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Infant acid reflux is quite common. People of all ages, especially infants because they consume only liquids or soft foods, suffer from mild heartburn or acidic regurgitation on occasion. As in adult cases, infants experience acid reflux when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is relaxed. The LES acts as a valve between the esophagus and the stomach. It opens up to allow food into the stomach and then closes in order to protect the esophagus and other organs from acidic reflux. Unfortunately, it is difficult to determine if an infant has developed a chronic form of heartburn called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
Look for clues such as sleeping problems, coughing, weight loss, lack of appetite, spitting up frequently, and apnea. Acid reflux disease can cause respiratory problems including pneumonia, strictures and ulcerations on the esophageal wall, and malnourishment. Infant acid reflux symptoms usually include recurrent coughing, bad breath, spitting up frequently, unusual irritability and crying, chest pain, and sore throat.
There are several causes of acid reflux in infants. Many of the causes are exacerbated by the fact that infants, much more so than adults, consume mostly liquids and spend a great deal of time on their backs or in a supine position. Combined with the backwash potential of liquids, lying down puts pressure on the LES (esophagus valve) and increases the chances for reflux. Other causes could be attributed to the anatomy of a child’s stomach position, poor eating habits, smoking (second hand), being overweight, and food allergies.
In addition to GERD, infants can be diagnosed with a functional version of acid reflux. This condition can be improved with simple modifications such as changing eating habits, keeping the child upright after eating, and encouragement. GERD, or the chronic disease, requires medical treatment by a physician, prescription drug therapy, as well as lifestyle changes.
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GERD, Acid Reflux and Heartburn
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, can occur when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) does not shut the proper way and stomach contents leak back, or reflux, back into the esophagus. The LES is a ring of muscle at the lower part of the esophagus which acts like a valve between the esophagus and stomach. The esophagus carries the food from the mouth to the stomach.
When the food is refluxed back, the stomach acid touches the lining of the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat called heartburn. You may taste this fluid in back of the mouth. This is called acid indigestion. Occasional heartburn is does not mean that you have GERD. Though if heartburn occurs more than twice a week, this may be considered GERD. GERD can gradually lead to more serious health problems.
Anyone, including infants, children, men, women, pregnant women, can devekio GERD.
No one knows why people get these symptoms of GERD. A hiatal hernia may contribute to GERD. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach, above the diaphragm, the muscle wall separates the stomach from the chest. The diaphragm helps the LES which acts like a valve from keep acid from coming back up into the esophagus. When a hiatal hernia is present, it is much simpler for the acid to come up. In this path, a hiatal hernia can cause acid reflux. A hiatal hernia can happen in people of any any age, including infants. Many healthy people over 50 may have a small hiatal hernia.
Other factors that could contribute to GERD are:
* alcohol consumption
Also, certain foods may be associated with acide reflux events, including
* citrus fruits
* chocolate, drinks with caffeine
* fried foods
* garlic and onions
* strong mint flavorings
* spicy foods, like hot sauce
* tomato-based foods, like pizza, chili, pasta sauce
Fern Kuhn, RN Specializing in Diabetes
Acid Reflux/Heartburn - Simple Steps to Relief
You've seen the advertisements: Acid reflux is a horrible disease that can cause damage to the oesophagus and lead to cancer. Are these claims realistic, or simply exaggerated to sell over the counter medications? The fact is that doctors don't even agree on the causes, treatments, and long-term risks related to heartburn, so you can believe what you want about the ads.
What are the symptoms of GERD?
The main symptoms are persistent heartburn and acid regurgitation or reflux. Some people may have GERD without heartburn symptoms. Instead, they feel like they have pain in the chest, hoarseness in the morning, or having a problem swallowing. You may feel like you have something that may be stuck in your throat or like you are choking. Your throat may also feel tight. GERD can, as well, can exhibit a dry cough and bad breath.
Heartburn is the uncomfortable feeling resulting from acid reflux, or GERD, gastroesophageal reflux disease (try saying that out loud a few times). It can feel like a burning sensation (hence, the name), but can also feel like pressure in the chest, which is why it is sometimes confused with feelings associated with heart attacks.
Acid reflux occurs when the muscle between the stomach and the oesophagus gets weak or relaxes at the wrong time. The result is that the stomach contents, including the acid, move up into the oesophagus. Because the oesophagus doesn't have the protective lining that the stomach does, the acid literally burns the oesophagus.
