Nobody told us that we would be forming a strange relationship with our body as we get older. Everything and everybody around us, be it, television, internet or movies, only showcased how you can be your own boss, be independent, go to work wearing swanky clothes and eat anything your eye meets. Who was going to inform us about getting random headaches, backaches, the crown of our head turning grey (like it was spray painted) and the rollercoaster rides through which acidity takes our body?As the clock chimed 12 and I turned 30, my digestive issues turned on me overnight. It was as if, all of a sudden, my back didnt have the spine to back me if I had not slept right or didnt sit in an ergonomic fashion at work (believe me, ergonomic was never in my vocabulary until now). A meal must have been skipped here and there, and I was crowned with a bountiful of greys. Worst, when I first felt the sharp pain on the left side of my chest, I thought I was having a heart attack. After multiple confirmations from my family physician, I discovered that it was ACIDITY. Adulting has taught me more about acidity than it did about myself.Understanding the science behind acidityDietician Sneha Luhera explains that as humans, we experience acidity when the stomach acid content increases, leading to irritation and inflammation of its inner lining. A number of factors are responsible for this:Medical conditions, such as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), gastric ulcers or hiatal hernia.Diet that includes excess consumption of spicy foods, such as hot peppers and chilli powder, high fat or fried foods, carbonated beverages and caffeine.Dehydration due to lack of fluid intake.Lifestyle factors such as stress, lack of sleep and physical activity.Certain medication can cause severe acidity.Ms.Luhera points out, Symptoms of acidity can vary from person to person, but some common ones include heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest or throat, regurgitation of food contents into the mouth, nausea and bloating, and headaches. These symptoms can occur at any age, but may be more common in older adults.As we age, the digestive system may become less efficient, which can make one more prone to acidity. This is partly due to a decrease in the production of stomach acids, which can lead to food staying in the stomach for longer periods of time and causing irritation. Additionally, the muscle that separates the oesophagus and stomach may weaken with age, which can allow stomach acid to flow back up into oesophagus more easily.Measures to avoid getting acidityAvoid trigger foods which are spicy, fatty or acidic in nature. Common trigger foods are citrus fruits, alcohol and caffeine.Eating smaller, more frequent meals throughout the day can help prevent acidity by reducing the amount of acid produced during digestion.Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water or fluids, such as jeera water, saunf water, infused water and chamomile tea, which can help reduce the risk of acidity and promote digestion.Maintain a healthy weight, as excess weight can put pressure on the stomach, increasing the risk of acidity.Avoid lying down after meals; wait for at least two to three hours after eating before lying down or going to bed to allow time for digestion.Manage stress, as it can increase the production of stomach acids. Practicing meditation, yoga or deep breathing can help reduce stress levels.Quit smoking, as it can irritate the stomach lining and increase the production of stomach acids.Why is it important to take acidity seriously?This is especially for those leading an erratic lifestyle and eating habits. Here are a few small steps and habits we can include into our daily routines to keep a check on our acidic levels and prevent it from becoming all-consuming.Pack healthy snacks and meals to take to work, such as fresh fruit, nuts and seeds, which are good sources of proteins, and healthy fats, such as vegetable sticks with hummus or dill-yoghurt dip. A whole-grain sandwich, or wrap with lean protein and lots of vegetables, and homemade granola bars are other options. With a little planning and preparation, it is possible to make healthy eating a part of your busy lifestyle. It is also recommended to avoid late-night eating or snacking, and finding ways to manage stress.Ms.Luhera adds, While occasional acidity is common and usually not a cause for concern, chronic acidity can cause long-term damage to the digestive system. It is important to note that everyones body is different and some people may be more sensitive to certain foods than others. It may be helpful to track which foods seem to trigger symptoms and to speak with a qualified dietician for personalised nutritional guidance. By making healthy choices and practicing moderation, it is possible to enjoy a variety of foods, while maintaining optimal health and well-being.