Acid Reflux in Depth

About Acid Reflux Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the esophagus becomes irritated or inflamed because of acid backing up from the stomach. The esophagus or food pipe is the tube stretching from the throat to the stomach. When food is swallowed, it travels down the esophagus. The stomach produces hydrochloric acid after a meal to aid in the digestion of food. •The inner lining of the stomach resists corrosion by this acid. The cells that line the stomach secrete large amounts of protective mucus. •The lining of the esophagus does not share these resistant features and stomach acid can damage it. •The esophagus lies just behind the heart, so the term heartburn was coined to describe the sensation of acid burning the esophagus. Normally, a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter, prevents reflux (or backing up) of acid. •This sphincter relaxes during swallowing to allow food to pass. It then tightens to prevent flow in the opposite direction. •With GERD, however, the sphincter relaxes between swallows, allowing stomach contents and corrosive acid to well up and damage the lining of the esophagus. GERD affects 25% to 40% of the adult population of the United States to some degree at some point. About 10% of adults experience GERD weekly or daily. Not just adults are affected; even infants and children can have GERD.   Acid Reflux (GERD) Causes No one knows the exact cause of gastroesophageal reflux. The following are contributing factors that weaken or relax the lower esophageal sphincter, making reflux worse: •Lifestyle: Use of alcohol or cigarettes, obesity, poor posture (slouching) •Medications: Calcium channel blockers, theophylline (Tedral, Hydrophed, Marax, Bronchial, Quibron), nitrates, antihistamines • Diet: Fatty and fried foods, chocolate, garlic and onions, drinks with caffeine, […]
By |November 21st, 2013|Indigestion|0 Comments

Home Remedies for Indigestion

A good digestive system is essential for one’s health and wellbeing. However, thanks to our hectic lifestyles and erratic eating patterns, a majority of us suffer from indigestion at one point of time or the other. The good news is that digestion problems can be cured with some natural home remedies. The following are some of the simplest and most effective ones:   • Boil 3-4 slices of ginger in a cup of water and drink up this concoction after every meal. Ginger has for long been used in traditional medicine to cure indigestion. Consuming ginger juice after every meal helps in detoxifying the stomach and stimulating the intestinal muscles. • A glass of lemon juice after every meal also helps in curing indigestion. Lemon juice helps in reducing the silica content in the body, thereby enabling it to digest food faster. • Make sure your breakfast includes a glass of fresh orange juice or consume at least one orange a day as a mid-meal snack. Oranges help in regulating our bowel movement by stimulating the formation of digestive juices.   These home remedies along with a good diet and appropriate lifestyle changes will ensure that your digestive system functions normally.
By |October 19th, 2013|Indigestion|0 Comments

Causes of GERD

Fried food, alcohol, caffeine, and soda can all trigger reflux. Spicy, tomato-based or citrus foods may also cause problems for some people. Smoking also increases the risk of reflux. Being overweight and having your belly fat push up on your stomach can prevent it from emptying, triggering reflux. Having a hiatal hernia (where your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm) can also cause trouble and can be diagnosed by x-ray. Eating large meals and eating before bed are two other main reasons for reflux. These are the most obvious causes, and the ones you have probably heard about. However, there are a few more that bear mentioning. Stress contributes to reflux. Clearly, food is supposed to go down, not up, when you eat. That’s why there are two main valves, or sphincters, that control food going in and out of your stomach — the one at the top (or the lower esophageal sphincter) and one at the bottom (the pyloric valve). When you’re stressed, the valve on the top relaxes and the valve on the bottom tightens up. This may result in food traveling back up your esophagus. Practice active relaxation and you mitigate this problem. Magnesium deficiency is another cause of reflux because magnesium helps the sphincter at the bottom of the stomach relax, allowing the food to go down. Food sensitivities or allergies can also cause reflux. Common culprits include dairy and gluten-containing foods like wheat, barley, rye, and oats. Plus, overgrowth of bacteria in the small bowel or yeast overgrowth in the gut can cause reflux. These are all treatable conditions that you don’t need powerful acid blocking drugs to fix. To properly diagnose the causes of your reflux, you may need to do the following. 1. […]
By |October 15th, 2013|Indigestion|0 Comments

