Updated: Mar 10
As per request from many of you, I will be starting a series on diseases commonly faced in our daily lives. To start with, I intend to start with Acidity. According to a task force set up by the Indian society of gastroenterology, about 20 % of the urban population are suffering from some or other form of acidity.
Acidity is mostly used as an umbrella term for various discomfort and symptoms of the digestive system. In clinical practice, I have often heard terms like gastritis, gastric problem, hyper acidity, acid reflux, gas problem used to express the discomfort in the gastrointestinal region. In Ayurveda, the condition is classified as Amlapitta. Before exploring more from the ayurvedic perspective, it will be useful to list all the symptoms which can be experienced due to acidity.
Heartburn (Burning pain in the upper chest area)
Regurgitation: Sour or bitter liquid felt in the throat
Nausea and vomiting
Feeling like something is stuck in the throat
Fullness of the abdomen
Chronic dry cough
Chronic/ recurrent sore throat
Change in voice or hoarseness
Acid reflux in lying position sometimes in the middle of the night
Pain/and burning in the abdomen
As per the Ayurvedic texts, various terms like Aruchi (losing taste for food), Ajeerna (Indigestion/dyspepsia), Aanaaha/Aadhmana (bloating/ gaseousness), Vidaaha (burning pain), udarashoola (Stomach pain) and in later texts, Amlapitta is mentioned. The cause of these conditions are primarily attributed to Agnidushti- imbalance/impairment of the digestive fire. And the primary dosha which is affected is the Pitta dosha. Most of the symptoms experienced are in the abdomen region which is the seat of Pitta dosha. The involvement of the other doshas can be understood by the location and the nature of the symptom.
The line of treatment for all the diseases in Ayurveda is Aahaara (food), Vihaara (lifestyle habits) and Oushadha (medicines) in that order. This approach becomes even more important in a condition like acidity.
There are 2 specific approaches mentioned by the Ayurvedic texts to treat acidity.
Vyadhivipareetha chikitsa– Treatment to help the pain or discomfort from the symptoms caused by disease condition. This is aimed at providing relief to the patient at the earliest.
Hethuvipareetha chikitsa– This treatment is aimed at wholesome management of the condition. This will include any panchakarma treatment if necessary and detailed history taking of the patient to identify the food and lifestyle habits contributing to the disease and suggestions given to correct them. This helps for long term relief from acidity.
In the continued post, let us explore in detail, the food and lifestyle habits which can contribute to acidity.
Feel free to write to me at email@example.com for guidance and also send in your suggestions for this series.
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