Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment of Acid Reflux Disease

Acid Reflux: Symptoms, Causes And Treatment

Most of us suffer from an acute problem of acidity, and acid reflux is regarded as a common condition which many are not aware of. It causes burning pain in the lower chest area, and this symptom is widely known as Heartburn. It mostly happens when stomach acid gushes back into the food pipe.

acid reflux: symptoms, causes , treatment and prevention.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a disease diagnosed when acid reflux starts occurring more than twice a week. Acid reflux is a widespread gut problem for most of us, and it mainly occurs because of having oily or spicy food at odd hours. If the symptoms continue for a prolonged period, there is a risk of getting affected by severe chronic heartburn. 

What Is Acid Reflux And GERD?

You should be aware that there is a valve at the opening end of your stomach known as the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), in the form of ring muscles. It closes as soon as food passes through it, and there are times when it stops closing its valve, and then you need to start worrying about it because if the LES stays open for a long time, then acid will be produced by your stomach, which is not good for your health. This develops conditions like Acid Reflux or heartburn, and if it continues for long, then there is a chance of getting affected with GERD. To know more about it, you can refer to Gastroesophageal reflux disease.

acid reflux and GERD

GERD is a severe and long-lasting condition, and the repetitions of symptoms often hint at severe complications over time. It can affect people of all ages ranging from infants to adults, and those who are already suffering from asthma are more prone to it. Asthma has the tendency to enable the lower esophageal sphincter to relax, which allows stomach juice to flow back and affect your digestive system. There are certain medications for asthma that accelerate the acid reflux symptoms and push it towards a more severe condition. Consequently, if you are suffering from acid reflux, it can badly affect your asthma condition by bothering your airways and lungs, which sometimes leads to allergic reactions by making the airways more sensitive towards smoke or cold air.

Symptoms Of Acid Reflux – Signs That You Have GERD

Conditions like Acid Reflux or GERD hint towards specific symptoms, ranging from a burp, sudden acidic taste, and most importantly, heartburn. If you encounter any such discomfort or health issues, it is advisable to visit a doctor as soon as possible. 

Symptoms of Acid Reflux / GERD

GERD’s standard and tormenting symptoms are heartburn, which generally stays for at least 2 hours and sometimes more, and during that time, lying or bending over can enhance the pain. It is feasible to stand upright and intake food during that time. Some doctors recommend antacids to clear off the acid stored in the esophagus. Thus, some of the notable symptoms of it are :

  • Tremendous chest pain
  • Nausea
  • Lump in the throat
  • Loosening of tooth enamel
  • Trouble in swallowing
  • Difficulty in breathing
  • Less sleep
  • Continuous cough

Moreover, sometimes chest pain or heartburn gets confused with a heart attack, and so it is always advisable to be cautious and treat heartburn with antacids or other remedies quickly. 

What Causes Acid Reflux?

Normal digestion allows LES to open its valve for food to pass into your stomach, and later on, it shuts down to stop food or acidic juice from going back, but in case of acid reflux or GERD, the valve remains open, causing troubles. 

Causes of Acid Reflux

Recently, it has been noticed that Hiatal Hernia can weaken LES, causing acid reflux and GERD. It is a disease that mostly happens on the upper part of the stomach that can move upwards and hit the chest, that too through a small opening in your diaphragm. This muscle separates the abdomen from the chest, and research suggests that this opening of the diaphragm supports the lower end of the esophagus nicely. So, it should be noted that those equipped with Hiatal Hernia in their bodies can never develop issues like acid reflux or GERD.

The other causes of developing issues like GERD or Acid Reflux in your body range from :

  • Overweight/Obesity
  • Pregnancy
  • Empty Stomach 
  • Sleeping right after a meal
  • Lying back or bending over at the waist after a heavy meal
  • Snacking while going to bed
  • Taking medications like aspirin, ibuprofen, and others 
  • Smoking
  • Consuming beverages like tea, coffee, or carbonated drinks

Our stomach contains hydrochloric acids to break down the food we intake, and this also protects our system from pathogens like bacteria. Here, the lining of your stomach is also protected, and there the ring of muscle named gastroesophageal sphincter acts as a valve that allows food to enter the stomach and not back into your esophagus. Still, during acid reflux, the valve opens, and the stomach content enters into the esophagus, which can give you tormenting heartburn. 

How is Acid Reflux Diagnosed?

Acid Reflux is a widespread problem most of us face, and you get diagnosed when you start having heartburn, and if this continues for weeks and months, you need to see a doctor. You can have antacids or acid-blocking medications for temporary relief, but they won’t last for long.

