What Is Acid Reflux?

Do you know?

Over 60 million people in the US experience acid reflux at least once a month. More than 15 million Americans experience it every day.”

Acid reflux is one of the most common digestive conditions in Americans.  It usually occurs when stomach contents move backward into the esophagus. It’s also called acid regurgitation or gastrointestinal reflux (GERD).

Acid reflux usually causes a burning sensation in the chest. You may feel burning sensation throughout your stomach to the mid-chest or throat. This is also known as heartburn.

Causes of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux occurs when the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) doesn’t get close properly.  Faulty LES allows digestive juices and stomach contents to rise back up into the esophagus, resulting in acid reflux in the stomach. The LES is a one-way valve that normally opens for limited amounts of time when you swallow.

Acid Reflux symptoms occur mostly:

  • After eating a heavy meal,
  • While lifting a heavy object,
  • When you lie down on your back for a longer period of time,
  • Snacking close to bedtime

Other factors associated with reflux include:

  • obesity
  • stress
  • hiatal hernia (when part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm)
  • consuming particular foods (particularly carbonated beverages, coffee, and chocolate)
  • being pregnant
  • taking aspirin, ibuprofen, certain muscle relaxers, or blood pressure medications

If you notice that your reflux only occurs with certain foods, try eliminating them from your diet. Some people also find that sitting up straight during and after eating improves their symptoms.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease

Acid reflux can occur at any time of day. But, most of the people experience the acid reflux symptoms at night. It happens because lying down makes it easier for acid to move up into the chest. Some of the common symptoms of acid reflux are:

Common symptoms of acid reflux are:

  • Regurgitation: a sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up into your throat or mouth
  • Heartburn: It’s a burning sensation that may move from your stomach to your abdomen, or even up into your throat

Other symptoms of acid reflux disease include:

  • Burping
  • Nausea
  • Bloating
  • Hiccups that don’t let up
  • Black/bloody stools or bloody vomiting
  • Weight loss for no known reason
  • Dysphagia – It results due to the narrowing of your esophagus and generates the feeling of food being stuck in the throat
  • Hoarseness, wheezing, dry cough, or a chronic sore throat

How to treat acid reflux with diet and lifestyle changes?

The best way to treat acid reflux health issue is to avoid the foods and drinks that trigger symptoms. Here are other steps you can take:

  • Eat a smaller portion of meals 3-5 times in a day.
  • Keep yourself hydrated.
  • Quit smoking.
  • Keeps blocks under the head of your bed to raise it at least 4 inches to 6 inches.
  • Avoid eating at least 2 to 3 hours before lying in bed.
  • Try to take naps in a chair.
  • Don’t forget to remove tight clothes or tight belts before sleeping.
  • If you’re overweight or obese, exercise regularly to lose weight.

Don’t forget to ask your doctor about the medication that can help you control the triggers of acid reflux.

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