Several non-prescription drugs may be effective for mild to moderate acid reflux, such as antacids, which neutralize stomach acids. These include well-known over the counter medications such as Tums and Rolaids. Another option is H2 receptor antagonists, which reduce the production of stomach acids. These include Axid AR, Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB, and Zantac 75. Pepcid complete is the only of these that combines an antacid with an H2 receptor antagonist. Which is the best treatment? One study found that Pepcid complete performed better than either an antacid alone or an H2 receptor antagonist alone.
Prescription drugs prescribed to treat acid reflux are called proton-pump inhibitors. These include Aciphex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, and Protonix. While these are equally effective, one study did find that Nexium may heal esophageal sores faster.
Combined with homeopathic remedies, heartburn may be treated effectively with less reliance on over the counter or prescription medications. Together, these solutions may provide the answers where just one solution fails to deliver on the promise.
Natural options that may help reduce GERD include deglycyrrhizinated licorice (DGL), which may bring fast relief and help heal damaged lining. Aloe Vera juice may also act quickly to bring relief. For those with chronic problems, Gamma-oryzanol (rice bran oil) may be useful, as could choline, pantothenic acid, and thiamin. These natural solutions may provide more effective short-term relief as well as provide long-term dietary benefits.
Why Try a Homeopathic Remedy?
The benefits of natural solutions is that they are often less costly and reduce the chances of becoming reliant on a particular solution. Natural solutions include treating the cause as much as the affect, and experimenting with diet and alternative treatments may help lessen the cause of the problem. Additionally, all of the homeopathic remedies mentioned above can be used along with over the counter or prescription medications.
Does Acid Reflux Cause Cancer?
Studies on acid reflux and cancer vary. One study showed that chronic acid reflux increased the chances of oesophageal cancer by as much as eight times. Another study determined that the risk of cancer is not nearly as much as was once thought. Chronic acid reflux can lead to Barrett's oesophagus, or BE, which has been thought to lead to an increase in cancer. A study conducted by a group of medical doctors found that the risk of cancer from BE is not as much as previously thought, stating that BE will not cause cancer for most people.
What is not questioned is whether or not acid reflux is uncomfortable. Chronic GERD is difficult to live with, and experimenting with both traditional medications and natural remedies may be the best solution. As research continues on the causes and affects of GERD, additional options are likely to come along.
Andrew Kelly keeps you up to date with the latest Acid Reflux/Heartburn relief tips and strategies. Learn simple and effective methods to help stop the burning. To recieve your free info visit the Acid Reflux Relief Tips
When I was young, we had indigestion, now we discuss heartburn, acid reflux and that great mouthful known as gastro esophageal Reflux Disease (thankfully described as GERD)
Whatever you call it, if you are suffering from belching, gas or a bloated stomach lets consider the cause.
Its been a hard and stressful day at work. You race home, gulp down a quick meal and collapse into bed for a well earned rest....But wait. Suddenly you experience a burning sensation in the top of your stomach. You may belch and probably feel bloated. This is the beginning of acid reflux, and can cause acid and stomach content to wash back into the oesophagus creating a burning sensation.
This is often an indicator that something is wrong in your digestive system. When we eat or drink, the digestive process begins in the mouth with enzymes in saliva beginning the task by starting to break down the food to promote easy digestion.
The food continues down the esophagus, passing through a valve prior to entering the stomach where it comes in contact with stomach (hydrochloric) acid to further break down the food. If the valve relaxes, or if an excess of acid is produced, acid may be forced back into the oesophagus causing the reflux or heartburn.
(Incidently, I recall cleaning cement from bricks with a commercial hydrochloric acid preparation which indicates the strength of this acid.!)
Occasional reflux is normal, but when it occurs regularly and disrupts daily life, it is described as a disease - Gastro esophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD and can contribute to cancer where the stomach and esophagus meet.
If you are suffering from heartburn the first thing you should do is take a good look at what you are eating. Over consumption of fatty foods and refined carbohydrates including biscuits, cakes and white bread can affect digestion and and cause reflux symptoms. Other irritants include salt, spices, sugar, curries, coffee, fizzy drinks and alcohol.
Before you take drastic action to treat heartburn lets look at suitable supplements to aid digestion. As well as supplements that contain digestive enzymes and hydrochloric acid, there are a number of specific formulas to relieve indegestion.
