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Methods to Treat Acid Reflux Symptoms

March 24, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 155

Acid reflux or GERD (gastro esophageal reflux) disease inflames and irritates the esophagus due to the reverse flow of food as well as acid into the stomach. The esophagus or commonly called as the food tube is a tube which travels from the throat to the stomach and therefore allowing food to reach the stomach after swallowing.

The digestive process creates hydrochloric acid inside the stomach for proper digestion of food. When the acid is created, the inner lining of the stomach helps in resisting corrosion with the help of mucus which is secreted by the stomach. The problem is that the esophagus lining do not have the ability to withstand the corrosion and thus when there is a back flow, the linings gets damaged. Incidentally the esophagus is just behind the heart and when acid reflux occurs you have a heart burning sensation. On a natural procedure the lower esophagus sphincter, a ring of muscles at the bottom of the food pipe, checks and prevents acid reflux. The normal procedure is when a person eats the esophagus expands to allow the food to go down and then contract to prevent its back flow. But with GERD, the sphincter eases between swallows, thus making the reverse flow possible; as a result the esophagus is damaged.

Over thirty percent of the American population is affected by acid reflux diseases. The exact cause still remains to be determined. There are many causes that create acid reflux: excessive use of alcohol and smoking, junk and fatty foods, drinks having caffeine content, gluttony and several other health conditions. Many people can control and eliminate the acid reflux by changing their lifestyle and food habits. But in advanced condition it is wiser to consult a physician for proper treatment. In case you have symptoms like severe chest pain, vomiting or vomiting blood, black stool and difficulty in eating or drinking it is prudent to contact your doctor without delay. Any delay can cause serious repercussions and can be detrimental to health.

To a great extent the symptoms can be relieved with proper care at home. Control eating habits and eat at least 2 to 3 hours prior to sleep. This reduces the acid production. Sleep with your head in an elevated condition. The food intake should be in small quantities and frequent. Always avoid fatty foods and junk foods, citrus fruits, caffeine, avoid alcohol and smoking, shed weight and avoid medicine detrimental to the acid reflux condition.

There are several non-prescription antacids which can neutralize the acid aggravation, like Gaviscon, Maalox, Mylanta, and Tums. Try to avoid taking these medicines for a prolonged period as it can create unnecessary side effects. The histamine-2 receptor blocker is also useful in such situations. But you should take the medicine an hour before the meal. The common H-2 medicines are cimetidine (Tagamet), famotidine (Pepcid), ranitidine (Zantac), and nizatidine (Axid). In serious cases surgery may be necessary.

What is Acid reflux and what causes it? Learn also natural methods like an acid reflux diet that you can employ to cure it.

Source: EzineArticles
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