Showing posts with label Acid Reflux. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Acid Reflux. Show all posts

Monday 28 March 2022

Acid Reflux

Acid Reflux is the other broadly used name of Gastro-esophageal reflux disease, likewise more often referred as GERD. The disease causes damage to the esophagus as the acidic contents from the stomach, containing acids and pepsin, pushes back to the esophagus as the sphincter becomes weak and may no-more prevent the contents from stomach from gushing back in esophagus. The acidic contents burn the esophagus and induces irritation in the esophagus. 


This is a chronic disease, which has lifelong repercussions. The treatment in this case may only help temporarily, i.e., as well as one continues with the medicine.

To diagnose Acid Reflux, one may go through gastroscopy, since the symptoms of this disease re so mild that diagnosing them is really hard and individuals rather than going to the doctor stick with own medicine. The really commonly utilized resort to escape the pains and the issues from GERD is going for an antacid. These are really helpful in case of short-term and infrequent attacks of the disease. But these can’t supply much relief for a long time. 


Individuals may change their diets to actually eliminate or reduce the effects of Acid Reflux. A proper routine may be made to reduce the issue which generally causes due to the irregular habits of eating or eating more junk food and likewise from excessive drinking. Patients likewise in this case maintain diaries for keeping a track of what they eating and drinking to keep a check on the recurrence of the attacks of Acid Reflux. And when these controlled diets also don’t help in controlling the disease, then doctors resort to drugs to keep the disease in a controlled position.


The most popular and largely utilized drug for this disease is PPI (Proton Pump Inhibitors), this is the drug which is commonly prescribed by the doctors for relief from the pains causing due to the attacks of Acid Reflux. The drug assists in stopping the production of the acidic contents in the stomach which pushes into esophagus and cause acid reflux. Not many side effects do these drugs have, but are truly relieving at times of attacks.


The other drug chiefly prescribed by the doctors all over the world is 2 Blocker, which likewise restores relief to the esophagus. Both these drugs have been proved to be successful drug therapy for long term acid reflux sufferers. 


However, patients with more severe damages, who don’t respond to these drugs, are prescribed more radical drugs, with strong effects, called Promotility agents. These drugs have occasionally adverse side effects, so these are really seldom prescribed by the physicians.


Sunday 28 November 2021

Acid Reflux - Causes and Natural Remedies

If you suffer from acid reflux disease, there are ways in which you can reduce your suffering.


Natural stomach acid is in your stomach for a reason. The actual acid is not the cause of acid reflux disease. It is not a nasty poison that someone put there. The acid breaks down foods and sorts them out into the right department so to speak.  Proper digestion depends on the presence of adequate stomach acid while you are eating.  


When you eat, food moves from the mouth through the oesophagus and into the stomach to be digested. At the end of the oesophagus, there is a band of muscles that open and allow the food to go into the stomach. It then closes to prevent the food and acid from coming back up into the oesophagus. Many people experience acid reflux when foods or digestive juices escape the stomach and come back up through the oesophagus.  


To make sure your stomach has enough acid at mealtimes, make sure you chew your food thoroughly. Getting saliva mixed into the food as you chew will get the digestion process off to a good start.  


Snacking throughout the day causes the stomach to pump out acid gradually instead of saving it for mealtimes when it is needed the most. It is best to not eating closer than three hours apart. For example - if you eat breakfast at six a.m. and lunch at twelve p.m. then a snack at nine a.m. would be fine.  


Next, make sure you do not drink too much liquid while eating a meal. Too much liquid dilutes the necessary acid in the stomach. The best policy is to drink a glass of water 30 minutes to one hour before or after your meal, with only a few ounces consumed during the meal. After you have eaten, one hour or two feel free to guzzle down all the pure natural water you want.  


Another cause of acid reflux comes from eating large meals. This increases pressure on the stomach causing the stomach contents to be forced out and up into the oesophagus. You will need to give your body at least two hours to digest your food properly.  In addition, never ever lie down immediately after eating a large meal. 


