Foods to avoid if you have acid reflux aka Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, commonly referred to as GERD
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Acid Reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach backs up or refluxes into the esophagus. The liquid can inflame and damage the lining of the esophagus. This regurgitated liquid mainly contains acid and pepsin, both being produced by the stomach. It may also contain bile. Amongst all the contents of the liquid, acid is the most harmful.
Once GERD starts, it stays for life-long. GERD is a chronic condition and the treatment has to continue indefinitely. The reflux of the stomach's liquid contents into the esophagus occurs in normal individuals also. The difference of it occurring in GERD patients is that the refluxed liquid contains more acid that often remains in the esophagus for longer duration. The body has ways of protecting itself from the effects of reflux and acid. Saliva contains bicarbonate that neutralizes the small amount of acid that remains in the esophagus. Gravity, swallowing and saliva are the protective mechanisms for the esophagus when an individual is in the upright position.
Strictures - Scars are formed when the ulcers of the esophagus heal. The scar tissue shrinks and narrows the lumen of the esophagus. This scarred narrowing is called a stricture. It may cause swallowed food to get stuck in the esophagus. Barrett's esophagus - Severe GERD or Long-standing cause cells to change that line the esophagus. These cells then become pre-cancerous and then finally cancerous.
Cough and Asthma - Some nerves in the esophagus are stimulated by the refluxed acid, which results in pain. Other nerves that are also stimulated provoke coughing. The stimulated esophageal nerves that connect to the nerves going to the lungs causes the breathing tubes to narrow, resulting in an attack of asthma.
Inflammation of the throat and larynx - When the refluxed liquid gets past the upper esophageal sphincter, it enters the throat and the voice box, causing inflammation and soar throat. Inflammation and infection of the lungs - The reflux of liquid into the lungs results in coughing and choking. This can lead to infection of the lungs and result in pneumonia.
Fluid in the sinuses and middle ear - Found in children, it is caused when the sinuses and middle ears are closed off from the nasal passages by the swelling of the adenoids. Fluid is then accumulated within them.
GERD is treated with life-style changes, antacids, histamine antagonists (H2 blockers), proton pump inhibitors (PPIs), pro-motility drugs, foam barriers, surgery, and endoscopy.
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.
Learning to live and cope up with acid reflux disease.
Acid reflux disease occurs when acid in the stomach moves to the food passage. This can be very painful and troublesome during day-to-day activities and also affects the quality of life. Once diagnosed with acid reflux a patient will be put under some medications that will treat acid reflux. Beyond the medications, there are certain points to be adopted to prevent the disease from reoccurring.
You could also mentally note down any other food you suspect likewise of aggravating the situation and avoid those as well.
A patient who has acid reflux disease needs to make certain dietary and habitual changes to cope with the disease. It has been suspected that certain foods and drinks such as peppermint, tomatoes, chocolate, spicy foods, hot drinks, coffee, and alcoholic drinks tend to make the symptoms of acid reflux disease worse, so it is better to avoid such foods. Those who have the habit of smoking would do better to give up the habit, as the chemicals from cigarettes relax the sphincter muscle and make acid reflux more likely. If you are overweight it puts extra pressure on the stomach and encourages acid reflux and so losing some weight may ease the symptoms.
If you have with acid reflux disease will find it useful to maintain a diary of the symptoms you experience and the food you eat, so that you can note which foods affects them the most. It is better to avoid eating too close to bedtime and maintain a gap of at least two to three hours after dinner and before you go to bed. Avoid wearing tight clothing which may increase the pressure on you stomach.
During the day, patients with acid reflux disease should try not to lie down too much or bend forward too much as this will encourage acid reflux. If you sit in a hunched position, you will be putting extra pressure on the stomach which may make any reflux worse. Raising the head of your bed by four to six inches may help reduce nighttime acid reflux.
The above mentioned ways are just commonly advised suggestions and it is always best to consult a doctor regarding the diagnosis and treatment of the disease.
Joushua - Acid Reflux Disease
Acid reflux disease is a common digestive disorder which is characterized by frequent passing of the gastric contents from the stomach back into the esophagus. It is a physical condition, in which stomach contents including acid back up (or reflux) into the esophagus This results in heartburn where the person experiences a burning sensation in the chest and/or upper abdomen. Other symptoms include cough, frequent clearing of the throat, and difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, or complications with asthma. Such symptoms do occur from time to time, but when they are persistent for two days or up to a week and continue despite use of over-the-counter (OTC) medications and diet changes, then it could be the sign of acid reflux disease. This condition can be painful and it could get progressively worse if left untreated. So, when you experience such symptoms persistently, don't ignore them and go to a qualified doctor to get yourself checked.
