7 Medical Reasons Why Ignoring Acidity Can Be Harmful!
If you are someone who experiences acidity or heartburn often, then you would surely know how uncomfortable it can make you feel, right? Also known as acid reflux, acidity is a digestive ailment and also a symptom, which is very common, especially among adults. However, even children can experience acidity, if their eating habits are not healthy.
Acid reflux can be described as a condition in which there is a production of excessive digestive acids or bile juice in the stomach and liver, which irritate the inner linings of the stomach and intestine, due to its acidic nature.
Many of us may be under the impression that acids produced inside the human body are not all that strong. However, the fact is digestive acids are very strong, as they have to break down the various foods that we ingest.
So when the digestive fluids and acids are produced in excess, the strong acids can irritate and inflame the stomach lining, leading to heartburn. Most people feel that acidity is just a common, minor ailment and so they tend to ignore this condition.
However, ignoring acidity can lead to a number of other health complications, as the digestive system is one of the most important and functional parts of the body. So when acidity persists, immediate medical attention will be needed. Acidity can either be a condition in itself or it could also be a symptom of a number of other diseases.
Here is why one must never ignore acidity, as it could cause or indicate these diseases.
1. Stomach Ulcer
3. Hiatal Hernia
4. Stomach Cancer
5. Heart Attack
As we read earlier, the digestive acids produced in the stomach can be very strong. So when a person has acidity and has a constant production of excess digestive acids in the stomach, it can lead to continuous irritation of the stomach lining, which can gradually turn into stomach ulcers, which is a serious health problem.
Oesophagus is a muscular tube which connects the throat to the stomach, through which we ingest food and water. When a person has acidity which is persistent and untreated, the excess acids produced in the stomach can regurgitate into the oesophagus and cause this tube to become inflamed and irritated, leading to a condition known as oesophagitis. The symptoms of this condition are sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, chest pain, difficulty in breathing, flu, etc.
When a part of the stomach muscles pushes up through the diaphragm (the muscle layer which separates the chest and the stomach) in the abdominal region, it causes an ailment known as hiatal hernia. When people have this ailment, it could cause the food and the digestive acids from the stomach to push back into the chest, through the diaphragm, causing acidity. So acidity could indicate the presence of hiatal hernia and immediate medical attention would be required.
If you experience acidity quite often, it's time to get it checked thoroughly. One of the initial symptoms of stomach cancer is acidity, as cancer cells irritate the linings of the stomach leading to the production of excessive digestive fluids. So ignoring persistent acidity could delay the diagnosis of stomach cancer, in case it is present, which is why one must get tested if acidity continues.
A lesser known fact is that acidity or heartburn could be an early sign of heart attack. Signs of a heart attack such as a burning sensation in the chest, tightness in the chest, bloating, etc., are very similar to that of acidity and people may tend to ignore it, thinking that it is just acidity. So if you make an effort to get your persistent acidity checked, you could be detecting the risk of an impending heart attack and take measures to prevent it!
When there is a solidification and accumulation of digestive fluids in the gallbladder, it causes gallstones. When one or more gallstones block the bile duct, it causes the digestive fluids to push into the stomach more, causing acidity. So ignoring acidity can also prevent you from detecting the underlying gallstone condition, which can be treated when diagnosed early.
GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is a parent disease of acidity, as in, acidity and GERD usually go hand in hand. This is a digestive condition, in which excessive digestive fluids are produced and irritate the stomach lining, causing acidity. Now, experiencing acidity once in a while may not indicate the presence of GERD and is usually caused by a day of eating unhealthy. However, persistent acidity, even if the food habits are healthy, can be the main symptom of GERD and it requires medical attention soon.
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