Acid and digestive enzymes from the stomach can back up into the oesophagus, causing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a chronic ailment. When the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a muscle ring that serves as a valve between the oesophagus and the stomach, malfunctions, it opens up and causes heartburn.
Heartburn is a burning or uncomfortable feeling that typically occurs after eating and can occasionally spread to the throat or back.
Regurgitation: The experience of stomach-produced food or sour liquid returning to the mouth.
Dysphagia, or trouble swallowing.
a persistent cough or sore throat.
a change in voice or hoarseness.
symptoms similar to asthma, especially if GERD exacerbates respiratory issues.
The precise causes of GERD are not usually known, although a number of things can hasten its onset:
LES (lower esophageal sphincter) weakness.
High-grade hernia A part of the stomach that extends into the chest via the diaphragm may make the LES less effective.
abnormal esophageal contractions that could weaken or slow down how quickly food and acid pass through the oesophagus.
obesity, pregnancy, or wearing restrictive clothing can all put more strain on the abdomen.
certain dietary practises, including eating heavy meals right before bed, drinking alcohol, and smoking.
Food that hasn’t fully digested and stomach acid might leak back into the oesophagus when the LES is compromised or dysfunctional. The GERD symptoms are brought on by the acidic substance irritating the sensitive esophageal lining, which results in esophagitis and inflammation.
Symptom evaluation and medical history: A physician will inquire about your symptoms and medical background to assess your condition.
Endoscopy: A small, flexible tube (endoscope) with a camera is placed via the mouth to view the oesophagus and stomach, enabling the doctor to look for inflammation and other abnormalities.
Esophageal pH monitoring analyses the esophageal acidity levels over a 24-hour period and aids in identifying acid reflux.
Manometry: Analyses the pressure and timing of esophageal muscle contractions.
Weight loss, avoiding trigger foods (spicy, acidic, fatty), giving up smoking, and sleeping with your head elevated are all examples of lifestyle modifications.
Antacids: By neutralising stomach acid, they offer momentary comfort.
Reduce acid production with H2 receptor blockers (such as ranitidine and famotidine).
PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors: stronger acid-reducing drugs (such as lansoprazole and omeprazole).
Prokinetics: Enhance stomach emptying and esophageal motility.
Surgery: If existing therapies for severe GERD are ineffective, surgical procedures like fundoplication may be an option.
Most GERD sufferers can significantly reduce their symptoms with suitable therapy and lifestyle adjustments. But because GERD is a chronic illness, successful symptom control may require long-term monitoring and medication.
GERD that is untreated or inadequately managed can result in a number of problems, including:
Esophagitis: Esophageal inflammation.
Barrett’s oesophagus: Esophageal lining changes that could make you more likely to develop esophageal cancer.
Esophageal strictures: The oesophagus narrowing as a result of repeated inflammation-induced scarring.
Lung conditions like pneumonia or bronchitis can result from persistent aspiration of stomach contents.
Dental complications: Acid reflux can damage tooth enamel and result in dental issues.
Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease in Ayurveda
Ayurveda frequently refers to gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) as “Amlapitta,” which translates to “sour stomach” or “hyperacidity.” Ayurveda is a traditional medical system that has its roots in India. It places a strong emphasis on finding a balance between the body, mind, and spirit in order to achieve optimal health.
According to Ayurveda, GERD is mostly brought on by an imbalance of the “Pitta” dosha, which stands for the body’s water and fire aspects. Pitta is responsible for controlling digestion and metabolism, and when it’s out of balance, it can cause an overproduction of stomach acid, which can cause acid reflux and heartburn.
Ahara : Consuming extremely hot, spicy, greasy, and fried foods might increase pitta and cause acid reflux, according to Ahara (dietary factors). Additionally, the illness may be exacerbated by overeating, inconsistent eating patterns, and combining unsuitable foods.
Vihara (Lifestyle Factors): Certain lifestyle practises, such as severe stress, sleep deprivation, and sedentary behaviour, might upset the doshas’ normal equilibrium and cause Amlapitta.
Kala (Seasonal Factors): Pitta is naturally aggravated during the hot summer months, which could make the condition worse.
Weak Digestive Fire (Agni Mandya): When the digestive fire is weak, food is not adequately digested, causing ama (toxins) to build and pitta to become more aggravated.
They might consist of:
Sudden acute pain, also known as tikshna utklesha, may strike a patient’s upper or lower abdomen.
Abdominal colic, also known as Udara Shoola, refers to colicky pain in the abdomen.
Aruchi (Tastelessness): There may be a diminished or nonexistent sense of taste.
A heavy, bloated feeling in the stomach is called gaurava (heaviness).
Agni Mandya (Weak digestion): Patients may have symptoms such as feeling full after only a modest meal and flatulence.
The following elements are implicated in the aetiology of amlapitta according to Ayurveda:
excessive consumption of foods that aggravate pitta, such as those that are hot, greasy, and acidic.
Pitta imbalance can also be influenced by emotional elements including stress, rage, and anxiety.
The digestive process might be hampered by irregular eating patterns, excessive eating, or eating too soon.
