A valve is present at the entrance of the stomach, which is a ring of a muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This valve closes as soon as the food passes through it. But, if this valve doesn’t close or if it opens very often, then the acid produced by the stomach might move up into the esophagus. This can lead to symptoms like burning, chest pain or also known as heartburn. If the acid reflux symptoms. occur more than two times a week, then one might have an acid reflux disease, which is also known as the gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). (Yoga for acid reflux)
The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, which is a strong acid that is required to break down the food and provide protection against various pathogens like bacteria. The inner lining of the stomach is especially adapted to protect the stomach from this powerful acid, but the esophagus is not at all protected. A muscle ring, known as the gastroesophageal sphincter, acts as a valve that allows to food into the stomach but does not back up into the esophagus. When this valve fails, and the stomach contents are regurgitated back into the esophagus, the symptoms of an acid reflux occur.
ACID REFLUX FACTS:-
Here are some of the key points about acid reflux:-
- It is also known as the heartburn, acid indigestion, or pyrosis.
- It occurs when some of the acidic content in the stomach goes back up into the esophagus.
- Acid reflux causes a burning pain in the lower area of the chest, mainly after eating.
- Some lifestyle risk factors for acid reflux include obesity and smoking.
- Drug treatments are the most common therapy and are available on prescription and over the counter (OTC).
ACID REFLUX RISK FACTORS:-
GERD occurs mainly due to any of the lifestyle factor. One main cause of acid reflux that is not preventable is a hiatal hernia. A hole in the diaphragm allows the upper portion of the stomach to enter in the chest cavity, leading to GERD.
Other risk factors can be controlled easily and are mentioned below:-
- Obesity or overweight
- Low amount of physical exercise
- Medications, such as drugs for asthma, calcium-channel blockers, antihistaminic drugs, painkillers, sedatives, and antidepressants.
ACID REFLUX FOODS TO AVOID:-
Some of the food and dietary habits that are known to cause acid reflux include:-
- High intake of table salt
- Diet low in dietary fiber
- Consumption of large meals
- Lying down within 2-3 hours of having a meal
- Consumption of chocolate, carbonated drinks, and some acidic juices
ACID REFLUX MEDICINE:-
The main medicines for an acid reflux are:-
- PPIs, such as omeprazole, rabeprazole, and esomeprazole
- H2 blockers, like cimetidine, ranitidine, and famotidine
- OTC drugs, such as antacids
- Alginate drugs, like Gaviscon
ACID REFLUX SYMPTOMS:-
Acid reflux mainly produces heartburn. Other symptoms of GERD are:-
- A dry and persistent cough
- Asthma and regular pneumonia.
- Throat problems, like soreness, hoarseness, or laryngitis.
- Difficulty or pain while swallowing
- Chest pain
- Dental erosion
- Bad breath
YOGA ASANAS FOR ACIDITY AND GAS:-
Halasana or Plough Pose
It helps improves flexibility, provides strength to the spine and the abdominal muscles. It also relieves stress in the shoulders and the back muscles.
Method:- Lie on the back with the legs joined together and the arms on the side. While breathing normally, press the palms on the ground and raise both the legs straight upwards, then bend them back to touch the ground. Hold on to this pose for around 1 minute. Repeat it 3-5 times.
Ushtra Asana or Camel Pose
It improves digestion by stimulating the organs of the abdomen. It also improves flexibility in the chest, abdomen, and neck, and also boosts the blood flow to the pelvic area.
Method:- Sit on the knees and bend back. Hold to the right heel with the right hand, and the left ankle/heel with the left hand. Bend the neck and head back as much as possible and push the waist to form a ‘D’ shape with the body. Hold this pose for around 15 seconds. Repeat it 3-5 times
Vajrasana or Diamond Pose
It is the best pose for practicing Pranayama for acid reflux and meditation. This pose calms the mind and provides relief from constipation, acid reflux, and various stomach ailments.
Method:- Sit on the floor and fold the legs to tuck the feet under the hip. Keep the spine straight and close the eyes. Place the palms on the knees. Hold this pose for around 5 minutes.
Pawanamuktasana or Wind Removing Pose
It cures flatulence and weak digestion. It also stimulates bowel movement by massaging the organs in the abdomen, providing relief in all gastrointestinal problems.
Method:- Lie flat on the back with the legs straight. Now bend in the knees to bring them up towards the chest with the thighs touching the stomach. Tightly hug the knees and lock the fingers. Raise the head to touch the knee with the nose tip. Hold this position for around 20-30 seconds and repeat it 3-5 times.
Marjariasana or Cat Stretch Pose
It provides a complete stretch to the core and is beneficial for the spine and the abdomen. It also boosts blood circulation and massages the digestive organs.
Method:- Start in a table-top position, on all fours. Inhale and look up, raise the hips up towards the roof and push the stomach towards the ground. Hold on for a few seconds. Now exhale and drop the chin to the chest. Hold on for few seconds and repeat it 5 times.
Adho Mukha Svanasana or Downward Facing Dog Pose
This pose oxygenate the abdomen, which provides relief from the burning sensation due to an acid reflux. It also strengthens the back and the abdomen muscles.
Method:- Start in a table-top position, on all fours. Exhale and gently lift the hips and straighten the elbows and knees until the body forms an inverted ‘V’ shape. Press the hands into the ground and lengthen the neck. Hold on for a few seconds, and then release. Repeat it 3-5 times.
Virabhadrasana II or Warrior II Pose
It strengthens the digestive system and ensures proper functioning of the digestive organs and provides relief from various stomach-related problems.
Method:- Stand straight with the legs hip-distance apart and arms on the side. Spread the legs wide apart. Turn the right foot outwards and push the right knee out, and make a 45-degree angle with the left leg. Keep the body-centered and bring the arms parallel to the floor, stretched wide apart. Hold on for a few seconds. Repeat on another side.
Ardha Matsyendrasana or Half Spinal Twist Pose:-
It flushes out the toxins from the digestive system and also increases blood circulation. It oxygenates the digestive system and also reduces reflux symptoms.
Method:- Sit straight with the legs stretched out. Bend the left leg, with the left foot touching the right hip. Now, place the right foot next to the left knee by taking it over the knee, making a half ‘A’ shape. Twist the waist, neck, and shoulders towards the right side, and look over the right shoulder. Hold this pose for a few seconds and repeat it on another side.
Balasana or Child’s Pose
It massages and strengthens the organs of the abdomen and provides quick relief from the acid reflux symptoms.
Method:- Inhale and bend forward and lay the torso between the thighs while exhaling. Settle down on the inner thighs, stretch the arms forward and touch the floor to the forehead. Close the eyes and focus on the breath. Hold this pose for as long as possible.