Acid Reflux Symptoms
At one time or another we have all experienced that uncomfortable burning sensation fallowed by a bad taste that resembles the last meal eaten; known as heartburn or acid reflux. Non-heart related chest pains and difficulty swallowing are also acid reflux symptoms.
Acid Reflux Signs and Causes
Acid reflux is when the stomach liquids reflux up into the throat which if untreated can cause long term damage to the tissue of the throat. When reflux occurs stomach liquids; acid, pepsin’s, (pepsin enzymes break down proteins in the stomach aiding in digestion) and bile (which comes from the small intestines called the duodenum) are the culprits for the irritation and burning with acid being the longer lasting of the three.
When acid reflux signs occur it is due to the LES muscle (lower esophageal sphincter) found between the esophagus and the stomach which opens when food pass through and flows into the stomach. Once the food has passes through, the LES muscle reseals. When the LES muscle reopens without food passing through is when acid reflux symptoms occur and stomach acid flows backwards causing acid reflux or better known as heartburn.
Food is not the only factor that causes acid reflux symptoms to increase. An individuals lifestyle has been proven to be a contributing factor such as smoking, stress, clothing that is tight around the abdomen, as well as eating large portions at meal times (overeating) and those that are overweight.
Foods that trigger Acid Reflux symptoms
Spicy foods are often a factor to acid reflux causing burning of the esophagus (throat).
Fatty foods such as burgers and fries often cause the LES muscle to become lazy and stay open allowing acid reflux to occur.
Acidic foods such as onions, tomatoes, oranges, and grapefruit often trigger acid reflux.
Alcohol beverages increases stomach acid production and irritate the lining of the stomach and throat, alcohol beverages mixed with fruit juice increase acid reflux symptoms.
Caffeine beverages and foods such as hot chocolate, chocolate candies and bars, teas (hot and cold) as well as coffee drinks (hot and cold) have acidic properties to them and often contribute to acid reflux symptoms.
Carbonated beverages have also been known to cause acid reflux symptoms.
Acid Reflux Treatment
There are many things people with acid reflux can do to treat acid reflux symptoms and to prevent a re-occurrence.
Acid reflux treatments start with the basics; diet is very important by keeping track of what foods cause acid reflux and avoiding those foods and beverages whenever possible. Eating smaller portions at meal time will help relieve the acid reflux that often occurs when consuming large meals. Being more active and exercising will not only help shed those extra pounds and relieving acid reflux symptoms but exercise will also help release stress which is also a factor involved with acid reflux.
Taking antacids before meals have been proven to be effective and come in many varieties. If over the counter chewable tablets or capsules aren’t enough talk to your physician about a prescription. A physician can prescribe a PPI (proton pump inhibitors) or H2 Blockers which help reduce the production of stomach acids, and aid in healing acid reflux damage.To reduce acid reflux symptoms at bed time by not eating at least 3 hours before going to bed, and by keeping your head raised, this keeps the stomach acids from backing up causing acid reflux.
As with any symptoms that are constant consult your physician.