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Health Tips
Stay healthy by reading wellness advice from our top specialists.

Consuming a widely prescribed drug to treat heartburn has been linked with increased risk of kidney diseases, a study conducted with 40,000 participants has said. The results of the study said that people who took proton pump inhibitors (PPI) to neutralise stomach acid were more vulnerable to kidney ailments than those who consumed other types of drugs to remedy the condition. The study compared the effects of PPI with H2 Blockers and said that the patients who took pills with PPIs were 28.4 times more likely to report chronic kidney problems. They were also more likely to develop acute kidney injury, end-stage renal disease, as well as unspecified kidney impairments.

According to the World Health Organisation, PPIs are important medications for many people suffering from heartburn and helps them remedy some of the symptoms of the condition. The results of the study were published in the Scientific Reports journal. The researchers hope that this particular study will lead to healthcare professionals warning, educating and monitoring patients who require PPI drugs, especially those who are at an elevated risk of kidney ailments. The study was conducted by researchers at University of California-San Diego and they looked at the data from 43,000 patients who took PPIs with the data from a control group of 8,000 participants who took histamine-2 receptor blockers, such as Zantac or Pepcid, and no other medications.

There are certain foods that can naturally neutralise stomach acid and while consuming these foods cannot, in any way treat the condition, these can certainly help alleviate some symptoms of the condition.

Here are some foods that heartburn patients may incorporate in their diet:
1. Ginger: It is used as a natural home remedy for gastrointestinal problems like heartburn.

2. Oatmeal: It is said to have the ability to absorb stomach acid.

3. Lean Meats: These are said to reduce symptoms of acid reflux.

4. Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts, flax seeds etc. are said to have healthy fats which may help heartburn patients.

5. Yogurt: It soothes stomach acid and improves digestion.

The Bernstein test is a method to reproduce symptoms of heartburn. It is most often done with other tests to measure esophageal function.

How is test performed?
The test is done in a gastroenterology laboratory. A nasogastric (NG) tube is passed through one side of your nose and into your esophagus. Mild hydrochloric acid will be sent down the tube, followed by salt water (saline) solution. This process may be repeated several times. You will be asked to tell the health care team about any pain or discomfort you have during the test.

How to prepare for the test?
You will be asked not to eat or drink anything for 8 hours before the test.

How will you feel during the test?
You may have a gagging feeling and some discomfort when the tube is put in place. The acid may cause symptoms of heartburn. Your throat may be sore after the test.

Why this test is performed?
The test tries to reproduce symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux (stomach acids coming back up into the esophagus). It is done to see if you have the condition.

How test results are interpreted?
Normal Results: The test results will be negative.
Abnormal Results: A positive test shows that your symptoms are caused by esophageal reflux of acid from the stomach.

Are there risks with this test?
There is a risk of gagging or vomiting

1.Cool water. The first thing you should do when you get a minor burn is run cool (not cold) water over the burn area for about 20 minutes.

2.Cool compresses.

3.Antibiotic ointments.

4.Aloe vera.


6.Reducing sun exposure.

7.Don't pop your blisters.

8.Take an over-the-counter pain reliever.

If you happen to be a garlic lover who loves to gorge on everything garlicky, then it's time for you to get a reality check! Garlic is one of the most common ingredients in Indian kitchens, and is being consumed for more than thousand years now. It is not only used for cooking, but is often considered as a medicine as well. There are various varieties of garlic and the most popular ones are hardneck and softneck. Garlic helps to prevent many diseases because of its medicine properties. However, like everything has its own pros and cons, so does garlic. Here in this article, we have shared some side effects of having excess garlic. Read on to know more.

Foul Odor

Lack of personal hygiene might not just be the only cause of foul odor, as consumption of garlic can break the deal too! There are various chemicals in garlic that contribute to bad breath. So before you think of gorging on your favourite garlic bread, make sure you have a mouth-refreshing spray handy as garlic breath can be quite embarrassing.