Pitta dosha can also be aggravated by ingesting incompatible food combinations, such as milk and sour fruits.
According to Ayurveda, amlapitta symptoms include
- Heartburn and a burning sensation in the chest and throat.
- A mouthfeeling of sourness or acid reflux.
- Vomiting and nauseous.
- Abdominal heaviness and a sense of being full.
- Decrease in appetite.
- Excessive slurring.
- Belching or gurgling.
- Flatulence and bloating.
Ayurvedic treatment must include Sodhana Chikitsa, also referred to as Panchakarma or purifying therapy. It seeks to get rid of the built-up poisons (ama) in the body, which are regarded to be the main factor in a number of illnesses, including Amlapitta. The therapy entails a number of purifying techniques, such as Vamana (therapeutic vomiting), Virechana (purgation), Basti (medicated enema), Nasya (nasal medication delivery), and Raktamokshana (bloodletting).
By removing excess Pitta (one of the three doshas in Ayurveda), Vamana and Virechana are particularly helpful in curing Amlapitta. But because these treatments must be specifically adapted to a person’s unique constitution and state of health, it is crucial to receive them under the supervision of a skilled Ayurvedic practitioner.
Samana Chikitsa is the name for palliative or pacifying therapies that concentrate on regulating the body’s agitated doshas, particularly Pitta in the case of Amlapitta. This method uses a variety of Ayurvedic herbs and preparations to relax the digestive tract, lessen inflammation, and treat acidity symptoms. Yashtimadhu, haritaki (Terminalia chebula), amla (Indian gooseberry), licorice (Yashtimadhu), and shatavari (Asparagus racemosus) are a few of the herbs frequently utilised in Samana Chikitsa for Amlapitta.
Commonly used medicine
Amla (Emblica officinalis)
Haritaki (Terminalia chebula)
Vibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica)
Shunthi (Ginger – Zingiber officinale)
Maricha (Black pepper – Piper nigrum)
Pippali (Long pepper – Piper longum)
Musta (Cyperus rotundus)
Vidanga (Embelia ribes)
Ela (Cardamom – Elettaria cardamomum)
Twak (Cinnamon – Cinnamomum verum)
Patra (Cinnamomum tamala)
Nagakesara (Mesua ferrea)
Directions for use:
Take 1-2 tablespoons of Avipattikar Churna twice daily after meals with warm water or honey. It’s crucial to eat a balanced diet, stay away from acidic and spicy foods, and lead a lifestyle that supports digestive health.
Other Commonly Used Herbal Preparations
The following food recommendations could be helpful for treating amlapitta:
Low-Acid Foods: Limit or avoid foods that are very acidic, such as tomatoes, vinegar-based products, citrus fruits (lemons, oranges), and citrus fruits. These could cause acid reflux.
Non-Citrus Fruits: Choose low-acid fruits instead of citrus fruits, such as bananas, apples, pears, and melons, as they are less prone to aggravate acid reflux.
Vegetables: Limit your intake to low- or non-acid vegetables such leafy greens, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, and carrots.
Whole Grains: Opt for whole grains like brown rice, quinoa, oats, and whole wheat rather than processed grains because they may be easier on the stomach.
Avoid Foods That Set Off Acid Reflux: Make a list of any particular foods that set off your acid reflux symptoms and cut them out of your diet. Spicy meals, chocolate, mint, coffee, and fizzy drinks are some examples of common triggers.
Small and Regular Meals: To ease the strain on the stomach and lessen the risk of acid reflux, try eating smaller, more often meals rather than fewer, larger ones.
Eat slowly and fully chew your food to promote digestion and lessen the likelihood of overeating.
Avoid Eating Right Before Bed: Avoid eating large meals right before bed because doing so increases the risk of acid reflux.
A seated twist known as Ardha Matsyendrasana (Half Lord of the Fishes Pose) can assist to stimulate the digestive system and ease gastrointestinal distress.
Legs straight in front of you when you sit.
With your right knee bent, position it just outside of your left knee and next to your hip.
Your left foot should be on the ground when you cross your right knee with it.
As you rotate to the right and place your left hand on the floor behind your back, inhale, stretch your spine, and then exhale.
As you further the twist, place your right hand on your left knee.
Deep breathing is required as you hold the position for 30 to 60 seconds.
Continue on the other side.
Bidalasana (Cat-Cow Pose):
Begin in a tabletop position with your hands and legs together.
Taking a breath in, elevate your head and tailbone while arching your back (Cow Pose).
Continue alternating between these two positions while matching your breathing to the motion.
This easy stretch can ease any abdominal stress while massaging the digestive system.
Balasana (Child’s Pose):
Kneel down on the ground with your big toes in contact and your knees apart.
Lower your torso towards the floor as you lean back on your heels and stretch your arms in front of you.
Place your forehead down and unwind your entire body.
Hold the position for a few breaths or longer while taking deep breaths.
The Child’s Pose is a meditative position that can ease tension and ease amlapitta symptoms.
The Food and Drug Administration, United States has not evaluated these statements. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.
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