One in Three Residents of West Bengal Suffer from Acidity Problem

Acidity problem is now very common among fried fish and sweet loving bengalees. GERD (Gastroesophagel Reflux Disease), one of the most prevalent acidity-related problems, has emerged as a significant concern in West Bengal. According to a research study conducted by the Department of Medicine, Guru Teg Bahadur Hospital, New Delhi, and published in the International Journal of Research in Medical Sciences, the condition affects over 31% of the population across age groups in the state.

During a media awareness workshop in Kolkata organised by the Heal Foundation on “Acidity – Karodon Logon Ki Problem Ke Safe Solutions” Dr (Prof.) Arup Das Biswas and Dr (Prof.) Apurba Kumar Mukherjee discussed its causes, effects on health and safe ways to resolve it.

Dr Arup Das Biswas, Former Director, Institute of Cardiovascular Sciences, Institute of Postgraduate Medical Education & Research & SSKM (PG) Hospital, Kolkata revealed striking regional data stating, “The prevalence of GERD and acidity-related problems is rampant in West Bengal. One in three residents is affected by this ailment. West Bengal is among the top when it comes to such high concentration of acidity-related issues. The region seems to exhibit an inherent susceptibility to this condition, compounded by unhealthy dietary practices, resulting in an unsafe combination.”

Dr Biswas further emphasized, “Acidity management should be approached with utmost caution. Choosing medicines carefully is crucial, as some of them may completely block vital acid production in the stomach, potentially causing harm. For acidity-related disorders, doctors may prescribe medicines that suppress excess acid production, such as Ranitidine, a trusted over-the-counter medicine available for over four decades.”

Highlighting the significance of balanced acid levels, Dr (Prof.) Apurba Kumar Mukherjee stated, “Optimal stomach acid is indispensable for proper food digestion. However, hyperacidity can severely impact digestion and overall health. In West Bengal, excessive consumption of fish, fried and spicy food items, tea, coffee, carbonated beverages, and alcohol often lead to acidity-related issues.”

Dr Mukherjee further pointed out, “The prevalence of these disorders is on the rise due to these detrimental lifestyle practices such as disturbed sleep, erratic work schedules, and unhealthy eating habits. To manage acidity effectively, adopting a regular exercise routine, avoiding junk and spicy food, and staying well-hydrated are essential preventive measures. Additionally, consulting a doctor before taking any medication is always recommended. Among the array of medicines available, Ranitidine stands out, providing much-needed relief from heartburn and acid reflux symptoms by reducing stomach acid production.”

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a common digestive problem that happens when stomach acid flows back into the tube connecting the throat and the stomach (oesophagus). It can cause discomfort like heartburn or a burning sensation in the chest. It can be bothersome and may lead to more serious issues if not managed properly.

Recognizing the pivotal role of stomach acid in primary digestion and the absorption of vital nutrients like iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B12, among others, experts emphasize the need to address the concerning rise of acidity-related disorders. Steps such as adopting healthier lifestyle choices and seeking professional guidance for appropriate and safe treatment options should be exercised.

Few important take aways from the workshop are as follows:

• 7 out of every 10 Urban Indians experience digestive health issues with acidity leading the list
• Expert says Ranitidine provides relief from Acidity without affecting the digestive system
• Ranitidine has been in use for over 4 decades
• Regular exercise, avoiding junk & spicy foods, and drinking plenty of water – key preventive measures to manage acidity
• Like Paracetamol for Fever is Ranitidine for Acidity