Acid Reflux or GERD
Acid Reflux or GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is caused when the valve between the esophagus and stomach becomes weak. Normally, this valve opens to allow food in and then it shuts tightly. With GERD, the valve stays open, allowing stomach acids to flow back up into the esophagus, causing heartburn and many other symptoms. It leads to a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach regurgitates (backs up or refluxes) into the esophagus. If you have heartburn that occurs more than twice a week and/or does not get better with over-the-counter antacids, you may have GERD.
Consumption of pitta (fire) aggravating foods and foods of incompatible nature (virudh aahar) vitiates all the doshas, predominantly pitta dosha. Vitiated doshas produce heating toxins that are expelled upwards into the food pipe causing heartburn. Increased intake of tea or coffee, or oily, spicy, or fried foods aggravates pitta and leads to acidity. An aggressive nature and hyperactivity are also causal factors. Pitta is aggravated by late night work schedules, irregular eating patterns, and/or drinking alcoholic and carbonated beverages. Increased intake of painkillers and antibiotics also cause acidity and heartburn.
According to Ayurveda, Acid Reflux is a result of aggravation of pitta Dosha. Pitta is an Ayurvedic humor that symbolizes heat or fire. It is hot, sharp, intense, acidic and pungent in nature and is located in the stomach. Aggravated pittaleads to increase of acidic content in stomach fluids. Actually, the reflux of the stomach's liquid contents into the esophagus occurs in most normal individuals. In such patients, refluxed liquid contains acid more often due to aggravated pitta, which leads to acid reflux.