Any individual suspected on having acid reflux may be asked to take the Upper GI series X-Ray. Here, the patient is asked to drink Barium so that the X-Rays can show the shape of the esophagus and stomach. This test can find a Hiatal Hernia, blockage, and other problems.
Another method of detecting acid reflux disease is Endoscopy. In this test, a sedative medication is given to make the patient go to sleep. Once asleep, a small flexible tube with a very tiny camera is inserted through the patient's mouth and let down into the esophagus and stomach. The lining of the esophagus, stomach, and part of the small intestine is examined. This test also enables the examiner to take biopsies, which are small pieces of the lining in a painless way. The biopsies are later examined with a microscope for signs of inflammation and other problems.
An Esophageal pH probe can also be used to diagnose acid reflux disease. Here, a thin light wire with an acid sensor at its tip is inserted through the nose into the lower part of the esophagus. The probe detects and records the amount of stomach acid coming back up into the esophagus, and can tell if acid is in the esophagus.
After looking into the results of the test, you doctor will determine the course of medications and also advise you on the diet changes that need to be followed to prevent acid reflux from re-occurring.
Joushua - Acid Reflux Disease
Symptoms and seriousness of acid reflux disease
Acid Reflux Disease is a condition in which contents of the stomach, which contains acid refluxes into the esophagus. When acid reflux occurs, the natural barrier or valve called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that lies between the esophagus and your stomach does not work normally because it relaxes too frequently or it may be too weak to work properly. This will cause stomach acid to come in contact with your esophagus and in the process the esophagus get damaged.
There's a question here. If the stomach can handle acid, why not your esophagus? Well, this is because the lining of the stomach is designed to handle stomach acid but the lining of your esophagus is unable to do so. It can protect itself for a short while, but when acid comes in contact with the esophagus lining continuously, it can start damaging the esophagus. This is when you start experiencing symptoms such as heartburn and other painful or uncomfortable symptoms.
Acid reflux disease is a chronic condition and may lead to more serious medical conditions if not diagnosed and treated properly. When a person experiences acid reflux disease at a minor level, the symptoms felt primarily include heartburn, regurgitation, and nausea. In situations where the condition becomes serious the lining of the esophagus gets damaged due to contact with stomach acid. In such a situation, the body tries to protect itself from the acid reflux disease by 'inflaming' the esophagus. When this occurs, the wall of the esophagus may form an ulcer, which is a break in the lining of the esophagus wall. The ulcer could lead to bleeding and in certain situations the patient may need blood transfusion or even surgical treatment.
Serious damage can be caused by acid reflux disease to the esophagus, through conditions such as Erosive esophagitis, Esophageal stricture and Barrett's esophagus. In Erosive esophagitis the esophagus lining is eroded or damaged by continued exposure to acid and other stomach contents. Severe erosive esophagitis can include esophageal ulcers. Esophageal stricture is a condition in which there is the narrowing of the esophagus, making it very difficult to swallow. When your force yourself to swallow it may cause vomiting or choking. A stricture can also cause food to get trapped in part of the esophagus. Barrett's esophagus occurs when the lining of the lower esophagus changes to resemble the lining of the intestine. This may be the body's way of trying to protect the esophagus from the refluxing stomach acid. Barrett's esophagus is a serious complication of acid reflux disease that, in rare cases, can increase the risk of developing a type of esophageal cancer called adenocarcinoma of the esophagus.
Acid reflux disease should not be taken lightly and so it is important to consult a doctor for treatment as soon as one recognizes the symptoms.
Joushua - Acid Reflux Disease
Why does acid reflux disease occur?
Acid reflux disease is a condition where acid containing gastric juices in the stomach move from the stomach to the tube that is used for swallowing food, called the esophagus. Normally, the food in the stomach is partially digested by stomach acid and enzymes.
These acids and enzymes are special chemicals that help to breakdown food in order to help the body use it. Partially digested acidic content in the stomach is delivered by the stomach muscle into the small intestine for further digestion. When a person has acid reflux disease, stomach acid content travels backwards into the esophagus, causing inflammation and damage.
The result of the esophagus getting exposed to such acids is the occurrence of a painful, burning feeling often called heartburn. Generally there are occasions when people get heartburn, but persistent heartburn which continues for two or more days or a week at a stretch and which does not reduce even after medication and diet changes could indicate the onset of acid reflux disease.
