Acidity relates to the condition in which the stomach secretes certain digestive acids in excess. These acids are otherwise beneficial to the body as they help in breaking down of the food particles during digestion. When this acid gets secreted in excess amounts, body has some protective mechanisms to fight against the acid, both within the stomach and proximal intestine. But when an imbalance occurs between the protective mechanisms and the level of secreted acid, acidity is resulted.
When the valve between the stomach and esophagus get weakened, a reflux of the acid from the stomach to the lower part of the esophagus is resulted. This gastro-esophageal reflux causes heart-burn.
In some people, a heavy meal or any other increase in intra-abdominal pressure like lifting weights can also result in this reflux.
Excess acid secretion leads to ulcers, when the natural protective lining of the stomach is damaged. The ulcer that is resulted in the stomach is called gastric ulcer.
In some people, acidity occurs as a result of stimulation by tumors that are located in the pancreas or duodenum. Such a condition is termed as Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome
Any slight damage in the defense mechanisms that protect the stomach and intestine from acid attack can cause acidity.
The bicarbonate secreted into the mucous layer of the body plays a major role in neutralizing the acid.
Ulcers are also formed due to decreased blood flow into the stomach. Increased consumption of alcohol and spicy foodstuffs are found to worsen the situation. People who are exposed to irregular food habits and non steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs are also more prone to gastric acidity.
Highly emotional and nervous individuals are also found to be at a greater risk.
The most effective way of treating acidity is to identify and discard the causative factors. Foods that are spicy, salty and acidic should be completely avoided.
People who are prone to this condition should keep away from smoking and alcohol consumption. It is important to modify their lifestyle in such a way that the ulcer treatment is favored.