These contain ingredients such as active herbs including Globe Artichoke Leaf, Gentian Root, Fennel Seed and Ginger. These natural herbs have been used for years in treating stomach complaints. Swedish Bitters is another possible treatment well recommended. Probiotics such as Lactobacillus Acidophilus and Bifidacterium lactis are beneficial for digestion by maintaining the friendly bacteria in the gastrointestional tract.
If you feel that you are not over indulging in any of these foods, and reflux symptoms persist, see your doctor, as untreated gastric reflux can damage the esophagus and even lead to cancer. Doctors can now conduct an impedance pH test which determines whether your reflux is acid or not.
Author Antony Wilton is an Australian who has been investigating Acid Reflux treatment for a number of years. His highly anticipated reports are regularly updated on his site http://www.acidrefluxheartburn.com
Acid Reflux Disease
What is acid reflux disease?
Acid reflux disease can and often is mistaken for heartburn. But the heartburn symptoms of acid reflux disease usually occur 2 or more days a week for at least 3 months and can damage your esophagus. At the top of your stomach is a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which normally opens and closes allowing food to enter. It also prevents the acid in your stomach from backing up into your esophagus. The trouble begins when the LES opens at inappropriate times, allowing acid from the stomach to get into the esophagus, where it doesn't belong.
Acid reflux disease can also lead to more serious medical conditions that may require hospitalization. Acid reflux in the throat can cause sore throat. If acid reaches the mouth, it can dissolve the enamel of the teeth. Millions of people have the disease and suffer from its most common symptom - frequent and persistent heartburn. Acid reflux disease can be treated and controlled.
How do you get Acid Reflux?
Factors contributing to acid reflux include fatty foods, cigarettes, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol, obesity, pregnancy and delayed stomach emptying. Obesity and pregnancy increase pressures within the abdomen (body trunk), pushing the stomach contents back into the esophagus.Some patients have stomachs that empty their contents into the intestines very slowly.
The good news is that acid reflux disease is a highly manageable condition, though it can lead to potentially serious, chronic conditions. Many avenues are available with regard to treatment options. The most common options recommended include lifestyle changes, medical treatments, stress management, and/or a combination of all strategies.
How serious is Acid Reflux?
The lining of the esophagus may become ulcerated and can result in narrowing, making swallowing of food and, sometimes, liquids, painful and difficult. In people with esophagitis, there may also be an increased risk of cancer of the esophagus.
How long does Acid Reflux last?
Acid reflux can last several months or longer if not treated.
How is Acid Reflux treated?
Antacids are medicines that are commonly used to treat acid-related symptoms, like heartburn or indigestion, and work by neutralizing acid in the stomach. However, they are not usually recommended to treat the frequent heartburn suffered by people with GERD.
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Acid reflux disease, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease or GERD, afflicts millions of people. Many suffer from an occasional bout with heartburn, but acid reflux disease, as a diagnosis, should only be made if the heartburn causes impediments to your lifestyle due to severe, chronic discomfort over prolonged periods of time. Usually, if you suffer from heartburn 2 or more times per week for at least 12 weeks, there’s a good chance that your diagnosis would be GERD. Unfortunately, no one knows exactly what causes acid reflux disease, but there is an ample amount of information available at your doctor’s office and on the Internet.
What is Acid Reflux Disease?
Acid reflux disease is a chronic condition in which stomach acid washes back up onto the esophagus, causing severe discomfort. Stomach acid burns the esophagus lining due to a relaxed lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES acts as a valve between your stomach and the esophagus. The valve is designed to open and allow food into the stomach, and then close, protecting the esophagus from acids. However, if the LES is not closing properly, acid rushes or refluxes upward, coating the esophagus, and causes a burning sensation.
Remember that it’s normal to suffer from acid reflux (heartburn) every once and awhile. It’s only acid reflux disease when it’s a chronic condition, happening frequently and for long periods of time. If you are unsure, don’t hesitate to see your doctor. One more thing to keep in mind is that heartburn has nothing to do with your heart. It just feels that way at times because the esophagus is located behind the heart.
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Acid Reflux Relief - When I was young, we had indigestion, now we discuss heartburn, acid reflux and that great mouthful known as gastro esophageal Reflux Disease (thankfully described as GERD), Whatever you call it, if you are suffering from belching, gas or a bloated stomach lets consider the cause.
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