There are many reasons as to why this acid reflux disease occurs. Important factors contributing to acid reflux include the intake of fatty foods, chocolates, caffeine, peppermint, fruit juices and alcohol. People who are obese, pregnant women or those who have the habit of smoking cigarettes, can get acid reflux disease. It's been found that a stomach full of food and acid is more prone to reflux, especially when the patient is lying down. If a person is having constipation, the condition can increase the tendency to reflux by raising pressure inside the stomach cavity thereby causing this problem.
Acid reflux disease can be very discomforting and can affect everyday routines and normal life. It can also affect an individual's quality of life. If acid reflux disease is present in combination with esophagitis, there may also be an increased risk of cancer of the esoph-agus. It is important to recognize the symptoms and consult a doctor as soon as possible. Treatment is carried out by prescribing drugs and this lasts for a short duration. In some cases, the treatment may be repeated since symptoms of the disease may re-occur.
Joushua - Acid reflux disease
Acid reflux disease is a condition where gastric juices which contain acid move from the stomach to the tube that is used for swallowing food, called the esophagus.The lower esophageal sphincter known as the(LES), which is located at the bottom of the esophagus, creates a barrier between the stomach and esophagus.
If the lower esophageal sphincter does not close tightly enough or relaxes too often, it gives room for powerful stomach acids to repeatedly back up into the esophagus. The stomach has a special lining to protect it from acids, but the esophagus is more sensitive to stomach acid and if it is repeatedly exposed to stomach acids, it will may become irritated and eventually damaged the esophageal.
The usual symptoms of acid reflux disease include heartburn (where you sense a burning feeling rising from the stomach or lower chest up towards the neck), regurgitation (where food is brought back up into the mouth) and chest pain. Persons affected experience difficulty in swallowing, hoarseness, dental erosion and asthma (because acidic juices can make their way into the throat, mouth and air passages of the lungs).
Acid reflux disease can be quite discomforting and can affect everyday activities and also the quality of life. One of the common symptoms of acid reflux disease is heartburn. If heartburn is persistent from two days to a week, and this condition occurs despite using over-the-counter (OTC ) medication, this could mean the onset of acid reflux disease and so it is advisable to consult a doctor on the matter.
If heartburn is severe and at the same time esophagitis is present, the lining of the esophagus may become ulcerated and the food passage becomes narrow, making it very difficult and painful to swallow food and liquids. When acid reflux disease occurs in people with esophagitis, there may also be an increased risk of cancer of the esophagus.
Acid reflux disease can last several months or longer if not treated. When an affected person is treated with drugs, the required treatment lasts a short while. In some cases, the treatment may be repeated since symptoms of the disease may re-occur.
Joushua - Acid Reflux Disease
Acid reflux disease occurs when acid from the stomach leaks up into the esophagus. The reason why stomach acid is able to make it's way into the esophagus is because, the barrier between the stomach and esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is relaxing too often or not closing tightly enough. When powerful stomach acid come in contact with the esophagus lining, the esophagus becomes irritated and eventually damaged. This can be very painful and discomforting. It most common symptom is heartburn. Other symptoms experienced include a sour taste in your mouth, difficulty in swallowing, coughing or hoarseness, regurgitation and chest pain not related to the heart.
Ulcers - The cells lining the esophagus are sometimes damaged due to the reflux of liquid from the stomach into the esophagus. An ulcer is a break in the lining of the esophagus that occurs in an area of inflammation. It may give rise to bleeding in the esophagus. When the bleeding becomes severe, blood transfusion is required along with endoscopic or surgical treatment.
The treatment given for acid reflux disease lasts for a short while but sometimes a patient may require long-term daily treatment to keep symptoms away. The medicines prescribed are intended to reduce the acid in the stomach.
Medications commonly used in the treatment of acid reflux include acid suppressants, such as H2-antagonists (blockers). A chemical called Histamine released in the body under different conditions, but particularly during inflammation. In the stomach it can release more acid, so blocking it reduces acid production. Doctors also prescribe proton-pump inhibitors, which reduce the production of acid in the stomach by acting on cells in the stomach wall that make acid and release it into the stomach. Pro-kinetic agents may also be given as they by increasing the ability of the stomach to empty.
Antacids may be used as they have the ability to treat acid-related symptoms, like heartburn or indigestion, but in the case of heartburn suffered due to acid reflux disease, it is not a recommended medication.
When medication fails to be effective, surgery is performed. The operation will 'tighten' the lower esophagus to prevent acid leaking up from the stomach. This operation can be done by 'keyhole' surgery, and is known to have a good success rate.
Catherine Joesph - Treatment for acid reflux disease
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