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if you leave the cause of acidity unaddressed        digestive properties, such as banana, papaya,
        for a long period of time, it can lead to long       gooseberries, ginger, garlic are known to be very

        term and more serious problems. Prolonged            helpful in relieving symptoms of acidity.
        acidity can result in lack of nutrition, as it       Mint leaves (Pudin Hara is actually made of mint
        directly affects the process of digestion. It can    extract) are a natural coolant. Boil few mint leaves

        also lead to bigger problems such as dyspep-         in water, and drink it after cooling.
        sia, gastric inflammation and ulcers in the          Fennel seeds (saunf), commonly consumed af-
        stomach.                                             ter dinner prevent stomach spasms. Having raw
        Acidity can be triggered by a number of fac-         cumin seeds (jeera) in warm water improves
        tors, the biggest one being eating spicy, oily       digestion while carom seeds (ajwain) are also

        foods, which unfortunately are common in             known to treat acid reflux.
        the Indian diet. Irregular eating habits—es-         Time to seek help
        pecially long gap between meals or skipping          Lastly, if symptoms do not improve despite diet

        meals followed by bingeing--are known to             changes, it is time to seek medical advice. Talk to
        play a huge role in causing acidity. Other fac-      your doctor if you suffer from heartburn several
        tors include stress, smoking, lack of physical       times a week or if you notice sudden weight loss.
        activity, excessive intake of tea, coffee, aerated   You might be given medications such as antacids,
        drinks and alcohol. Most important factor is         which work by neutralising the acid in the stom-

        by a bacterial infection called H Pylori infec-      ach or certain medications which block acid secre-
        tion                                                 tion in the stomach. Alarmingly, studies in the US
        Prevention is better than cure                       and in India have shown that people who suffer

        Here are some simple things you can do to            from acid reflux are likely to be predisposed to
        prevent acidity. Chew your food slowly in-           cancer of the oesophagus. Upper Gi endoscopy is
        stead of swallowing it quickly. Drink two            a safe n effective diagnostic tool available. Hence
        glasses of water every morning, as it helps          one must consider this in case of above symptoms
        maintain acid levels in the stomach as well          Timely treatment can save your life.

        as improves digestion. Eat smaller meals, at         All mentioned above is important for our elderly
        regular intervals. Do not lie down immediate-        and geriatric population.
        ly after your meal as this can worsen reflux.

        Avoid aerated drinks--they cause belching,
        which in turn, promotes reflux of stomach
        acid. Also avoid trigger foods, such as spicy,
        oily dishes, chocolate, coffee, tea, etc.
        Grandma knows best

        In case you do experience symptoms of acidi-
        ty, before you rush to pop an antacid, let these
        tried and tested home remedies, probably

        recommended by your grandmother, come to
        your rescue. Drink a glass of cold milk or but-
        termilk. Both work like an antidote for acidity,
        cooling the stomach, providing immediate
        relief from the burning sensation in the stom-

        ach. Fruits and vegetables known for their

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