Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Heartburn, regurgitation, and dyspepsia are a few of the most common acid reflux symptoms.acid reflux
Heartburn is a burning pain in the chest or abdomen it can also move up into the throat, it is sometimes referred to as acid indigestion.
Another common symptom of acid reflux is regurgitation, this can feel like the acid is moving from your stomach into your throat or mouth. This can give a really sour or bitter taste, sometimes even a burning sensation.
People who suffer from acid reflux disease also suffer from dyspepsia syndrome, this is a term used for stomach discomfort. Symptoms associated with dyspepsia are usually: burping, feeling full, bloating and upper abdominal pain or discomfort.
What Causes Acid Reflux
When food is passed through the esophagus (the tube between the stomach and the pharynx), it goes to the stomach for further digestion. Once in the stomach the acidic juices produced aid the digestion. The stomach has a lining which protects itself from the gastric juices, the esophagus does not have such lining.
The esophageal sphincter is a valve that should prevent the gastric juices from flowing back up the esophagus. If the lower esophageal sphincter is weakened, gastric juices can seep back into the esophagus causing pain. The causes for acid reflux can be for a variety of reasons, potentially can develop into a dangerous condition if not looked at by a health professional.
Over time the juices flowing back into the esophagus can cause damage due to erosion, sometimes can even cause scarring of the esophagus. Acid reflux can become dangerous if it occurs constantly and develops into frequent episodes.
What Is The Difference Between Acid Reflux And GERD?
Some people are confused between acid reflux and GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease) Acid reflux at low levels is a normal part of digestion that people can experience, it can cause things such as heartburn, but is not considered a disease. GERD is defined as a high frequency of the amount of acid reflux. This may be a factor in such illnesses as Barrett’s esophagus or esophageal cancer.
Symptoms of GERD
- Heartburn (this is the most common symptom of GERD).
- Burping-up, or regurgitation.
- Difficult or painful swallowing.
- Sore throat, hoarseness, and/or cough.
- There are some common causes of acid reflux?
Pregnancy and Acid Relux
During in the third trimester of pregnancy, the baby is growing rapidly and can start to press on the stomach. This causes the contents of your stomach to come back up, it is unlikely antacids will relieve the symptoms. Acid reflux should generally disappear once the baby is born, your health professional may recommended you eat smaller meals.
Hiatus hernia (hiatus hernia)
This a condition where the upper stomach protrudes into the chest, this is usually through a small opening in the diaphragm. There are a number of causes which could make the stomach protrude in to diaphragm, very severe coughing, straining, vomiting, obesity or pregnancy.
Smoking and Acid Reflux
There are a number of reasons smoking can cause acid reflux, research has shown that smokers produce lower levels of bicarbonates. It can also stimulate the production of saliva, slow down the digestion and weaken the esophageal sphincter.
Symptoms of GERD
Heartburn (this is the most common symptom of GERD)
Burping-up, or regurgitation.
Difficult or painful swallowing.
Sore throat, hoarseness, and/or cough.
For people who suffer from GERD it is recommended to take a lifestyle and a change in diet.
- Stop smoking, the cigarettes contain chemicals that effect the production of bicarbonates.
- Being Overweight, obesity increases the pressure on your stomach, most people find if they loose weight it can help control in some cases stop acid reflux.
- Avoid exercise for at least two hours before or after a meal.
- Wearing clothing that is tight around your abdomen.
- Avoid eating large meals, try to stick to smaller portions rather than big full meals.
Medications Your Doctor May Prescribe
Medications for Acid Reflux
- Acid suppressant – used to prevent acid from building up in the stomach, they reduce inflammation as this can make your stomach produce extra acid.
- Proportion pump inhibitors – used to reduce production of acid in the stomach.
- Pro kinetic agents – used to prevent the stomach from becoming to full.
- Antacids - used to neutralize acid in the stomach
Foods To Avoid With Acid Reflux
Certain foods should be avoided if you are prone to attack of acid reflux, foods high in acidity for example tomatoes and citric fruit should be kept to a minimal. Caffeine can also aggravate acid reflux so try to steer clear of coffee and other caffeinated drinks.
Carbonated and alcoholic drinks can also cause problems for people who suffer the affects of acid reflux. Remember the foods you eat are not the cause of acid reflux, they can be a factor in what aggravates it.
Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux
Please remember these are home remedies and have not been suggested by health professionals.
- Drink a glass of milk - it is believed to give immediate relief from heartburn.
- Drink water - it is believed that in order to dilute the acid in the stomach, and help wash down food.
- Eat almonds - it is believed that by properly chewing almonds in the morning or after meals reliefs acid reflux.
- Chamomile or fennel tea - it is believed that if sipped at a tepid temperature it can provide relief from acid reflux.
- Eat an apple - it is believed that to help neutralize the acid in the stomach if eaten after a meal, making sure it is properly chewed.
- Candied ginger - it is believed that if you eat a piece of ginger when you can feel the symptoms of acid reflux it can relief symptoms. However if chewing ginger is not appealing, then you can put a piece in your cup of tea.
- Apple cider vinegar - it is believed that if you take undiluted apple vinegar and swallow three table spoons for a small attack this will relieve the symptoms.
- Chewing gum - It is believed that if you chew gum after a meal it will stimulate the production of saliva. Working in a similar way as drinking water, it can help dilute the contents of your stomach and try and avoid having acid reflux.
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