Have You Been Putting Up With Uncomfortable Symptoms Of Acid Reflux Or Heartburn For Far Too Long?
All You Need To Know About Acid Reflux Is Here!
by Tanya Frazer
Adapted from 2 original website articles by Tanya Frazer
What is Acid Reflux?
Heartburn or acid reflux or gastro esophageal reflux is a condition in which the acid for our stomach bounces back towards esophagus and causes burning sensation.
It actually happens when the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle that acts as a one-way valve for allowing food to stomach does not closes quickly and allowing some reflux of food and stomach acid back to esophageal.
Heartburn or acid reflux is generally observed after having a meal. Sometimes you may feel burning more when you have taken too much of meal or meal containing too much oily substances.
Heartburn is a misnomer, as the condition has nothing to do with the heart, however the burning sensation is felt in the chest region. Sometimes the additional symptoms of shortness of breath and tightness in chest are also accompanied with the heartburn.
The Role of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter
The lower esophageal sphincter, which prevents acid reflux, may some time fail to prevent the food and acid to bounce back towards esophagus and it generally happens whenever there is much pressure on the sphincter. By taking too much food, we put a huge pressure on this muscle and thus not only weaken the muscle, but create a problem for us also.
Therefore for avoiding a lot of pressure on this muscle known as lower esophageal sphincter, we should take small amount of food more often instead of too much food at one time. This will definitely reduce pressure at our sphincter.
We should also avoid lying down immediately after our meal that will also cause some short of pressure and increase the chances of acid reflux during night. It is also advised to walk or be straight for half an hour after taking meal to avoid the bouncing back of meal and stomach acid.
Some Precautions for Heartburn
There are some other precautions we can take to avoid heartburn. We are fortunate that most of the time heartburn occurs only in daytime. At the moment we are straight the fluid that is bounced back to our esophagus goes down quickly due to gravity and a little impact of this is observed.
During night while sleeping we should also ensure that our head including our upper portion is slightly upward to avoid any heartburn. Even if heartburn takes during night or the acid refluxes during night, it will quickly go down during our elevating sleeping position.
If you continuously suffer with heartburn and acid continuously refluxes towards your esophagus, a more severe and chronic condition known as GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) can occur. To avoid GERD, you should treat your heartburn properly and immediately once you notice acid burning sensation in your chest region.
Many times you may notice the heartburn after a heavy meal and if you notice occasional acid burning sensation, you may probably need the treatment with antacids.
These antacids neutralize the acid formation in stomach and will relieve the symptoms of heartburn very fast. If your heartburn is more often, you should see the doctor immediately and a permanent solution of the heartburn should be initiated immediately to avoid complications such as GERD
What is the Single Most Important Thing You Need to Know?
The single most important thing you need to know about acid reflux, GERD, or acid reflux disease is that symptoms should not go untreated.
Even if you can endure the symptoms of acid reflux disease, you should not let it go untreated. It may be surprising to know that some people with acid reflux never experience heart burn therefore don't give the problem much thought. They can suffer through an occasional bout of nausea or stomach ache. But they are not treating the damage that the acid has done in the past or is still doing.
Other Problems Related to Acid Reflux You May Be Unaware Of!
Stomach acid is very potent and in addition to wearing away the stomach lining, it can cause erosion of the esophagus. That erosion could lead to cancer or other serious problems in your throat.
Stomach acid can cause other problems, too. If it backs up high enough, it can cause sinus infections, ear infections and a variety of oral and dental problems. The acid wears away any tissue it reaches - whether that is stomach tissue or nasal tissue at the back of your nose.
Flow-On Benefits of Regular Treatment
Once you begin regular treatment for your acid reflux, you are sure to see an improvement in all your symptoms - and even an improvement in things you did not know were symptoms. For instance, if you have had a variety of sinus infections ongoing for some time, they will probably get better too. We just do not associate stomach acid with our nasal problems!
Oral Damage Cannot Be Repaired or Reversed
The only damage that you cannot repair or reverse is the oral damage. If acid has worn away the enamel of your teeth, you should talk to your dentist about methods to strengthen them. The enamel is the substance that protects your teeth and once it is worn away, there is a higher likelihood for cavities and other infections to set in.
Acid reflux is not all about your stomach and chest where you may feel the most symptoms. It is about your stomach, throat, nose and ears. When you treat the acid reflux appropriately, you will be more in control of your general over all health and well being.
Talk with your doctor and dentist to see if there is anything you can do to reverse the damage your acid reflux has already caused and take their advice on ways to prevent more damage in the future. If the cost of prescriptions is your hold up, talk with your pharmacist. Many companies offer programs to help people who cannot afford acid reflux prescriptions.