To avoid overproduction of acid eat smaller portions of food at each meal. It would also help a lot to eliminate any fried food or food that contains refined sugar, or caffeine.  


Obesity can also increase abdominal pressure, and your risk of suffering from acid reflux as well. If you are overweight, cutting back on the amounts of food that you eat at each meal, and exercising daily should put you on the right path to helping you shed a few pounds.  


Acid reflux is caused in some people when the sphincter muscle at the end of the oesophagus becomes weak or does not close correctly. Prescription drugs, certain foods, alcohol, and smoking have been known to weaken the sphincter muscles.  


Try not to use antacids since they cut down the acids you will need when you eat.  Without enough acid, your stomach is unable to do its job of breaking down the food into the various nutrient components.  


Inadequate digestion of proteins can cause the liver to increase production of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, which is the bad cholesterol that does the most damage to your body.  


Instead of taking antacids, try the following natural approach. If you still have sour stomach in between meals try eating something that will settle it without triggering more acid production such as sauerkraut. Your stomach should relax after eating sauerkraut in five to ten minutes. 


The benefits of natural solutions are they normally cost a lot less, but even more important is the fact that natural solutions are a healthier alternative. They tend to reduce the possibility of becoming dependant on addictive chemical drugs.  


There are also three herbs that are well known for soothing stomach muscles, which are chamomile, gentian, and ginger. If your problem does not respond successfully to natural remedies within a few days, please see your health care provider.

Acid Reflux Disease

Commonly called 'heart burn', acid reflux disease is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach regurgitates (backs up, or refluxes) into the oesophagus.


It's annoying and painful.


But you want to know the truth, the reflux of the stomach's liquid contents into the oesophagus occurs in most normal individuals. However, when heartburn becomes acid reflux disease or Gastro oesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD, it is s real problem. That is because with GERD, the acid is stronger and stays in the oesophagus longer causing more discomfort.


Most often, you will experience this during the daytime when you are upright, sitting straight, or standing. Your body handles this reflux by the fluid flowing back down into your stomach. You swallow more during the daytime therefore draining the acid back to where it belongs. Your salivary glands produce saliva that also contains bicarbonate that acts to neutralize the acid your stomach has kicked up.


At night though, you may have a greater problem when acid reflux disease occurs that is because while sleeping, gravity does not work as well lying down, your constant swallowing stops, and the production of saliva is reduced.


Certain conditions make a person more prone to acid reflux disease, this GERD. For example, while you are pregnant, this can be a serious problem. Elevated hormone levels of pregnancy probably cause reflux by lowering the pressure in that part of your body known as the lower oesophageal sphincter. Also, the growing baby puts more pressure on the abdomen. Both of these effects of pregnancy tend to increase the risk of GERD.


If your acid reflux disease is a minor condition, then you should only experience minor symptoms. These would include primarily heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. However, if the condition is complicated, then watch out for the following symptoms.


The liquid that comes back into the oesophagus damages the lining of the oesophagus. The body tries to protect itself from the acid reflux disease by 'inflaming' the oesophagus. Trying to speed the healing process through the inflammation, the wall of the oesophagus may form an ulcer. The ulcer is a break in the lining of the oesophagus wall. Then what happens is that there may be bleeding. If the bleeding is very severe, patients might need a blood transfusion or even surgical treatment.


If your heartburn is severe or acute, happening very frequently, you need to see a doctor.


What can you do for yourself to help the condition? Try sleeping a pillow a night that raises your chest up slightly so that gravity can bring the acid back down more easily. Since this condition usually occurs on a full stomach, eat earlier and eat less to keep the stomach from being too full. Ease off on the chocolate, peppermint, alcohol, and caffeinated drinks. Reduce fatty foods and of course, cut down or quit smoking. Other foods may aggravate the conditions. Avoid spicy or acid-containing foods, like citrus juices, carbonated beverages, and tomato juice.

