acid. (1)
Another Possible Cause
Interestingly, occasional heartburn incidents aren’t always caused by too much acid, but also by too little acid! That’s right; gastric discomfort can be caused by not enough acid production in the stomach. If there is too little stomach acid produced, the food and the stomach acid (even though there is less of it) will linger in the stomach and delay the emptying. The longer the food sits in the stomach, the higher the risk of irritation to the stomach. (2)