What are the causes and remedies for acid reflux, and how do you deal with it? You can enjoy your life when you are healthy and fit. I am sure you are also continuously searching for things you can do to improve your health. However, sometimes due to other reasons, you become a victim of aggravating diseases.
Therefore, to stay healthy, you must discover the causes and remedies for acid reflux. It is a common digestive tract condition featuring a burning sensation in the lower chest. Generally, it happens when the stomach acids flow back into your food pipe. A good analysis for it is a backed-up toilet. This article will focus on the causes and remedies for acid reflux.
Triggers for Acid Reflux
Before finding out the best and most suitable remedies for acid reflux, it is essential to learn about its triggers. The leading cause of acid reflux is the stomach abnormality called hiatal hernia. Generally, it happens when the upper part of your stomach moves above your diaphragm. The diaphragm keeps the acid in your gut. However, in the case of a hiatal hernia, acid can move into your esophagus, resulting in acid reflux.
- Obesity or overweight
- Eating snacks closer to bedtime
- Lying on your back after eating a heavy meal
- Immediately sleeping after eating a meal.
- Being pregnant
- Using blood pressure medication, aspirin, muscle relaxant, or ibuprofen
Some specific foods and beverages can act as a trigger and result in acid reflux. These include:
Fatty and fried food is one of the leading causes of acid reflux. Also, greasy food can relax LES and thus allow stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. Besides that, common fatty foods include:
- Onion rings
- French fries
- Bacon or ham fat
- Snacks and desserts like ice cream
- Fried lamb or beef
- Full-fat dairy products like butter, cheese, sour cream
- Oily and greasy food
Also, you should avoid these foods to reduce the chances of acid reflux.
Although fruits and vegetables are healthy, avoid using highly acidic fruits if you have frequent acid reflux issues.
- Tomato sauce
Generally, frequent consumption of these fruits can worsen the condition.
Chocolates contain methylxanthine, which can smooth muscle in the LES and increase acid reflux.
Onion and Spicy Food
Sometimes consumption of spicy and tangy food like onion can trigger heartburn symptoms. Although they don’t bother everyone, you still have to be careful about how much you are consuming.
Caffeine is also responsible for triggering symptoms of acid reflux when consumed in the morning.
Researches show that mint and mint products like chewing gums and breath mints can also result in acid reflux symptoms.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Common symptoms of acid reflux are:
- Burning pain or discomfort moving from your stomach to the abdomen or chest. This condition is known as heartburn.
- Moreover, feeling a bitter or sour taste of acid backing up into your throat or mouth known as regurgitation.
- Bloody vomiting
- Bloody or black stool
- Weight loss for unknown reasons
- Dry cough or chronic sore throat
- The feeling of food stuck in the throat is called dysphagia.
With time chronic inflammation in your esophagus can worsen. Therefore, it can cause more problems and difficulties, including:
Narrowing of the Esophagus
Stomach acid causes damage to the lower esophagus causing scars tissues to form. As a result of the production of scar tissues, it narrows the food pathway. It is consequently resulting in problems with swallowing. This condition is called an esophageal stricture.
Open Sore in Esophagus
Due to high acid content, stomach acid can damage and wear away esophagus tissues resulting in an open sore. Therefore, an esophageal ulcer bleeds and results in pain as well.
Precancerous Changes to the Esophagus
Stomach acid causes changes in the tissue lining of the lower esophagus. Thus, these changes increase the risk of esophageal cancer.
Diagnosis of Acid Reflux
Once you notice acid reflux symptoms, finding the causes and remedies is essential to diagnose the condition. Diagnostic techniques used for acid reflux are:
- Barium x-rays
- PH monitoring
- Esophagus manometry
Medical Remedies for Acid Reflux
When you frequently suffer from heartburn and indigestion, you need to consult your doctor. Sometimes due to the severity and complications of your condition, your doctor may recommend medical intervention. Consequently, here is a list of the medical interventions your doctor may offer:
OTC remedies include liquid or tablet formulation known as antacids. Hence, various brands offer these medicines but take your doctor’s advice because they may not work for you. Also, antacids can provide a rapid solution to acid reflux; however, the relief is brief. Antacids contain calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, aluminum, and magnesium hydroxide.
Medication Such As Gaviscon
Gaviscon is the best-known heartburn therapy. It works differently than antacid drugs and also slightly differs in its composition. Gaviscon can create a mechanical barrier against stomach acid by forming a foamy gel.
Other possible treatments include:
- Pain modulators
- Potassium-competitive acid blockers
- GABA (B) receptor agonist
Diet Remedies for Acid Reflux
Apart from taking medication, you also have to make changes to your diet. As mentioned above, certain foods cause acid reflux. Therefore, you must avoid those foods. On the other hand, some foods can reduce or prevent the condition. These include vegetables, egg white, healthy fat, lean meat, seafood, and oatmeal. Also drinking plenty of water improves any condition.
Apart from medicines and diet, you also have to make changes in your lifestyle to reduce the chance of acid reflux.
- Improves your posture by sitting up straight
- Wear loose clothes
- If you are obese or overweight, make sure to lose weight.
- Quit smoking and opt for a healthy lifestyle
- Avoid pressure on your abdomen.
- Eat earlier in the evening.
- Stand after a meal
- Drink more water
Acid reflux is a stomach issue resulting in heartburn, and a hiatal hernia typically causes it. Keep in mind your life and diet play a critical role in your health and fitness. Also, by changing what you eat and how you live, you can drastically improve your experience.
There is not that much difference between your body and car. When you take care of your body, it takes care of you. But unlike a car, your body does not come with a maintenance manual. Also, consulting your doctor, reading the latest research and articles on health and fitness is the closest thing to a maintenance manual for your body. It’s not magic but science that brings you the fitness and health results you need.
Questions and Answers
Acid Reflux is when the food you eat travels down to your stomach, mixes with acids, and then travel back up and out your stomach and through your throat, destroying the soft tissue of your throat. Also, your gut is designed for acid, but your throat is not. Your digestive system is very much like the plumbing in your home. Finally, when your digestive system backs up, it creates problems.
The leading cause of acid reflux is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. Just like your plumbing, there are a few things that can cause acid reflux. Consequently, your throat and stomach’s health are significant factors with acid reflux and the foods you eat and the beverages you drink.
The best way to prevent acid reflux is your diet. Subsequently, here are some steps you can take to prevent acid reflux:
- Avoid processed foods, citric fruits, caffeine, and spicy food.
- Eat vegetables, healthy fats, lean meats, and oatmeal.
- Drink water to flush your food down
- Avoid eating closer to bedtime.
- Stand up or walk after a meal.
- Treat your digestive process the same way you treat your plumbing system.
- If the first six steps do not work, see your doctor.