chronic condition

November 1, 2011

Acid Reflux Disease Medicine

GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, is a chronic condition that causes extreme pain and discomfort. Also referred to as acid reflux, this painful condition occurs when stomach acid or bile flows back into the esophagus, resulting in an irritating and burning sensation. With severe cases, it can actually interfere with your everyday activities, including eating and sleeping.

Causes of Acid Reflux:
The esophageal sphincter, responsible for allowing food and liquids to travel downward into the stomach, can become weak or excessively relaxed over time. In infants, this muscle may not be fully developed when they are born. A weakened, underdeveloped, or abnormally relaxed esophageal sphincter is the primary cause of acid reflux.

Risk Factors:
The following conditions can put your more at risk for suffering from acid reflux: obesity, hiatal hernia, smoking, asthma, diabetes, and pregnancy.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux:
Common symptoms include heartburn that can be felt throughout the chest and sometimes even up into the throat. It often leaves a sour taste in the mouth. Chest pain may accompany the burning. There may be a feeling of a lump in the throat along with soreness, a dry cough, and trouble swallowing. Regurgitation is another common symptom.

Acid Reflux Medicines:
There are several different types of medicines used to treat acid reflux. Each type targets the acid in a different location, thereby causing differing chemical reactions.

Proton pump inhibitors are among the most popular and effective medications for treating reflux. They work by reducing the production of gastric acid. Some of the most common proton pump inhibitors are Aciphex, Dexilant, Kapidex, Nexium, Prevacid, Prilosec, Protonix, and Zegerid. Extended use of proton pump inhibitors posed an increased risk of bone fractures.

The second group of reflux medication is called H2-receptor antagonists. They suppress stomach acid secretions by blocking Histamine2, a naturally occurring chemical that signals the stomach to produce acid. Parietal cells, found in the lining of the stomach, are responsible for making acid. Common H2-receptor antagonists include Axid, Pepcid, Tagamet, and Zantac. Possible side effects include fatigue, headaches, diarrhea, constipation, and a rash.

H2-receptor antagonists block the stimuli that results in acid production while proton pump inhibitors block acid secretion in the stomach by shutting down proton pumps. Proton pump inhibitors require more time to take effect but tend to last longer whereas H2-receptor antagonists have an instant effect but typically work up to 12 hours.

Antacids are a common over-the-counter remedy used to neutralize stomach acid by increasing the pH level of the stomach. If taken too frequently, they could lead to a sharp increase in calcium output in the urine, leading to kidney stones. Additionally, they may reduce the absorption and potency of other medicines. Popular antacids include Maalox, Mylanta, Rolaids, and Tums.

Natural Remedies:
Insert a wedge under your mattress to help keep the stomach acid down. You can also try sleeping elevated on several pillows. Try eating an apple every night after supper to reduce symptoms.

Aim to eat more low fat and high fiber foods, including as whole grains, fruits, and vegetables. Limit your intake of dairy products and try to avoid extremely spicy food. Eat slowly, carefully and thoroughly chewing each and every bite. Be sure to give your stomach plenty of time to empty before bedtime.

To find out more about the causes and cures for acid reflux disease, be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at today.

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