Acid Reflux Disease in Infants

Some medical conditions have no respect for age; the young or the old, and Acid Reflux, also known in medical terms as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) seems to be one of them.


The lower end of the oesophagus is protected by a valve called the Lower Oesophageal sphincter (LES). This valve opens to allow food from the oesophagus into the stomach and then closes up to protect the oesophagus from the acid content of the stomach. Several conditions can compromise this valve, allowing gastric content into the oesophagus. As in adults, infants also suffer from heartburn on occasions. This is mainly attributed to the fact that infants consume essentially liquid and soft foods, which tend to be rich in diary proteins. The most unfortunate part of infant acid reflux disease is that, unlike in adults, it is very difficult to determine if an infant has developed chronic gastroesophageal reflux disease. An infant is most unlikely to be able to complain of heartburn or any symptoms of the disease.


Acid reflux in infants is always as a result of a lot of factors, however, most of the causative factors tend to be aggravated by the fact that infants, spend a great deal of their days lying on their back or in a supine position and consume mostly liquid food. The tendency for liquid food to cause regurgitation, when combined with the pressure lying in a supine position exerts on the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) constitutes a greater risk of reflux acid incidence in infants. The incidence, however, could also be attributed to some other factors like, the anatomy of the infant's stomach, improper or incomplete development of the lower oesophageal sphincter during foetal growth, poor diet, overweight, food allergies and a host of other factors.


Because infants, unlike adults, cannot complain of symptoms or explain how they feel, it is always very difficult to know when an infant is suffering from acid reflux. The best bet is to consult a paediatrician. Nevertheless, there are signs and clues that you may look out for in your infant that could suggest the presence of the disease. Some of these clues are:


  • Sleeping problems
  • Coughing
  • Weight loss 
  • Lack of appetite 
  • Spitting up frequently 
  • Apnoea
  • Unusual irritability
  • Chest pain
  • Sore throat 
  • Bad breath
  • Crying


Acid reflux disease can also cause respiratory problems including pneumonia, strictures and ulcerations on the oesophageal wall, and malnourishment. Although, these signs don't always mean your infant is suffering from acid reflux disease, but they constitute a good enough reason to go see your paediatrician.


Of course, there are a few things you could do to help your child avoid acid reflux. Simple things like changing the child's food, keeping him/her upright for some time, especially after eating, keeping an eye on the child for any sign of chest pain or heartburn and a host of others. This extra attention could be all your child really needs.

Acid Reflux Disease, Causes and Effects

To counter the surge in the prevalence of acid reflux, lots of over the counter medications have been churned out of our pharmaceutical companies. A lot of theories abound, medically and naturally, about the root cause of this disease.


The first explanation for the cause of this condition is that because of the incompetence of the Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LES) acidic contents of the stomach are allowed up into the oesophagus, which results in a burning sensation. The LES is a valve that is found at the lower end of the oesophagus and separates it from the stomach and its contents but when this valve becomes dysfunctional, it allows the acidic content of the stomach to be regurgitated into the oesophagus.


A separate school of thought believes that acidic reflux disease is caused by our eating habits. As it's often said, living in the civilized world entails eating more junk food and packaged and processed food than the stomach can digest. So, when we put so much into the stomach, most of the food ends up undigested. These undigested food materials turn into acidic waste in the stomach. This waste causes stomach spasms or twitching that causes an increase in stomach gas that pops open the LES valve between the oesophagus and stomach sending acidic contents up the oesophagus.


Yet, acidic reflux disease can be traced to aging in adults. It is believed in some quarters that as we age, the activity of the stomach reduces, so also its ability to produce hydrochloric acid. The reduction in the stomach activity and acid content of the stomach creates a breeding ground for infections which in themselves cause stomach pain and acid production leading to further symptoms of acid reflux.


