May 4, 2011

About Acid Reflux

Lower Esophageal SphincterAcid reflux is a condition or disorder that happens as a result of having a lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, that is dysfunctional. The LES is a major part of the digestive system. Whenever you eat or drink something, it has to travel through your esophagus and pass the lower esophageal sphincter to get to your stomach for digestion. Without being able to reach your stomach, the food you eat could not be digested and used as nourishment for your body. The LES is like a muscular ring that sits at the bottom end of the esophagus. It is close to the diaphragm, near the opening to the stomach. The LES opens when food needs to enter the stomach. It then closes after the food has gone into the stomach. When you have a dysfunctional LES, it may remain open even after the food has gone through.

A weak LES allows stomach acid to travel through the diaphragm and into the esophagus. Stomach or gastric acid is very corrosive because it is needed to break down foods for the digestive process. The digestive process is necessary for your health and survival because this is what provides your body with the right proteins, nutrients and minerals. When there is stomach acid in your esophagus, and even your throat, this can become a very serious problem. The acid could irritate your esophagus and cause tremendous pain.

When stomach acid makes contact with your esophagus, this is very hazardous to your overall health. Since the esophagus lacks the protective lining that the stomach has, it is vulnerable to acidic substances. If stomach acid backs up into the esophagus, this is referred to as acid reflux disorder. Acid reflux disorder can be caused by many different things. You may develop acid reflux disorder if you are pregnant. The development of the fetus causes the other organs to shift to accommodate the growing baby. When this happens, the stomach acids have a higher chance of seeping through the diaphragm and into the esophagus.

Acid reflux could also happen because of having a hiatal hernia. This is when the stomach moves above the diaphragm near the esophagus or chest cavity. This is an abnormality. Acid reflux can also be caused by the type of food you eat as well. Consuming foods that are high in fat put you at risk for developing acid reflux. Foods that are spicy or acidic tasting are not necessarily foods that will cause you to have acid reflux. Acidic foods can only be classified based on their characteristics once digested in the stomach.

The time you eat meals is also essential to preventing acid reflux. If you eat a meal right before you go to sleep, this can cause more stomach acid to produce right before you lie down. Lying in a horizontal position also increases the likelihood of the gastric acids passing through the diaphragm. To learn more about reflux acid symptoms and treatments, visit today for more information.

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