Know all about ACID REFLUX

Acid reflux also known as acid indigestion or heart burn happens when some of the stomach acid reflux back into the esophagus.

GERD is diagnosed when acid reflux occurs more than twice a week.

Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease

HOW IT OCCURS?

It occurs when LES weakens allowing the stomach’s content/acid to reflux back to esophagus.

LES ( Lower Esophageal Sphincter ) allows food to pass into stomach and prevents food & acidic stomach juices from flowing back promoting normal digestion.

WHAT CAUSES GERD?

  • Food & Beverages like – Chocolate, Peppermint, Fried or Fatty foods, Coffee, Alcohol, Spice, High Salt intake, Low fiber intake, eating large meals, lying down right after eating, etc
  • Smoking (Active & Passive)
  • Less or No Exercise
  • Medication – Some meds has GERD as side effects
  • Obesity
  • Pregnancy

SYMPTOMS YOU HAVE ACID REFLUX

  • Bitter Tongue – The stomach juice when refluxes back to esophagus can leave a bitter taste in the back of your throat.
  • Heart Burn – Acid reflux causes uneasiness and burning sensation. You may experience sour burp and pain in chest which may last a few minutes or several hours. Seek medical aid if you also experience shortness of breath or jaw or arm pain.
  • Full Throat – Even after hours of eating, you may feel the presence of food right on top of your throat and may also feel the bitter taste of food coming with burps.
  • Problem Swallowing – When it feels like the food is taking longer to get down and is rather sticking in the esophagus.
  • Irritation in Vocal Cord
  • Bad breath
  • Nausea & Vomiting

TREAT ACID REFLUX

Treatment aims at stopping the reflux and recovering the damaged stomach lining of the esophagus caused by the reflux.

  1. Avoiding below foods and beverages – Chocolate, peppermint, fatty foods, coffee, and alcoholic beverages, citrus fruits and juices, tomato products, and pepper, should also be avoided if they cause symptoms. Eat Right
  2. Right Pillow – Limit to 6 inch pillow height to reduce heartburn by allowing gravity to minimize reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus.
  3. Visit Your Doctor – With change in diet & lifestyle, consult your doctor to make sure you are on right track and also get prescribed medicines like antacids.
  4. Limit Your Medicine Intake – Antacid should be taken only as prescribed. Regular use can cause side effect like diarrhea, altered calcium metabolism (a change in the way the body breaks down and uses calcium), and build-up of magnesium in the body.
  5. Right Posture
  6. Clothing – Wear free, loose and breathable clothes
  7. Lose Weight – Staying fit resolves all health issues

With an understanding of the causes and proper treatment, most people will find relief.