Whatever the cause of acid reflux disease, what is constant about it, is the fact that it is a chronic disease. Most medicines, which inhibit production of acid in the stomach, only help to relieve the burning effect and other symptoms and not actually cure the condition. As a matter of fact, these drugs help in relieving the symptoms quite effectively, but the other side of the coin is that these drugs also cause several side effects in the body by cutting down the acid production in your stomach. Some of their side effects are that they reduce the ability of the stomach to digest food efficiently, they make you more vulnerable to diseases and microbes transmitted through food, increases the risk of food poisoning and a host of others.


While there are many medications and natural methods to rid yourself of that burning sensation that accompanies each acid reflux bout, the first line of action should be a thorough assessment of the your food and lifestyle. Some food materials are known to aggravate acid reflux, some of the foods include; citrus, caffeine, chocolate, fatty fried foods, garlic, and onions. Cutting down or avoiding these foods as much as possible is a good first attempt at preventing future acid reflux bouts.


Additional lifestyle assessment and modification that can help reduce acid reflux episodes include:


  • Losing weight if you are overweight 
  • Cutting down alcohol to the barest minimum 
  • Eating just enough food to keep hunger away 
  • Don't go to bed until at least three hours after eating 
  • Raise your bed head six to eight inches


These very simple lifestyle improvements can keep you off those acid blockers and other acid reflux medications that cause almost the same amount of damage as the good they do to your body.

Acid Reflux - Causes

There are various causes of acid reflux. Knowing the causes can help you to seek the proper treatment.


Acid reflux or GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) occurs when the liquid that is in the stomach backs up into the oesophagus. This is usually a condition which persists throughout the life of the individual. Because the acid backs up into the oesophagus, the oesophagus may be damaged. 


Acid reflux (GERD) can have many causes. The action of the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES) may be one cause. The oesophagus connects to the stomach. There is a muscle ring that goes around the end of the oesophagus at the point where it meets the stomach. This is the LES. When we eat or drink the LES allows the food to pass into the stomach and then the muscle ring closes so the food does not reflux. People with acid reflux (GERD) may have abnormalities with their LES. The LES may have a weak contraction so there is a very good chance of reflux. Or, the LES may be too relaxed. The longer the LES is open (relaxed) reflux can easily occur.  


Another cause of acid reflux (GERD) is a hiatal hernia. Some people with acid reflux have hiatal hernias and some do not. Hiatal hernias are not a pre-requisite for acid reflux, but a large amount of people with acid reflux DO have hiatal hernias. A hiatal hernia disrupts the location of the LES. The LES should be on a level with the diaphragm but due to the hiatal hernia the LES is pushed up and lies in the chest. This is a problem because the diaphragm is a large part of helping the LES to prevent reflux. Now the pressure of both the LES and diaphragm are not working as a strong unit. The hiatal hernia contributes to the reflux because of the decreased pressure.  


Acid reflux can also be caused by a hiatal hernia due to the hernial sac. The location of the sac is near the oesophagus. Acid gets trapped in the sac. Because the sac is so close to the oesophagus, when the LES relaxes, it is easy to reflux.  


The hiatal hernia can lead to acid reflux in a third way. Normally the oesophagus connects to the stomach at an angle creating a flap of tissue. The hiatal hernia leads to the flap becoming warped and therefore it is useless to stop reflux.  


People with acid reflux have a problem with the contraction of the oesophageal muscles when they swallow. This is an issue because the contraction pushes all of the items in the oesophagus into the stomach. If there is not a good contraction then the acid does not get pushed back and remains in the oesophagus. Smoking disturbs the clearing of the oesophagus too. It takes about six hours from the last cigarette you smoke for the effect on the oesophagus to wear off.  


Acid reflux is most common after meals. It is always better to be vertical so gravity can help the acid move down into the stomach. Large meals are not recommended for people with acid reflux.  


There are many different reasons people may have acid reflux. Learning the cause may help in your quest to relieve some of the discomfort of acid reflux.