GERDs medical name is gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is a condition where the stomachs content flows back into the esophagus. The content of the stomach is acidic and irritating because of the stomach acid used for digesting food. This liquid can cause damage of the esophagus lining known as esophagitis.
GERD is unfortunately a chronic condition. Once you suffer from GERD, the treatment or lifestyle change must be continued life-long. Similarly the damage of the lining is likely to return if the treatment is stopped.
Do people without GERDs symptoms have reflux? Studies have found that reflux can happen to healthy people too, however if you suffer from GERD the refluxing liquid contains more acid, it remains longer in the esophagus and the reflux happens more often.
The most common GERDs symptom is heartburn. When stomach acid refluxes it irritates the nerves of the esophagus and causes characteristic burning pain in the middle of the chest called heartburn (although it doesn’t have anything in common with the heart). Heartburn is most common after meals when the stomach is filled and when individuals lie down when gravity doesn’t help to keep the acid inside the stomach. Unfortunately heartburn is usually a life-long condition.
Another GERDs symptom is regurgitation. Sometimes refluxed liquid doesn’t stay only in the lower esophagus, but also reaches throat and mouth. In the throat there is the upper esophageal sphincter, playing similar role to the lower esophageal sphincter and preventing the content of the esophagus to back up into the throat. If acid reflux enters into the throat, there may be an acid taste in the mouth.
Some patients may suffer from nausea and vomit. However this symptom of GERD is rather uncommon.
There are many GERDs causes. One of the causes is abnormal function of the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle closing the entrance to the stomach. If the muscle is too loose, or opens without food or saliva moving down the esophagus, acid reflux can occur.
Abnormal esophageal contractions can be also a cause of GERD. Normally the esophagus contracts pushing swallowed food down to the stomach. If any acid flows out of the stomach it is pushed back by the esophageal contraction. If the contractions are too weak or abnormal, stomach acid can remain in the esophagus causing GERD. In fact this is the most common cause of GERD, according to Medicinenet.
Acid reflux occurs mostly when stomach is filled with food. If food remains in the stomach for prolonged time, e.g. because of the abnormally slow emptying of the stomach, acid reflux is more probable.
There are many possibilities to treat GERD. The most important is changing habits, especially these related to eating. The following treatments can be applied by yourself:
Reflux can easier occur in resting position, when gravity doesn’t pull the stomach acid down. This is why a particular attention must be paid to protection against acid reflux in the night, when the body remains in laying position for prolonged time. Don’t eat before bedtime and keep a slightly elevated body position during the night, e.g. using a wedge pillow for acid reflux.
Some foods are more likely to cause heartburn than other, like chocolate, fatty foods, alcohol and drinks containing caffeine. GERD diet is a reasonable idea to avoid acid reflux by eating stomach friendly foods. Eating less and more often will lower the pressure inside the stomach after meals and cause stomach to be emptied quicker.
Smoking has been found to contribute to GERD. If you smoke and suffer from acid reflux – well, it’s one more reason to quit smoking.
Medications help to alleviate GERDs symptoms. In general there are three types of medications: antiacids, histamine antagonists and proton pump inhibitors (PPI). Antiacids neutralize already secreted stomach acid, they work quickly, but only for short time – about one hour. Histamine antagonists (called also H2 antagonists) prevent the secretion of the new acid from the stomach walls. Proton pump inhibitors also stop the acid production, however they are more effective than histamine antagonists and are used when there is an esophagus lining damage. H2 antagonists (like Pepcid) are OTC medications, PPI (like Aciphex) are prescription drugs.
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Hi There,Solutions for acid reflux iovlnve making lifestyle changes such as avoiding certain foods, losing weight, and stopping smoking and exercising regularly.Try to eat 4-5 small meals a day instead of 1-2 large, heavy meals. Do not eat just before going to bed and avoid eating in a hurry. Proper chewing is very important.In acid reflux, the list of what not to eat is much bigger and specific than what to eat. Certain foods and fluids to avoid are:• Salad vegetables like onions, radishes and cucumber hard to digest.• Too much liquid, especially just after the meals, dilutes the digestive juices. Hence, liquids in small quantities should be taken before or during the meals only. A glass of wine on the other hand will aid in digestion.• Peppermint tea, alcohol and coffee relax the esophagus sphincter thereby aiding in spurring of the backward flow of food from the stomach. Alcohol also causes stomach acidity whereas coffee causes irritation. So, it’s a double whammy for people facing acid reflux.• Pectin in unripe foods makes them hard to digest whereas high fat content in cheese slows down digestion, especially if taken just before going to bed.• Fats, protein and calcium present in the milk stimulate acid production in the stomach. Normal diet of milk is fine but don’t take it for treating acid reflux, as is advised by some wise people.• Chocolate, containing fats and caffeine is also a usual suspect.• Fizzy drinks expand your stomach having the same effect as that of overeating. Avoid themAvoid the overuse of over-the-counter medications such as antacids, anti-gas or ant-flatulence drugs, oral suspension and H-2 receptor blockers as they may cause side effects such as constipation and diarrhea.Try these simple techniquesNever lie down flat on the bed immediately after the meals.Raise the head end of your bed by about 3-4 inches, using bed blocks or bricks. Pillows over pillows won’t help.Nicotine increase the amount of gastric acids secreted. It also loosens the valve, i.e., relaxes the sphincter. So, don’t smoke.Wear suspenders instead of a belt. This creates less pressure on the stomach.Bend on your knees if you are going down. If you bend your stomach, you’ll compress it forcing the acids upwards.Try yoga or some form of stress relieving exercises in addition to the herbs mentioned above.Natural RemediesNatural and holistic treatments have been used for centuries to treat and provide symptomatic relief for digestive problems. Homeopathic remedies are safe and effective to use for people of all ages without unwanted side effects. Carefully selected ingredients such as Calc phos, Carbo veg, Nat phos, Mag carb and Silicea helps to neutralize acid in the stomach as well as cleanse and eliminate toxins from the body and relieve symptoms of heartburn, indigestion, bloating and gas.Hope all that helpedGood Luck!
cure acid reflux?hey thkans for reading im 13years old and i have GERD n it makes me feel reallii sick all the time n i was wondering if you know any cures for it? also i heard martial arts helps does it? also please note that i only feel sick nothing else so a cure for the sick feeling not burning here are the ones i have already tried but dont workaloe vera juice (helped abit)apple cider vingear (dont feel much of a diffrence but a tiny bit better)centurium (dont see much diffrence)peppermint capuslsue (didnt work then i heard its bad 4 it so i stopped)slippery elm (dont see much of a diffrence)apples (no dffrence at all)banana (same as apple)oh yeah and i did all the stuff like cut out dairy heighten my bed e.t.c. it made a diffrence but not enough. also do u think that maybe because nothing really working it could just to do with my age? the doctor sed it probly is my age and i took myself off the doctors pills (she sed it was ok) so please answer!oh yeah incase u got confused lol the questions are will martial arts help?do you know another good cure that will work for the nasuea?(not burning)could it just be my age?thank you again1oh and please no sarcastic comments or comments about my spelling as this is serious too me please! sorry if i sound mena sayin that its just cos its very important for me for many reasons! it will change my life if u tell me a good cure! cos i can go to skool again! (i have to be homeschooled because of it which i hate!) and i can rejoin my clubs go out with my friends visit my family again (cos i havent seen them in 2 years cos thats wen this started and they live to far away for me too go ) thank you again!!! oh yeah anothwer thing i tried but forgot to meantion was baking powder or soda whatever you call it h yeah sorry i forgot too say im also trying honey! it helps abit for a while i guess but thank you anyway!!!!