According to the American College of Gastroenterology, heartburn is a rampant problem affecting around 60 million people in the US every month, or 15 million individuals daily. This condition is referred to as acid reflux. Acid reflux happens when acid from your stomach comes up into your esophagus. If not treated, Anchorage acid reflux can escalate to Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is a more serious and long-lasting form of GER. Below, we will look at the symptoms of acid reflux and how the condition can be treated.
What are the Symptoms of Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux can also cause sore throats, chronic coughs, or hoarseness. In extreme cases, untreated acid reflux can lead to esophageal cancer. Here are other symptoms that might signal heartburn:
- Stomach pain
- Nausea after eating
- Feeling bloated
- Feeling very full after meals
- Trouble swallowing food or liquid
Acid reflux is more likely if you’re overweight or obese, drink lots of alcohol, or smoke. It’s most common in people over the age of 40 and is often due to the weakening of the sphincter muscle between the esophagus and stomach. This muscle lets food go into your stomach and keeps it there. If it relaxes too much, it can allow acid from the stomach back up into your esophagus.
How to Control Acid Reflux
Acid Reflux can be treated in several different ways, including the use of medications. However, simple lifestyle changes can provide significant relief. For example, avoiding or reducing alcohol intake, eating smaller meals, and losing weight can make all the difference. We’ve explained these below;
Avoid trigger foods and drinks – Certain foods and drinks increase acid secretion, delay stomach emptying, or loosen the LES, including alcohol, especially red wine, chocolate, citrus fruits, and juices such as grapefruit. Other foods include tomatoes and tomato sauces, peppermint, spicy foods, and excess fat or oil.
Elevate the head of your bed by 6 inches or more-By so doing, gravity can help keep stomach acid in your stomach as you sleep. Use blocks under the bedposts or put a foam wedge under your mattress. Don’t just pile on more pillows. That can actually make it worse and uncomfortable.
Consume smaller meals– Eat smaller meals more frequently throughout the day rather than three large meals. This will keep the stomach from becoming too full, which can put pressure on the LES (lower esophageal sphincter) and cause it to open unexpectedly.
Shed extra pounds-If you’re overweight or obese, the pressure on your abdomen from excess fat and weight can cause acid reflux. Losing weight may help alleviate some of your symptoms. Besides, being overweight can also increase the risk of developing other conditions associated with GERD, such as Barrett’s esophagus and cancer.
Acid reflux, alternatively referred to as heartburn, pyrosis, or acid indigestion, occurs when some acidic stomach contents get back into the esophagus. It creates a burning sensation in a person’s lower chest area, especially after eating. Lifestyle risk key factors are alcohol intake, smoking, and obesity.
Diagnosis is made through patient history and physical exam. Treatment options include lifestyle changes, medications, and sometimes surgery for those who continue to experience symptoms despite medical management. Get in touch with health experts to help you with your acid reflux problem.