Foods to avoid if you have acid reflux aka Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly referred to as GERD
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Acid reflux symptoms vary in degrees of discomfort, from person to person, and within different age groups. The most common and persistent symptom is a burning sensation centered in the middle of the chest and/or throat, brought on by stomach acid that churns up onto the lining of the esophagus. This is due to the relaxing of the esophageal sphincter (valve), which remains open when it should be closed. Acid reflux also leads to one of the most unpleasant symptoms known as regurgitation of acid into the mouth, often due to overeating, or bending down after a meal.
People who suffer from acid reflux disease, also called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, exhibit symptoms that are chronic, persistent, and have a debilitating effect on their daily lifestyle. Though heartburn is the most common of the acid reflux disease symptoms, other signs may also manifest themselves. These symptoms include wheezing, coarseness in the throat, breathing problems, acid regurgitation, a bitter taste in the mouth, dry coughing, interrupted sleep, tightness in the throat, and halitosis (bad breath).
Don’t be confused by the term heartburn. Many believe that acid reflux symptoms affect the heart or mistakenly diagnose heartburn as a heart related problem. When in reality, the heart in not effected by acid reflux. The reason for the confusion lies in the fact that the heart is located near the pain center, when, actually, the esophagus is positioned behind the heart. One more thing to keep in mind is that acid reflux does not normally flare up during or beginning physical exertion, like many heart problems do. Again, always consult a physician on treatment options whether you experience signs of acid reflux or possible heart related problems.
As always, before you attempt to self medicate or try a new health regimen or program we suggest you retain the services of a qualified health care professional.
Acid Reflux - Symptoms and Treatment
Acid reflux (also known as GERD or heartburn) is a common condition -- Over 60 million Americans experience it at least once a month.
For some, acid reflux is a temporary phenomenon experienced only when eating too much, or eating particular types of food e.g. spicy foods.
But for many others, acid reflux can be a painful and persistent condition.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter (that normally closes after swallowing to prevent stomach contents from escaping) malfunctions and allows stomach acid to travel up the oesophagus. When this occurs, a painful sensation is felt.
What are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?
The symptoms of acid reflux are a painful “burning” sensation in the upper chest and/or regurgitation of acid into the mouth. Some patients will even develop nausea although this is less common. Although often called “heartburn”, the pain should not be mistaken for that associated with a true heart attack or cardiac arrest which would be accompanied by tightness of and pounding in the chest, weakness and feeling faint.
What are the Treatments for Acid Reflux?
Fortunately there are many treatments available for acid reflux.
Antacids are usually the first port of call for many acid reflux sufferers. For short term and infrequent attacks of acid reflux, these provide much needed temporary relief. However, as a long term solution they are not suitable and alternatives should be sought.
Any sufferer of regular acid reflux should keep a diary of everything they eat and drink. Over time, patterns can be established and many people report elimination or reduction of acid reflux symptoms after changing their diet accordingly to eliminate problematic food or drink.
If dietary changes have little or no effect, there are various families of drugs that are available over the counter and on prescription.
PPIs, or proton pump inhibitors, are often prescribed and successful drugs. These work by inhibiting production of the stomach acid that causes acid reflux. They have relatively limited side effects. H2 blockers are a different family of drugs that have the same effect but work in a different way. For the vast majority of long term acid reflux sufferers, PPIs and H2 blockers are a successful drug therapy. Some people, however, fail to respond to treatment with PPIs and H2 blockers and their only option are more radical drugs known as promotility agents. Unfortunately, these can have very severe side effects and are therefore rarely prescribed.
Lastly, for those who fail to respond to drug treatment, or simply want an alternative to the daily inconvenience of taking drugs, surgery is an option. New techniques are constantly being developed, some of which include procedures such as Enteryx Procedure, Stretta Procedure, Nissen Fundoplication and Endocinch. Your doctor will be able to give you more advice on these surgery options.
For more information and in-depth analysis of the treatment of acid reflux, visit Acid Reflux Treatment.
Heartburn is a by-product of digestion, specifically affecting the esophagus and the stomach. The esophagus is a tube that delivers food into the stomach, and it has a valve that opens and closes to allow food in and to keep it down during digestion. This valve can become lax or get overwhelmed by too much food or too much acid. This condition causes stomach acids to reflux or spill back up through the valve onto the esophagus, fanning flames of discomfort within the center of the chest.
Is there an acid reflux cure?
Acid reflux treatment regimens include medications, lifestyle changes, and stress management. Depending on severity, acid reflux can be curbed with as little as only a few behavioral modifications such as quitting smoking and eating better to powerful acid reflux medication treatments under a physician’s supervision.
