Be Informed of the Different Acid Reflux Causes to Protect Your Esophagus

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Digestive Science Acid Reflux SystemHave you ever woken up in the middle of the night feeling like you are having a heart attack yet start feeling better after a while? You could be suffering from heartburn, or also known as an acid reflux. An acid reflux is a condition where the acid from your stomach travels back up to your esophagus, which causes this burning sensation across your chest that is sometimes mistaken to be a heart attack. What really happens is that the gastric acids are burning the tissue lining your esophagus, thus, you feel the pain across that area.

In an ideal system, the acids in your stomach that aids in digestion are not supposed to travel back up. However, the valve that lies in the junction between your stomach and esophagus could sometimes weaken, which makes it easier for the acids to flow upwards.

Experiencing an acid reflux is considered harmless if it happens infrequently. However, once it becomes persistent, this can cause major damages to the esophagus and could lead to cancer. It is important, therefore, that you become aware of the different acid reflux causes so that you can avoid and prevent serious health problems.

Acid Reflux Causes: Food

-Caffeine – Caffeine decreases the pressure on the esophageal sphincter, thus, it does not properly close to avoid stomach acid from refluxing.

-Carbonated Drinks – Carbonation produces bubbles, which can increase the pressure in your stomach, thus, causing a reflux.

-Foods that are high in fat – This includes fried foods, dairy products, and meat cuts with high fat content.

-Alcohol – Alcohol relaxes the esophageal sphincter, thus, allowing the stomach acids to seep upwards.

Acid Reflux Causes: Habits

-Eating large meals – It was observed that reducing your portions could reduce the frequency of an acid reflux. This is probably because the stomach does not need to produce too much acid to digest the large volume of food that it contains.

-Bending forward or lying down after a meal – If you already have a weak sphincter, any movement that makes your esophagus lower than the level of your stomach can start the flow of acids to the esophageal tract. If you need to lie down, use a couple of pillows to elevate your head and chest over the rest of your body.

-Smoking – Smoking triggers acid reflux in various ways. First, it reduces the amount of bicarbonates in the saliva, which is important in neutralizing the acids. Second, it slows down digestion, thus, food stays longer on the stomach and so thus the pressure. Third, it makes the esophageal sphincter weak. Finally, it promotes the production of more gastric acids.

Acid Reflux Causes: Conditions

-Pregnancy – The growing fetus can press on the stomach, thus, pushing its content up to the esophagus. This is why pregnant women often experience acid reflux during their third trimester.

-Peptic ulcers – Peptic ulcer causes the digestion process to slow down. This results to an increased pressure in the stomach because it takes longer to empty its contents.

-Hiatal hernia – In this condition, part of the stomach protrudes through a small opening in the diaphragm, which affects the capability of the esophageal sphincter to properly close the junction between the esophagus and the stomach.

Now that you know the different acid reflux causes, you can take necessary steps to avoid suffering any heartburn and at the same time protect your esophagus from any damages caused by the reflux of stomach acids.

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