Let’s first begin by explaining what acid reflux is: Acid reflux is the backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus that happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not close appropriately. Tasting regurgitated food or sour liquid at the back of your mouth or feeling a burning sensation in your chest, known as heartburn, are common signs of acid reflux. These symptoms usually happen after eating a meal, or when lying down. Do not mistake the burning pain with a sharp or pressure-like pain as a sign of heart pain or angina.
Acid reflux may progress to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which is a more severe and frequent form of reflux. It also accompanies symptoms such as cough, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, hypersalivation and/or difficulty swallowing.
Who has it?
Many people can experience acid reflux occasionally. However, GERD is common in people who are overweight or obese, pregnant, smokers or second hand smokers. It also occurs in people who have hiatal hernias or H. Pylori infections. The acid reflux could be a side effect of some medications as well.
What are some treatments?
First and foremost, finding the underlying cause should be the main goal. Finding the obstacle and removing it is the most important step to take. Meanwhile, diet and lifestyle changes can help with the symptoms. The lifestyle and diet changes can include:
Eating small and frequent meals
Avoiding foods that relax the lower esophageal sphincter such as chocolate, fatty or greasy foods, caffeine, mints or mint-flavored foods, spicy foods, onion, garlic, citrus, and tomato-based foods
Not eating 2-3 hours prior to bedtime
Elevating the head while in bed
Why take acid reflux or GERD seriously?
If acid reflux or GERD goes untreated, complications such as esophagitis, which is inflammation of esophageal lining, difficulty swallowing as the result of esophageal stricture, respiratory issues, or Barrett’s esophagus which may develop into esophageal cancer.
Take your symptoms seriously and contact us at SageMED for a one on one appointment to evaluate and treat your acid reflux or GERD.