Acid Reflux Medication
Acid reflux medication strategies vary in how they defend against heartburn. With serious, recurrent heartburn, a physician may recommend acid reflux medications to include histamine antagonists that suppress acid secretions triggered by histamine and gastrin. You could also be prescribed proton pump inhibitors, a newer compound designed to block the last step in acid production. Prokinetic agents make up another group that, unlike the first two, does not block or suppress acid production, but instead aims to increase the pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter, helping to push food through faster.
Acid Reflux Relief
In many cases, lifestyle alterations can provide a great deal of acid reflux relief like changing your diet, quitting smoking, sitting up after meals, and learning to manage stress. Exercise is also highly effective in relieving acid reflux because it aids in speeding digestion and stifles one of the peskiest acid reflux culprits—being overweight. Also check out specialized pillows, shaped into wedges that help keep your head higher than your stomach so that acid stays where it should while you sleep.
Others opt for natural herbal remedies found in health food stores. These herbal remedies tout all-natural ingredients that relieve heartburn symptoms and tend to be milder than medical treatments. Prescription medications are the most aggressive acid reflux treatments and are designed to provide relief for those who suffer from serious, chronic heartburn or acid reflux disease.
You may have to try more than one or a combination of relief strategies in order to find out which is the most effective for you. Remember to consult your physician on any medical concern, and always keep educated and proactive when it comes to your health.
The Most Effective Treatments for Acid Reflux Disease
Acid reflux disease, or GERD, is a common compliant of the digestive system, often characterised by persistent burning or discomfort behind the breastbone. As the symptoms of GERD can mimic those of coronary disease, it is important that you visit your doctor, if you have chronic heartburn. If you have been diagnosed as having acid reflux disease, there are many treatment options available to you to help you manage your symptoms.
The treatment of GERD usually incorporates simple lifestyle changes. It is very important for patients suffering from GERD to monitor their diets, eliminating any foods or beverages, which seem to aggravate their symptoms. Avoiding a diet high in fatty foods and alcohol is very important and quitting smoking can also help decrease your symptoms. Another effective way to alleviate your symptoms of acid reflux disease is to try to manage your stress, which causes the body to produce more acid, often causing a flare-up.
If these changes are not enough to alleviate your discomfort, however, your doctor may prescribe drug therapy. Drug therapy is usually prescribed for the lifetime of the patient and often includes medications which inhibit the production of stomach acids, such as proton pump inhibitors or antacids.
While most patients tend to respond well to these treatments, sometimes surgery is the only option for those who do not respond well to other methods. The most common form of surgery used to treat GERD is fundoplication surgery, which repairs the lower esophagal sphincter, thus stopping the stomach acid from backing up into the esophagus. The average hospital stay is between one to four days, and it can sometimes take a patient up to five weeks to fully recuperate. Although surgery can successfully eliminate symptoms, a small number of patients will still need to take medication to fully control their GERD.
Whether you have been recently diagnosed with acid reflux disease or are a long-time sufferer, there are many treatment options available to you, and with a few simple lifestyle changes, under a doctor's supervision, can help you live with your symptoms.
Carl Spanier is the founder of Acid Reflux Cures a website that allows consumers to quickly and easily get acid reflux information.
Alternative Therapies for Acid Reflux Disease
Acid Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a common disease which affects approximately 5-7% of the population. It occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus, a long, thin, muscular tube, which connects the mouth and the stomach. This often causes a constant burning sensation behind the breastbone, which is commonly known as heartburn. Long-term or persistent heartburn should be evaluated by a doctor, as heartburn can imitate the symptoms of heart disease.
Once you have been properly diagnosed as having Acid Reflux Disease, there are a variety of treatment options available to you. Many doctors recommend over the counter medications, developed to reduce stomach acid, such as antacids or prokinetic agents. Some patients who are unable to control their symptoms with non-prescription medication may either choose prescription antacids or surgery, or opt for a combination of the two.
There are other options available, however, to help you manage your symptoms. Many patients are able to control their disease by simply by making lifestyle changes. Here are a few tips, to get you started.
Probably the most important lifestyle change that you could make to help you manage your GERD symptoms is the simplest- avoid the foods and drinks that make you uncomfortable! While this may sound like common sense, many sufferers find it difficult to make dietary changes. Try replacing fatty, deep-fried foods with healthier options, such as tasty summer salads and steamed vegetables. You should also try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages, as caffeine is a known contributor to GERD, so opt for decaf teas and coffees instead.
