Table of Contents
Acid Reflux is a condition where digestive acids from your stomach move up past the entrance to your stomach into your esophagus (swallowing tube) causing burning pain (called heartburn) and possible long term health problems.
If your experience heartburn more due to Acid Reflux more than twice a week then it should be treated with medication as recurring acid reflux and heartburn can cause damage and erosions to the esophagus which may lead to Barretts Esophagus and esophageal cancer.
Signs of Acid Reflux
Signs and symptoms of Acid Reflux include:
- Burning sensation of the stomach which can travel up through the throat.
- Regurgitation of food or liquid into your throat and/or mouth, especially an night when sleeping.
- Difficulty swallowing.
Acid Reflux Causes
The cause of heartburn is a valve, at the bottom of your esophagus at the entrance to your stomach, does not closes as completely as it should. The job of this valve is to keep stomach acids in the stomach. The stomach has a special lining to protect against stomach acids but the esophagus does not. This is why there is the burning sensation known as heartburn when these stomach acids reach the esophagus due to Acid Reflux. Although in large part Acid Reflux is hereditary there are certain things that increase the risk of and frequency of Acid Reflux and heartburn.
Acid Reflux Risk Factors
- Being overweight.
- Eating before sleeping.
- Being pregnant.
- Eating foods that can aggravate Acid Reflux including chocolate, spicy or fatty foods.
- Hereditary factors.
Acid Reflux Treatment
Acid Reflux can easily be treated short term by taking antacids such as Tums or Rolaids but a better solution, long term, is taking a medicine that cuts down the production of stomach acids such as:
- H2 Blocker (Pepcid, Tagamet , Zantac ).
- Proton pump inhibitors or PPI (Prevacid, Prilosec, Nexium ).