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.
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.
By Andy Casasanta
All rights reserved. Any reproducing of this article must have the author name and all the links intact.