Skin Rashes

Eating excess garlic may lead to skin irritation and rashes. Garlic contains an enzyme called alliinase, which is usually the cause of skin rashes. It is quite often advised to wear hand gloves while cutting garlic, as the same enzyme present in it can cause rashes and itchiness.


Garlic if taken in its raw form may trigger headache as well. It doesn't cause headache on the spot but can trigger the process. As per various studies, consuming raw garlic might stimulate the trigeminal nerve to release neuropeptides that goes to the membrane covering of the brain and triggers headache.

Could Aggravate Vaginal Infection

It is of utmost importance for women to take proper care of their vaginal health. One of the crucial things to keep in mind while suffering from vaginal infection is to avoid eating garlic as it can aggravate the yeast infection by irritating the tender tissues of the vagina.

May Cause Vomiting And Heartburn

According to various observational studies, consuming raw garlic bulbs in excess amounts may lead to vomiting and even heartburn. So to avoid this, you can always limit the intake of garlic.

If you had to put down your cup of coffee because of acidity or heartburn, there is good news. A cold brew coffee offers you that caffeine kick without hurting you.

Cold brew coffee is not be confused with iced coffee, which is hot brewed coffee served over ice. Cold brew coffee is prepared when ground coffee is steeped in water (cold or at room temperature) for 12 to 24 hours to produce a concentrated coffee essence.

This essence is diluted to taste and served hot or chilled. Cold brew can also be stored in the refrigerator for up to two weeks or frozen for a longer period, without its taste changing.

Brewing coffee is dependent on various factors such as water volume, water temperature, size of the coffee particles (medium/course), the porosity of the coffee particles, and brewing time. The final composition — flavour, aroma, bioactive compounds — of cold brew is dependent on its brewing time. It is also believed that cold brew is smoother in texture compared to regular coffee.

Cold brew can be traced back to the 1600s, when Dutch traders were looking for a way of producing coffee that could be transported easily. Cold brew takes an edge over regular coffee due to its lower caffeine content and acidic quotient. It is believed that cold brew has a caffeine content of about 40 mgs/100 gms as compared to about 60 mgs/100 gms in regular coffee. Cold brew coffee is known to have a ph of 6.3 compared to a ph of 5.5 of hot brewed coffee. It has also been claimed that an alkaline diet scores more over its health benefits as compared to a diet high in acid producing foods including coffee.

Coffee contains more than 400 chemicals, including trace amounts of vitamins, minerals and anti-oxidants and caffeine, the main stimulant. Caffeine increases the release of epinephrine (adrenaline), which stimulates the central nervous system, increases states of alertness and increases heartbeat. Most people believe coffee to be a somewhat toxic addiction taken only as an indulgence or to overcome sleep and boost alertness.

Numerous studies reveal that moderate coffee consumption (1-2 cups a day) and caffeine has certain health benefits and does not contribute to cardiovascular disease, including high blood pressure and stroke. In fact, coffee is known to be a source of certain dietary antioxidants. Since it is a stimulant, it can contribute to difficulty in falling asleep, may interfere with regular sleeping patterns for many people and may cause disturbed or reduced sleep for some. Those sensitive to it should avoid coffee at bed time or try switching to cold brews, if you must.

Many health conscious people are turning to cold brews to get that caffeine kick and keep heartburn/ acidity in check. Despite the increasing popularity of cold brew coffee, more research needs to be conducted to validate its health benefits and ascertain risks, if any.

Dr. Vijaykumar Raut
Dr. Vijaykumar Raut
BAMS, Family Physician Physician, 18 yrs, Pune
Dr. Snehal  Charhate
Dr. Snehal Charhate
BAMS, Ayurveda, 19 yrs, Pune
Dr. Sachin Rohani
Dr. Sachin Rohani
MS/MD - Ayurveda, Ayurveda Panchakarma, 16 yrs, Pune
Dr. Prarthan Mehta
Dr. Prarthan Mehta
Specialist, Pediatrician, 10 yrs, Ahmedabad
Dr. Sairandhri Shinde
Dr. Sairandhri Shinde
MBBS, Gynaecologist Infertility Specialist, 10 yrs, Pune