This is a very irritable feeling that is experienced by most of the pregnant women predominantly in the first trimester. For a few of them, it could also be featured in the second and third trimester as well.
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ACIDITY is medically different from heartburn and happens when the stomach produces more than the necessary amount of acid to digest the food. Hydrochloric acid is the acid that is produced as a part of the digestion process as soon as food reaches the stomach. With the acid acting on the food, the other processes of digestion commence.
Heartburn can happen if there is acidity. Heartburn is when the stomach acids travel up the oesophagus causing a burning sensation along the food pipe.
Stomach acid breaks down the mucosa, which causes irritation and leads to symptoms of indigestion. Symptoms of indigestion (Dyspepsia) include Heartburn which is caused by stomach acid coming into contact with the sensitive protective lining (mucosa) of the digestive system.
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HANDLING ACIDITY THROUGH FOOD
WHAT NOT TO DO…
- Avoid drinking milk with an empty stomach
- Avoid Citrus fruits such as Orange, Lemon, Tomatoes, Mousambi which are rich sources of Vitamin C but can worsen the acidity, especially when taken on an empty stomach
- Avoid spicy, greasy, salty foods.
- Avoid food from commercial establishments and resort to more of home-cooked food since quality and shelf life is always a questionable aspect in this case
- Avoid Caffeine – in all sorts and forms – be it Coffee / Tea / Cocoa / Diet Pepsi / Hot Chocolate / Chocolate cream
- In case of harsh acidity, it is better to avoid Ginger – Dry and Fresh, Pepper – black and white and resort to bland food to easen / lessen the feeling of acidity
- Acidity could get seriously worse with triggering factors such as: Drinking fruit juice (on an empty stomach, in particular), eating chocolate or bending over.
WHAT TO DO …
- Strictly adhere to small, frequent meals, three meals and two or three nutritive snacks between meals
- A glass of cold milk, Yoghurt or Buttermilk – is a traditional remedy
- Drinking lots of water is one of the ways to beat it since water is the main component in maintaining acid-base balance, can ideally help in reducing the pH and thereby positively impacting on reducing acidity
- Chamomile Tea & Ginger Tea can help
- Raising the head or keeping it propped with pillows can help in alleviating the burning sensation
- Finishing dinner at least a couple of hours before going to bed.
- Sometimes lying down immediately after a meal can lead to heartburn because gravity helps the acids out of the stomach. It is better to lie down half an hour after eating.