Acid Reflux

September 28, 2011

Effects Of Acid Reflux

One in three people with acid reflux develop esophagitis as reported by AstraZeneca, the makers of Nexium. Esophagitis, inflammation of the esophagus, illustrates one of the many effects of acid reflux, a digestive disease in which stomach acid backs into the esophagus. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux has a haunting nature as it leaves behind a wide-range of serious medical effects that develop in the long-run. They include bronchospasm (spasm of the bronchial muscles due to acid), stricture (narrowing of the esophagus after inflammation leads to scarring), chronic cough, hoarseness, and dental damage. Two major effects of acid reflux, erosive esophagitis and esophageal cancer, are explored.

Erosive Esophagitis

Erosive esophagitis occurs when stomach acid backs up into the esophagus causing it to swell and erode. Its symptoms include the following:

  • Heartburn
  • Difficult or painful swallowing
  • Sore throat
  • Hoarseness

Doctors detect erosive esophagitis with the following methods:

  • Endoscopy: occurs when a patient swallows a thin tube that contains a camera at the end, which flows into the esophagus and the stomach.
  • Upper GI Series (Barium Swallow X-Ray): occurs when a patient drinks 16-20 ounces of chalky liquid containing barium. Barium is detected by a fluoroscopy x-ray that displays the manner in which it flows through the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine. This x-ray lasts between three to six hours.
  • Needle Biopsy: occurs when a needle is used to remove tissue from the esophagus with the aide of a CT scan or ultrasound x-ray.

Esophageal Cancer

Esophageal cancer occurs when a malignant tumor develops in the esophagus. It is most common in men over 50 years of age in the U.S. The two types of esophageal cancer include squamous cell carcinoma, a result of smoking cigarettes and drinking alcohol, and adenocinomarca, cancer of the epithelium tissues that line the glands. Adenocarcinoma is caused by a prior aftereffect of long-term acid reflux called Barrett’s esophagus: development of abnormal changes (metaplasia) in the cells of the lower esophagus that is not curable with anti-reflux surgery. Adenocarcinoma results in the following symptoms:

  • Vomiting of blood (hematemesis)
  • Chest pain (not caused by eating)
  • Difficulty swallowing (dyphagia)
  • Regurgitation

Doctors detect esophageal cancer by the following methods:

  • Upper GI Series (Barium Swallow X-Ray)
  • Endoscopy
  • Needle Biopsy: reveals whether intestinal cells are on esophageal tissue.
  • PET scan: reveals stage of cancer and whether surgery is possible.
  • Chest MRI: determines stage of cancer.
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy: occurs when a 5-20 mm flexible endoscope (small camera) is inserted into a patient’s esophagus to examine the lining. It is performed after administration of a sedating analgesic or painkiller and an anesthetic. The endoscope passes through the esophagus to the stomach and small intestine.

An important concept to take away is that the effects of acid reflux worsen when left untreated. The medication Nexium is commonly taken to treat erosive esophagitis. Another option is having Fundoplication surgery that reduces acid reflux by strengthening the lower esophageal sphincter.

For more information on the effects of acid reflux be sure to contact Reflux Remedy at today!

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September 27, 2011

Does Acid Reflux Cause Gas

Occasional heartburn, or acid reflux, is normal and does not create health problems. When acid reflux occurs regularly rather than occasionally, it turns into acid reflux disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Individuals who suffer from GERD might find that gas and gas pains seem like a regular problem as well and might wonder whether the acid reflux is causing the gas.

The Answer:

The simple answer of whether acid reflux causes gas is yes. GERD will sometimes result in more gas because when the acid comes up into the esophagus, GERD sufferers often swallow to relieve the burning sensation. By swallowing more, someone with acid reflux will also swallow air.

Swallowing air leads to belching or gas. If a large amount of air is swallowed, belching is not always enough to remove the air from the stomach so it passes into the intestines and becomes gas. Sometimes, the amount of gas might cause pain, but the pain will not usually last long.

Other Factors:

Acid reflux is only one factor in the development in gas. In most individuals, it is a very small factor in why gas develops because many individuals who suffer from GERD take medication to help control the symptoms, thus limiting the air swallowed due to acid reflux.

Other factors involved include eating foods that cause gas, smoking, eating hard candies, chewing gum, drinking carbonated beverages and eating or drinking too quickly.

Treating Gas Caused by Acid Reflux:

When gas is caused by acid reflux, it remains a problem as long as the acid reflux is a problem.

  • Start with treating the acid reflux. Treatment methods to deal with acid reflux include making diet changes, not eating directly before bed and taking a medication for the problem. If acid reflux is a regular problem, discuss the situation with your doctor. Each individual has different treatment needs and triggers, so only your personal doctor can help determine the best way to manage your situation.
  • For immediate gas relief, take something to break up the gas. For example, take Beano or a similar gas relief option. This is particularly helpful if you feel gas pains from the swallowed air.
  • Anyone who suffers from GERD or acid reflux problems should avoid eating foods that cause gas as well as foods that trigger acid reflux. Foods like broccoli, cabbage, hard candy or beans cause gas and only compound the problem. Limiting gas-causing foods will help minimize or eliminate the gas problem.


