acid reflux

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

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