Acid Reflux, popularly known as heartburn has nothing to do with the heart, but is caused by the abnormal backflow or reflux, of stomach acid and juices into the esophagus, the tube that carries food from your throat to your stomach. When stomach acid frequently backs up or refluxes into your esophagus, it causes a burning sensation known as heartburn or acid reflux. It feels like a blistering pain in the center of the chest. Acid reflux disease medically referred to as the Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) afflicts millions and millions of people across the world.
Several people suffer from a sporadic bout of heartburn, typically after a heavy meal. However if your condition persists or if your acid reflux occurs two or more times a week, thereís a good chance that your diagnosis would be GERD.
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Sadly, no one knows precisely what causes the acid reflux disease, but there is tons of information available at your physicianís office and on the Internet. The good news is that acid reflux is an extremely manageable condition, though at times it can lead to potentially serious, chronic conditions. There are many avenues available for acid reflux or heartburn treatment. The most common ones being advocated involve, making changes in your lifestyle, medical cures, and stress management, with the most viable treatment being a mixture of all these strategies.
Acid reflux usually occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes at the wrong time. Certain foods and/or conditions that may cause this kind of reaction include cigarettes, onions, peppermint, chocolate, caffeine, fatty foods, alcohol, obesity, pregnancy and delayed stomach emptying. Pregnancy and obesity swells the pressure within the abdomen pushing the stomach contents into the esophagus.
You may be able to avert some of these symptoms by making some changes in your lifestyle such as eating less but more frequently, shedding a few pounds, quit smoking, abstaining from drinking alcohol, try remaining stress-free and avoiding specific foods that cause acid reflux, such as coffee or chocolate.
Untreated acid reflux may lead to several complications, including esophageal cancer. The lining of the esophagus may become ulcerated and consequently result in narrowing, making swallowing of food and, at times, liquids, agonizing and difficult.
Nonprescription medications like antacids are frequently used to treat acid-related symptoms, like acid reflux or indigestion, and they work by neutralizing acid in the stomach. However, they are not normally recommended to cure the frequent acid reflux bouts suffered by people. Chronic acid reflux symptoms typically require stronger prescription medicines such as proton pump inhibitors or prokinetic agents, for successful treatment. Lifestyle changes combined with prescribed medicines help manage these symptoms.
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