Any time gas is combined with problems like bloody stools, nausea or vomiting, weight loss, fever, severe or prolonged pain in the abdomen, constipation or diarrhea, talk to your doctor. These are signs of more serious health conditions that sometimes have gas as a symptom.


Acid reflux is a factor in the development of gas. While GERD contributes the gas due to swallowing air, excessive gas is usually the result of a combination of factors. In most cases, gas problems associated with acid reflux are alleviated when the GERD is treated.

For more information on the effects of acid reflux be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at today!

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September 22, 2011

What Is Acid Indigestion?

Acid indigestion, also known as heartburn, is a burning sensation in the chest after eating. It is caused by stomach acid coming back up, or refluxing, and reaching the esophagus, the tube that connects your mouth to your stomach. Acid indigestion is a fairly common condition, affecting nearly one-third of the population occasionally, while up to 10% of adults suffer from acid indigestion daily. It is very common in pregnancy as well, with 1 in 4 pregnant women reporting daily bouts of heartburn for at least some of their pregnancy.

Symptoms of Acid Indigestion
Acid indigestion is sometimes mistaken for a heart attack because the symptoms can be somewhat similar. If you have any suspicion that you may be having a heart attack and not heartburn, it is critical that you seek medical attention immediately.

The main symptom of heartburn is a painful burning sensation in the upper abdomen and chest which can sometimes radiate into the back, jaw and throat. The burning can get much worse when bending over, lying down or after a particularly heavy meal. Pain usually starts within 30-60 minutes of eating and tends to recede gradually as food is being digested.

Causes of Acid Indigestion
Heartburn occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) remains open or relaxes after eating, which allows stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. Certain foods can exacerbate or cause the loosening of the LES, including peppermint, caffeinated drinks, chocolate, alcohol and foods high in fat. Foods that are spicy or acidic can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause a worsening of your symptoms.

Putting pressure on the abdomen tends to increase the chance of acid indigestion, so it is important to avoid wearing tight clothing and be aware that coughing, bending, straining, having a hiatal hernia, being obese and being pregnant can increase symptoms of heartburn.

Certain medications can also cause trouble with acid indigestion, such as aspirin, ibuprofen and osteoporosis medication.

Treatment of Acid Indigestion
Many times, heartburn can be successfully treated by avoiding foods and activities that cause it and by taking over the counter medications such as antacids. Avoid eating large meals close to bedtime and try to stay upright for up to an hour after eating to help keep stomach acid where it belongs.

If home treatments are not offering relief, it may be time to talk to your doctor about prescription remedies to alleviate the pain and burning of heartburn. Prescription histamine-2 blockers, such as Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid and Axid, all work to reduce the amount of acid in your stomach. Reglan is a drug that helps empty food and acid more quickly and also helps to tighten the LES. The third and last type of drugs to be used are the proton pump inhibitors, which prevent the secretion of acid altogether. Common brands include Prevacid, Prilosec and Nexium.

When Is Acid Indigestion Serious?
If you experience acid indigestion two or more times a week, you may be experiencing a more serious condition known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). GERD can be severe and can cause scarring of the esophagus. Please see your doctor if you are having repeated episodes of acid indigestion. Treatment to stop the erosion of the esophagus is important to prevent long term problems associated with GERD. Find more information on the causes and cures associated with acid reflux be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at today!

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September 19, 2011

Cause of Acid Indigestion

There are millions of Americans that suffer from acid indigestion on a regular basis and many do not know what triggers it or how to treat it. While there are many different triggers, they are not always the same for everyone. Indigestion for some people may be triggered by eating spicy foods, while the trigger for other people may be stress. Some other popular foods that can cause indigestion are caffeine, chocolate, fried foods, alcohol, tomato-based foods, and citrus. Along with certain foods and stress causing indigestion for people, it can also be caused by wearing tight clothing or eating too close to bedtime.

While these triggers can vary from person to person, the treatments for indigestion are usually similar for all people that are affected. For the food items that can be triggers, you can simply avoid them or consume them less often in order to control the indigestion. If eating too close to bedtime is causing the discomfort, then it is recommended that you eat at least two hours prior to going to bed. This will allow the foods to fully digest prior to you going to bed.

Along with these options, it is also possible for exercise to aid in the pain of indigestion. Often times the people that suffer the most with indigestion are the people that are overweight. Perhaps this is because some of the foods that are most likely to cause the problem are foods that are not healthy and have a higher fat content. The easiest exercise for most people to do is to go for walks regularly. Walking just thirty minutes a day can help a person to lose a considerable amount of weight. Keeping active will also help your body to feel healthier. When you keep your body functioning properly, the odds of having the recurrent indigestion will be considerably lower.

For more information on the causes of acid reflux visit today!

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