Acid reflux is also known as heartburn is extremely uncomfortable to all those who suffer. Acid reflux is a condition where gastric juices containing acid travel back from the stomach into the esophagus. Factors contributing to acid reflux include fatty foods, cigarettes, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, obesity, pregnancy and delayed stomach emptying.
If the acid reaches the throat, it is called laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. A simple and relatively harmless way to treat a one-off heartburn is to drink a solution of a small amount of sodium bicarbonate or baking soda mixed with water, which quickly neutralizes the acid that causes the pain its not a cure so contact a physicial if you experience more than a week of consistent acid reflux.
Hoarseness, dental erosion and asthma can all be symptoms of acidic juices making their way into the throat, mouth and air passages of the lungs. Antacids provide fast relief of symptoms, but relief typically lasts for only thirty to sixty minutes. Thirty to sixty minutes of relief can be great for those suffering but what most people are looking for is permanent relief some medications can provide this sort of relief.
Medications commonly used in the treatment of heartburn include acid suppressants, such as histamine H2-antagonists or acid blockers. Proton pump inhibitors work on the cells in the stomach wall, which make acid, to reduce the amount of acid produced and released into the stomach chamber. Some medications or antacids work by increasing the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter which is the muscular valve between the lower end of the stomach and the small bowel. Most over-the-counter medicines are commonly used to treat mild acid-related symptoms, like heartburn or indigestion, and work by neutralizing acid in the stomach. If you are experiencing heartburn of any kind can be a sign of a more serious problem.
If heartburn or acid reflux occurs when lying down, relief is often found by raising the head of the bed, raising the upper body with pillows, or sleeping sitting up. Tight clothing around the abdomen can increase the risk for heartburn because it puts pressure on the stomach, which can cause the food and acids in the stomach to move upward into the esophagus. Restricting diet is very important, since approximately ninety percent of sufferers of heartburn or esophageal disorder can link their symptoms to specific foods they eat.
Those with acid reflux disease usually experience worse symptoms after they eat, or when they lie down or bend over. Heartburn may signal other problems such as esophagitis which is inflammation of the esophagus or GERD, which can be more serious. The symptoms of heartburn can be frequent and may last several weeks, months or longer if left untreated and develop into GERD. Sufferers should choose the kinds of foods and drinks which have little risk of causing acid reflux, while some kinds of foods or drinks should be avoided as they are major heartburn triggers.
GERD can be a life threatening disease where the stomach acid erodes the lining in the stomach that protects it from hydrochloric acid. Once this happens bleeding can happen and cause discoloration in ones stool or bowel movements. If left untreated, GERD can lead to cancer and eventually death.
In conclusion, most people with acid reflux experience the discomfort associated with these symptoms and live with a reduced quality of life due to pain which extend to everyday activities, including work. Consult a physician if you experience heartburn of any kind because acid reflux is not normal and needs to be taken care of. Remember to avoid certain foods and lifestyle which promote gastro-esophageal reflux, including common drinks like Coffee, alcohol, and excessive amounts of Vitamin C supplements stimulate gastric acid secretion. Vitamins such as calcium carbonate can help reduce acid and easy symptoms.