Stress reduction is also key to the management of acid reflux disease. The body manufactures more stomach acid when under stress, so it is important to learn to relax. Meditation is a very useful tool for effectively reducing stress levels, so incorporating one or two short meditation sessions into each day can help you to relax. Likewise, yoga is also recommended as being an effective way to manage stress, so try to find a class near you.
By incorporating simple changes into your life, you can not only better manage your GERD symptoms, but also enhance the overall quality of your life.
Carl Spanier is the founder of Acid Reflux Causes a website that allows consumers to quickly and easily get acid reflux information.
Acid reflux disease, also known as Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a common ailment, affecting between 5%-7% of the population. In order to understand what GERD is it is important to be familiar with how the esophagus works. A long muscular tube, the esophagus carries food and liquid from the mouth to the stomach. The average adult esophagus is around ten to thirteen inches long and approximately an half an inch in diameter. GERD is caused by the backflow of acid from the stomach into the esophagus, usually because the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly. When this happens over a long period of time, the lining of this tract becomes eroded, causing discomfort and pain.
Symptoms of the disease are fairly straightforward and are very similar to the symptoms of heartburn. GERD often include a frequent burning sensation, right behind the breastbone, which sometimes worsens when lying down for extended periods of time. While most cases of heartburn turn out to be non-life threatening, it is important that you visit your doctor at the onset of symptoms. Unfortunately, the symptoms of both indigestion and GERD can also imitate those of heart disease, so it is very important that you seek medical attention to make sure that you get the correct diagnosis.
There are a number of medical tests which your doctor can perform which will confirm the diagnosis of GERD. After your doctor or healthcare professional has taken your medical history, he or she will most likely conduct an test using an Endoscope, a long flexible imaging instrument. This will allow the doctor to visibly exam your esophagus.
If you are diagnosed with Acid Reflux disease, there are a number of treatment options available to you, such as making changes to your diet, reducing stress, and taking over the counter antacids. Serious cases of GERD may require a prescription drug to reduce the acid being produced by your stomach, but lifestyle changes are often enough to control symptoms successfully.
Carl Spanier is the founder of Occasional Heartburn a website that allows consumers to quickly and easily get acid reflux information.
There is an undeniable connection between the occurrence of acid reflux and diet. Everything in your body has a delicate balance. The human body is a miracle of systems that maintains just the right conditions to keep everything running smoothly. Therefore it’s the healthiest when there is an acidic balance or equilibrium. The stomach regulates acidic digestion with enzymes that convert acids into manageable alkaline or basal substances. However, when there is an over-production of acid, usually helped along by lifestyle choices like overeating or smoking, acid reflux is likely to occur, and if it goes unregulated, acid reflux disease can develop.
Children also suffer from this disease, with symptoms that range from recurring coughing, vomiting, and breathing problems.
Fortunately, acid reflux and diet can be effectively improved by launching a few lifestyle changes. One of the most important things you can do to cool heartburn down is to avoid certain foods. In many cases, just changing the diet is all that is necessary to control acid reflux. Most health care professionals recommend a low-acid diet consisting of more alkaline or basal foods. Foods such as chocolate, foods with a lot of extra cheese, tomato sauce or catsup based foods, onions, chilies, caffeinated beverages, fatty or fried foods, alcohol, mint, and citrus fruits have been known to aggravate digestion, acting as catalysts for acid reflux.
So what foods are safe to eat? The key qualities in heartburn-friendly foods, for most people, are low fat and non-spicy. So, with that in mind you can probably guess that leafy greens and broccoli, lean cuts of grilled meat, egg whites, low-fat cheeses like feta, apples and bananas, multi-grain breads, and low-fat salad dressings are good choices. Junk food? Occasionally, but with caution, choose fat free cookies, baked potato chips, or red licorice. A good exercise to do if you suffer from heartburn regularly is to create a food diary and log your meal intake for 2 or 3 weeks. Then note each time you experience heartburn in order to target the foods you need to avoid.
In addition to making better food choices, consider changing your portion perception. Overeating is another acid reflux aggravator.
Exercise caloric conscientiousness and choose to skip that second helping or fatty side dish, eat slow and drink plenty of water. Living without heartburn is within anyone’s grasp, and shouldn’t require drastic medical treatment. Simple, reasonable modifications in your eating habits can do wonders for quelling acid reflux, not to mention improving overall health.
Acid Reflux Info provides comprehensive information on the cause, symptoms, treatment, and diet associated with normal and infant acid reflux.
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