What You Need To Know About Acid Reflux

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Acid reflux is a condition wherein there is backflow or leak of stomach contents into the esophagus, the connecting tube between your mouth and stomach. The acid and partially digested food can cause pain and discomfort described as the “heartburn.” Acid reflux also called as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is often mistaken as an upset stomach and approximately 40 million people affected do not know they have this condition and go on without treating it. This is dangerous as frequent episodes of reflux could damage the esophagus. Fortunately, with time coupled with the correct diet alterations, the esophageal lining could be repaired.

Who are at risk for developing acid reflux?

It was believed that GERD could occur only in older adults who have a high body mass index (BMI). But today, even the young and average-weighing people are suffering from this condition.

Doctors concluded that this is due to the high-acidic content in their daily diets. Furthermore, genetics could also place a person at risk for acid reflux.

Aside from “heartburn,” a person may also feel some degree of pain in their chest, neck and throat. The pain can happen after they have eaten or when they lie down. Less common symptoms can include regurgitation of stomach content into the mouth and salivation. If there are no preventive measures and treatments undertaken, the condition could exacerbate and may cause ulceration in the esophagus, difficulty of swallowing due to the inflammation and even bleeding around that area.

How is acid reflux prevented and treated?

Since majority of the symptoms involve the digestive system, it is therefore important that the diet is altered and avoidance of foods which irritate the stomach like spicy, fatty and acidic foods. Doctors also advised their patients afflicted with acid reflux to do away with high-processed foods, fast foods, caffeine and fried foods. Moreover, chocolates and soda should be eliminated as well as these foods could weaken the body’s natural defenses against the stomach contents flowing back to the mouth. Instead, eat organic foods which do not contain acids or chemicals in them.

If you are not sure which of the foods you regularly eat cause your reflux, keep a record of all the foods you ate during the day. Observe and take note which cause the symptoms and avoid them completely the next time around.

It would also help if you eat small frequent meals instead of eating a large meal because doing this could help control the symptoms. Do not lie down immediately after consuming a meal. If you suffer frequent reflux at night, it is recommended that you avoid eating after 8 in the evening. Thus, there should be no snacks or beverage after that time and try inserting some pillows in your back so you can sleep in an upright position.

If an altered diet is not effective, do not resort to self-medication. Do not hesitate to consult your doctor so he or she can perform a thorough examination on your throat and esophagus so that proper treatment can be provided.

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