Recognize IBS

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, or IBS, is a common disorder of the large intestine, causing discomfort, cramping, bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhea. For the 55 million Americans who suffer from IBS, these symptoms can be severe, yet frequently the condition goes untreated. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), in IBS, the structure of the bowel is not abnormal and IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Although there is no known cure, learning to control and manage the condition can be an effective way to relieve symptoms and improve your overall quality of life. Cause Irritable bowel syndrome can develop at any age, though it is more likely to appear during the teenage or early adult years, according to the NIH. While experts have yet to discover any specific cause for the condition, in some cases it appears after an infection in the large intestine.  Doctors also believe there are several other triggers. It is believed that IBS can be spurred by an abnormal function of the nerves that control the gastrointestinal tract, but it is unclear whether the abnormal function occurs in the intestine, spinal cord or brain. Some researchers also suggest that IBS can develop during times of stress. Symptoms The effects of IBS can range from mild to intense. While symptoms can vary from person to person, most will experience regular abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, bloating, or changes in the appearance and texture of bowel movements. Some sufferers of IBS have also reported experiencing non-gastrointestinal symptoms such as fatigue, headaches and anxiety. Prevention Since the specific cause of IBS remains unclear, there is no known way to prevent its development, according to medical experts at the NIH. […]
By |September 26th, 2013|Indigestion|0 Comments

Acid Reflux Explained

Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus – the tube that connects the throat to the stomach.  This backward flow becomes possible when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus is weak or relaxes at the wrong time.  If the valve or sphincter is open, this allows stomach acid to back up into your esophagus. This reflux can, in turn, cause heartburn – the burning sensation in your chest – along with other symptoms. When acid reflux and heart burn occurs at least twice a week, and the backwash of acid irritates the lining of your esophagus, doctors will classify this as gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. Here are some common symptoms of acid reflux: Chest pain:  Occurs because stomach acid is splashing into the esophagus, and people often mistake it for a heart attack Regurgitation:  A sour or bitter-tasting acid backing up into your throat or mouth Pain after meals: If the stomach is overloaded with a big, fatty meal, this can trigger acid production and reflux. Choking:  Sometimes acid from the stomach makes its way up to the throat and can cause choking.  If you wake up choking, this may be a sign of acid reflux Hoarseness:  Often mistaken for an early cold symptom – this can actually be the result of stomach acid seeping into esophagus and irritating the vocal cords Sore throat: Usually mistaken for seasonal allergies or cold symptom, a sore throat develops from the continuous irritation of acid on throat. An easy way to know to know it’s not a cold, is if you don’t develop other flu or cold- like symptoms Cough:  If you are experiencing a chronic cough and wheezing, this may not be a respiratory issue […]
By |September 26th, 2013|Indigestion|0 Comments

In Depth on Indigestion

Indigestion, also known as dyspepsia, is a term used to describe symptoms including a feeling of fullness, discomfort or a burning sensation in the abdomen after meals. It is most common in adults and can occur occasionally or every day. Often these symptoms can be managed and suppressed with the appropriate medication or dietary changes. Frequent indigestion can often be the sign of a more serious underlying condition, so it’s best to consult your doctor if the problem persists. Causes Causes of indigestion can vary greatly, from lifestyle and eating habits, to other digestive conditions. Common causes include overeating or eating too much of the wrong foods, like chocolate, alcohol and overly spicy or fatty foods. Lifestyle choices like smoking, stress and fatigue have also been known to contribute to indigestion. Your indigestion may also be a symptom of a more serious medical condition affecting the digestive tract. Peptic ulcers, a gallstone, irritable bowel syndrome and, in rare cases, even stomach cancer can cause indigestion. In cases where no cause can be found, even after a thorough evaluation, it’s likely that you may be suffering from functional dyspepsia, which occurs as a result of the stomach’s inability to properly accept, digest and then pass food to the small intestine. Prevention If an underlying medical condition is not the cause, preventing indigestion can often be as simple as making a few basic dietary and lifestyle changes. Eating plenty of fiber each day will help improve your digestive system and keep indigestion at bay. You may also be wise to avoid foods that tend to cause excess gas, like cabbage, baked beans, broccoli and carbonated beverages. Lower stress and exercising regularly will also help to reduce indigestion and improve your […]
By |September 16th, 2013|Indigestion|0 Comments