Acid reflux is also referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Acid reflux is a condition of your digestive system that causes the acidified liquid content of your stomach to back up into your esophagus.
Because acid reflux symptoms can be subtle or easy to mistake for something else. If you aren’t diagnosed for awhile, you may experience sinusitis, recurrent ear infections, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis because of acid reflux. If your acid reflux is left untreated for a significant amount of time, you may encounter more serious symptoms, injuries, and ailments caused by acid reflux (GERD). These are:
- Barrett’s Esophagus
- Esophageal Adenocarcinoma
- Esophageal Strictures
- Reflux Esophagitis
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
The most common symptom of acid reflux disease are:
- Chest Pain
- Increased Salivation (Water Brash)
- Pain Swallowing
- Sore Throat
Causes of Acid Reflux
If you have a high blood calcium level, your gastrin production will increase and lead to increased acidity. Gastrin is a hormone in your body that stimulates gastric juice secretion. Gastrin is secreted into your bloodstream by your stomach wall in response to the presence of food in your stomach. When one of your organs, usually your stomach, starts to protrude through the esophageal opening in your diaphragm. If you may have a hiatal hernia, your likelihood of having or developing acid reflux (GERD) increases because of mechanical and motility factors. Changes and the over-relaxation of your lower esophageal sphincter can cause acid reflux because your lower esophageal sphincter normally holds the top of your stomach closed. The use of certain medications like prednisolone can sometimes spur on symptoms of acid reflux. Prednisolone is a synthetic corticosteroid drug that is used as an immunosuppressant. It is used in the treatment of inflammatory disease. Sometimes it can have significant adverse effects. Scleroderma can occur locally in one area only or can be spread out throughout the body. This chronic hardening and contracting of your skin and connective tissues lead to esophageal dysmotility. Much like scleroderma, systemic sclerosis also leads to esophageal dysmotility. Also known as Glénard syndrome, this occurs when your stomach sinks into your abdomen and upsets the motility and acid secretion of your stomach. Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome is also a cause. This ailment causes you to change your gastrin production levels, which increases your gastric acidity levels.
Foods to Avoid
Beer, wine, and liquor are all believed to contribute to acid reflux. Alcoholic beverages are frequently not very acidic. However, alcohol is a depressant that relaxes the valve connecting your esophagus to the bottom of your stomach. This relaxation leads to reflux. Abstain from alcohol if you can. If you can’t have only one glass of wine or cocktail each day, and completely avoid mixers that are acidic, like citrus juices or sodas. Chocolate contains three things that cause acid reflux– caffeine and theobromine (stimulants that lead to reflux), fat (chocolate is high in fat which causes reflux), and cocoa. Even though dark chocolate isn’t as bad as high-fat milk chocolate, you should avoid it as much as possible since all chocolate is bad for acid reflux. All high-fat foods cause reflux. One high-fat butter or cheese will never be better or healthier than the other if you have acid reflux. You can use a small amount of high-fat dairy produces as a flavoring for other healthier foods, but never use them as main ingredients. Try to consume low-fat dairy products rather than no-fat.
Acid reflux is caused by high-fat cuts of meat that stay longer in your stomach and increase your chances of acid reflux. Soda and other carbonated drinks are some of the most common causes of acid reflux. This acid reflux is caused the carbonation bubbles expanding your stomach. This increased pressure contributes to your reflux. Acidic and caffeinated sodas are even worse. Most sodas are both. The most acidic sodas on the market are Coke and Diet Colas. Doctors recommend abstaining completely from soda and all carbonated beverages to avoid acid reflux. By far fried foods are the most recognized cause of acid reflux (GERD) symptoms. This type of greasy food is also associated with heartburn, which is essentially chest pain caused by esophageal reflux. These foods are on your “bad list” from now on if you have acid reflux. The high-fat content of fried foods can cause intense chronic pain.
Treating Acid Reflux
Making the lifestyle changes necessary to alleviate your acid reflux symptoms can be difficult, but worth it. Over-the-counter medications combined with lifestyle changes can provide temporary relief. Stronger prescription medications that work as stomach acid suppressants may be needed.
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