Diagnosis of Acid Reflux

If the condition gets worse, then the doctor will prescribe you specific medical tests based on your symptoms to initiate a thorough diagnosis of your problem, such as:

Monitoring of your pH level

It can check on the acid content in your stomach. The doctor will push a device in your esophagus and leave it for 1 or 2 days to know how much acid it holds. 

Endoscopy

It is a very standard test done to check on the problems related to your esophagus and stomach. This test involves an insertion of a device into your throat, which has a camera clipped to its end. During this procedure, to make you feel comfortable, the doctor will spray anesthesia at the back of your throat and let you have a light dose of sedative. 

Biopsy

It is another standard test generally done with endoscopy to check on the samples of tissues. It is done with a microscope to trace infections or abnormalities. 

Swallowing Barium (Esophagram)

This test is done to trace ulcers or the narrowing of the esophagus. Here, you will swallow a solution that will help the system take clear X-ray stills. 

Esophageal Manometry

This device is used to check on the functionalities and movement of the esophagus and the lower esophageal sphincter (LES).

Thus, a proper diagnosis should be made early so that your acid reflux issues don’t get worse with time.

Acid Reflux Treatment – Home Remedies And Medical Intervention

It is advisable to treat acid reflux with home remedies initially, and later, if it goes worse, you should see a doctor and get proper medications. 

 Home remedies for Acid Reflux

So, the list of such remedies are :

  • Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Turmeric
  • Banana
  • Aloe vera juice
  • Ginger
  • Honey
  • Marshmallow

In addition to this, fundoplication – a surgical procedure can immediately fix your acid reflux issues by creating an artificial valve at the end of your stomach. Through this procedure, wrapping the upper part is done around LES to strengthen it, and in this way, it can enable you to prevent acid reflux. It is generally performed either through an open incision in the abdomen or chest, or a light weighted tube is inserted through a tiny incision in your abdomen. To know more, read Nissen fundoplication.

How To Prevent Acid Reflux? 

If you are lately experiencing occasional heartburn and having an uncomfortable and burning sensation in your stomach often and are hesitant in acquiring professional help or business assistance, you should start practicing specific techniques to heal yourself. To have a better metabolism, you should refer to this article Fast Metabolism Exercises – The Fastest and Healthy Way to Slim Down

prevention of acid reflux

Along with this, you can take specific preventive measures to avoid acid reflux quickly and conveniently like :

  • Quit smoking
  • Enable certain calming techniques
  • Avoid consuming too many beverages
  • Include more ginger into the diet
  • Eat early before going to bed
  • Have a check on your weight
  • Chew sugar-free gum before a meal 
  • Wear cotton clothes
  • Consume herbal tea daily
  • Include high fibre food in your diet

It should be remembered that small or minute changes in your routine or diet can make a massive difference to your health overall.

Conclusion

It is essential to be aware of the health issues you are going through before it gets worse or you start experiencing more acid reflux or GERD symptoms.

FAQ’s

1. What is the best cure for acid Reflux?

The best cure for acid reflux is to quit smoking and lose weight. It is essential to make a healthy lifestyle to create a healthy digestive system. 

2. What causes acid reflux?

Acid Reflux occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus starts relaxing, and instead of going down, the food passes through the valve and goes up the esophagus.

3. How do you stop acid reflux?

Acid Reflux can be stopped if you start avoiding fatty/oily and spicy food and certain carbonated drinks. A minute change in your lifestyle and diet can assure you relief from acid reflux. 

4. What are the symptoms of bad acid Reflux?

Some of the common symptoms of bad Acid Reflux are bloating, burping, nausea and others, and among them, heartburn is the most tormenting one, which stays for an hour and two and can burn your chest. 

5. What foods neutralize stomach acid?

Ginger, oatmeal, turmeric, and egg whites are some of the common ingredients which can neutralize your stomach acid, and it is essential to include them in your daily diet.

6. What foods are bad for acid reflux?

Foods that can trigger heartburn are alcohol, pepper, citrus fruits, carbonated beverages, and others, and thus, it is better to avoid them and adopt a healthy diet.

7. What is the fastest way to cure acidity?

The fastest way to cure acidity is to get pleasant and sound sleep because if that’s hampered, then your whole cycle will become upside down, which is not suitable for your digestive system.

8. Is yogurt good for acid reflux?

Yogurt contains probiotics which turn out to be quite effective for acid reflux and apparent bowel functioning. It also contains protein which is good to minimize your stomach ache or discomfort at that time.

9. What is a natural remedy for acid reflux cough?

The natural remedy for acid reflux is to quit smoking, and along with that, you should practice eating slowly and walking after a heavy meal. 

10. Is water good for acid reflux?

It has already been researched that consuming too much water can make your system run better and faster and can even minimize your issues of acid reflux.

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