What is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is a condition in which acidified liquid content moves backward from your stomach to the food pipe. This movement causes a burning sensation called heartburn. This condition is also known as acid regurgitation and gastroesophageal reflux.
Though there are not any specific types of acid reflux, if it happens more than two times a week, it is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Acid Reflux Symptoms
The main symptoms of acid reflux are burning sensations in the esophagus (food pipe) also called heartburn. Apart from heartburn, some other common acid reflux symptoms are as follows:
- Movement of pain towards the neck and throat
- Bitter or sour taste in the mouth
- Asthma and frequent pneumonia
- Vomiting and nausea
- Pain in throat while swallowing food
- Dental problems and smelly breath
- Weight loss
- Black and bloody stool
- Unstoppable hiccups
Who is at Risk?
Acid reflux can happen to anyone but infants of age 4 months to a year old are prone to show symptoms of GERD. Around 10% babies of age one year have GERD. Though almost every infant vomits food at various times, regular vomits is a red flag of GERD.
Apart from the age factor, there are certain conditions that can trigger acid reflux in a person. Other acid reflux risk factors are:
- Increased fat in the body
- Use of NSAIDS drugs like aspirin or ibuprofen
Certain lifestyle behaviors can also be the reason for acid reflux:
- Eating spicy and fried food in excess
- Lying down immediately after eating food
- Alcohol and carbonated drinks
Acid Reflux Causes
One of the main acid reflux causes lies in the lower esophageal sphincter. There is a circular ring at the end of your food pipe called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). This LES allows only one way for the food movement. It allows food to move forward from mouth to stomach and prevents it from coming back.
When this valve of muscles stops working property, food starts going backward in the esophagus and the person start having a burning sensation and it ultimately causes acid reflux.
How Is Acid Reflux Diagnosed?
Acid reflux diagnosis can easily be done by having a look at your eating and sleeping habits along with burning sensation in the food pipe. However, diagnosing GERD takes a little more than acid reflux test.
If a patient shows no sign of improvement even after taking medicine for acid reflux and changing lifestyle, doctors diagnose GERD by:
- Endoscopy: Inserting cameras inside the body cavity
- Biopsy: Removing out a tissue sample to analyze in the laboratory
- Barium X-ray: X-ray imaging of food pipe and stomach after giving the person food to swallow
- Impedance monitoring: Monitoring the rate of the food movement in the food pipe
- pH monitoring: Testing the acidity in esophagus and stomach
How Is Acid Reflux Treated?
To cure acid reflux, your doctor might suggest changes in your eating habits, sleeping position, and some other things in lifestyle. Some of the other most opted acid reflux treatment options are as follows:
- Medication: A little medication is also given to supplement the process of acid reflux treatment. The doctors can also prescribe over-the-counter medicines for the side effects. These medicines are not to be taken by yourself. You need a prescription from a qualified gastroenterologist.
- Surgery: In rare cases, the acid reflux doctor might recommend surgery in case the symptoms become severe or if you develop complications of GERD.
In case you or someone you know is suffering from the disease, consider checking Cure.Fit’s app and website to have the acid reflux cure at earliest. We have doctors from all over the country who consult and prescribe the best treatment to your condition. We also offer online consultation from the specialist along with free follow ups.
How Can Acid Reflux Be Prevented?
A few changes in lifestyle can help in acid reflux prevention. If you a person who is looking for the answer of how to stop acid reflux, you should consider doing the following things:
- Quit smoking
- Eat small meals with a difference of time intervals
- Not lying down or sleeping immediately after eating food
- Eating less of spicy or deep-fried food
- Do not wear skin-tight clothes
- Avoid drinking strong beverages like soda, black-coffee or alcohol