debilitating pain

April 22, 2011

Preventing Acid Reflux

Acid reflux disease is a condition that plagues thousands of people every day. The awful thing about the condition is that it can take all the fun out of eating. Who wants to eat if the after affects are heartburn, belching, hiccups, regurgitation, coughing and sometimes nausea? It just doesn’t seem like the price you pay for good eating measures up to the benefit of eating at all. It’s true that the affects of acid reflux can vary from person to person ranging from mild discomfort in some to completely debilitating pain in others. All those suffering from acid reflux, no matter the extremity, can agree that if they could get rid of the condition altogether, it wouldn’t be too soon.

Acid reflux is a condition that if not properly tended to can lead to more serious conditions that can ultimately be life threatening. What happens with acid reflux is the acids found in the stomach that are used to break down foods for digestive purposes aren’t properly concealed in the stomach causing the acids to travel upward from the stomach into the esophagus resulting in acid reflux. The lower esophageal sphincter, LES, is a circular muscle valve that is located at the entrance of the stomach in the lower part of the esophagus. This valve’s job is to allow food and drinks to pass through from the esophagus to the stomach. Immediately after food and drinks pass through this valve, the valve is to close sealing off the stomach and the esophagus. This way, the acids that are rapidly at work digesting the food that has reached the stomach remain in the stomach so that there is no irritation caused to the esophagus.

A great way to control the hyperactivity of your stomach acids so that they are less likely to reach the esophagus resulting in acid reflux would be to prevent acid reflux triggers. There are several ways to prevent acid reflux. Below you will find a few:

  • Eat smaller meals more times a day. The smaller your meals the more likely your stomach acids will be able to take on breaking down and digesting these meals without producing too much acid that may result in acid hyperactivity.
  • Avoid foods that contain chocolate, citrus, caffeine, mint, garlic, onions and other foods that are high in fat. These foods have been known to weaken the LES muscle.
  • Avoid sodas and alcoholic beverages, opt instead for water. Water is great at stabilizing stomach acids and aids in the digestive process.
  • Try not to eat too close to bedtime. Give yourself at least two hours between the last meal of the day and the time you retire. This allows your body adequate time to fully and properly digest your foods.
  • Relieve your stress. Stress is linked to many ailments and acid reflux is no exception. Stress can directly affect the digestive system so do your part to relieve stress through exercise, mediation, and rest.

Preventing acid reflux can be better for your body than taming it after it starts. If you are seeking more preventative methods feel free to visit

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April 14, 2011

Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms

Acid reflux disease is a condition that occurs when the enzymes and acids in the stomach are hyperactive and escape the stomach making their way to the esophagus causing the esophagus and the chest and even the abdominal region to burn. This is what is known as heartburn. There is a ring shaped valve that is located at the bottom of the esophagus, top of the stomach. This valve is known as the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The job of the LES is to allow food to pass through the esophagus to the stomach. Immediately after food passes through the esophagus, the valve is to close quickly and tightly allowing for the stomach acids to work at digesting the food that has been passed to it. When this valve neglects to close, or if this valve opens too frequently there is a possibility for acid to escape the stomach and reach the esophagus causing acid reflux.

When the upper part of the stomach and the LES move above the diaphragm, this can cause acid reflux, as well. This is known as a hiatal hernia. The diaphragm helps to keep acids in the stomach. If you are suffering from a hiatal hernia, stomach acids can move into your esophagus causing acid reflux symptoms.

Symptoms for acid reflux can vary from person to person. Out of the thousands of people that suffer from acid reflux every day, there are those who refer to the symptoms they experience as mild or a little uncomfortable while others report a debilitating pain.

Symptoms for acid reflux include, but are not limited to:

  • Heartburn: Heartburn is the most common acid reflux disease symptom. When the nerve fibers of the esophagus are stimulated by the stomach acids that have reached the esophagus there is a burning sensation that we refer to as heartburn. Heartburn may start as high as the throat and can make its way down into the lower abdomen. Though most sufferers experience heartburn as a burning sensation, there are those who have reported a sharp, stabbing or pressure-like pain in the chest that can often be confused with experiencing a heart attack. There are rare instances where heartburn may be felt in the back.
  • Regurgitation: Regurgitation happens when consumed foods and liquids are expulsed from the mouth via the stomach and esophagus. In this instance, the acids, liquids and sometimes food, travels from the stomach through the LES to the upper esophageal sphincter (USE) and enters the throat. There may be a sour of bitter taste in the mouth followed by heavy salivation which inevitably leads to regurgitation. If this happens often, the acids that reach the mouth may cause erosion of the teeth and gums.
  • Nausea: Nausea is a symptom that is less common but when experienced can result in vomiting. There is no known reason why there are some acid reflux sufferers that experience heartburn while others are nauseated. These two symptoms rarely occur together.

These are the most common acid reflux disease symptoms. For more symptoms of treatments be sure to visit

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