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Acid Reflux Disease

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Acid Reflux Disease Empty Acid Reflux Disease

Post  mrsamct Mon Aug 15, 2011 1:15 am

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There is a valve, a ring of muscle, near the entrance of our stomach called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Once food passes through the LES, it closes immediately. Now if the LES doesn't close completely or if it reopens frequently, stomach produces an acid, which moves up into the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation in the chest, often called heartburn. When a person experiences acid reflux symptoms more than 2 times a week, he/she has acid reflux disease, or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Acid Reflux Disease Causes

Wondering what causes acid reflux disease? One of the common acid reflux disease causes is a stomach abnormality, better known as hiatal hernia. This abnormality occurs after the stomach and LES (upper part of both) move above the diaphragm, a muscles which parts the stomach from the chest. As the diaphragm works in keeping acid inside the stomach, due to hiatal hernia, this acid finds a chance to move up inside the esophagus. This is why we experience gastric reflux symptoms.

Apart from hiatal hernia, there are other risk factors that are responsible for acid reflux disease. Let's see what risk factors for gastric reflux causes are:

* Eating snacks before bedtime.
* Obese or being overweight for your age and height.
* People who eat late meals and lie down immediately after eating.
* If a person smokes or is pregnant.
* Drinking alcohol, coffee, tea and/or carbonated drinks in excess.
* Eating heavy meals and then lying on the back or even bending from the waist.
* People who take aspirin, some muscle relaxers, blood pressure medications or ibuprofen.
* Eating chocolate, tomato, onions, mint, garlic, spicy, citric or fatty foods.

Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms

Acid reflux symptoms in women is very common, as they are the likely to be the first to encounter it. Especially during pregnancy, it is estimated that about 20% of women complain about indigestion in their 1st trimester, about 40% of women complain in their 2nd trimester and about 70% of women complain in their 3rd trimester. Increase in hormone levels or the pressure over the stomach area can result in heartburn. Typically, once a baby is born, the heartburn disappears.

This was just about the acid reflux disease symptoms in women who are pregnant, but what about others who suffer from acid reflux disease? As we discussed earlier, heartburn is the most common symptom experienced by most people. However, there are other GERD symptoms which you should be aware of.

* Dysphagia; here the esophagus becomes narrow, creating a sensation of food being stuck in the throat.
* Feeling of regurgitation; here a person gets a sour or bitter-tasting acid back up in his or her throat and/or mouth.
* Feeling bloated, burping, nausea and hiccups that won't stop.
* Blood is stools or black stools; vomit has blood.
* Losing weight for no apparent reason.
* Dry cough, chronic sore throat, or wheezing.

Natural Remedies for Acid Reflux Disease

Before you can visit the doctor and start on the acid reflux treatment, there are some remedies you can try at home. Even though you feel better after trying these remedies, don't avoid the visit to the doctor.

* There are foods to avoid with acid reflux disease, such as chocolate, pasta, black pepper, tomato (and its products), citrus fruits and juices, peppermint and fatty foods/dairy products. Also avoid alcohol and caffeine as well, these are the foods that cause acid reflux.
* Before going to bed, eat foods like bananas, pineapples, almonds and papaya. These foods can help cure acid reflux disease symptoms.
* Try eating anise, lavender, licorice, turmeric and other herbs which are easily found in health food stores. You can also try making tea with these herbs.
* Lie on the bed in a way that your head is elevated about 8 - 10 inches high (let gravity do its work). You could try sleeping like that for the night.
* Eat as slowly as you can and watch the portions as well. Overeating means more acid production by your stomach. When you eat slowly, you can digest the food properly without making your stomach too upset.
* Keep drinking water in between bites to dilute the stomach acids. This will also help break down the food and your stomach won't produce that much acid.

To avoid acid reflux disease in the first place, try losing some weight and change your diet. Many a times, acid reflux disease is self-inflicted due to our food and lifestyle choice. Also, try to calm yourself down and not take too much work or home related stress. Include meditation or yoga to your regular exercise routine to decrease stress in your life. Stress is what definitely upsets your stomach and takes a wrong turn.


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