difficulty breathing

March 10, 2011

Gastro Reflux Symptoms

Gastro reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, is a condition stemming from a malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a muscular ring located at the bottom section of the esophagus. After food travels down the esophagus to the stomach, the LES should close tightly, preventing stomach acids from heading up the esophagus. When this does not occur, and gastric acids are present in the esophagus, this results in heartburn, one of the symptoms of gastro reflux.

Heartburn is caused when acidic contents from the stomach are harmfully transplanted in the esophagus. This back up of acidic liquids and particles, can be severely painful and irritating. The burning sensation felt in the chest, along with hiccups and burping, are also signs of heartburn. People who suffer from heartburn typically experience a bitter taste in their mouth. The symptoms of heartburn are amplified during the night and worsen after eating. Consistent heartburn that occurs more than a few times per week, is a sign that gastro reflux has developed. Chronic heartburn affects a large portion of the population and is used as an indicator in determining if a person is likely to contract gastro reflux.

In some cases, the acidic fluid from the stomach that has backed up to the esophagus and throat can cause people to have difficulty breathing. If the refluxed fluid aggravates the larynx, the affected person can become hoarse, have a sore throat or temporarily lose their voice. The acidic juices can also irritate the respiratory track and make the breathing process strenuous and exhausting.

When the gastric acid reaches the throat (pharynx) and mouth, the burning feeling is magnified. The sour tasting substance can cause halitosis (bad breath) and hinder social interaction. Excessive burping, a common symptom of gastro reflux, is often wet and foul smelling. The liquid that is expelled during belching may burn and cause physical irritation.

Regurgitation is another uncomfortable symptom of gastro reflux. This takes place when food is swallowed but forced back up the esophagus due to a reflux reaction. The food and liquids that are regurgitated are highly acidic, and will burn the esophagus and throat. Depending on the amount and frequency of acidic substance that has been brought back up from the stomach, a person may need to discard the contents publicly, which can be humiliating.

Symptoms of gastro reflux are usually exacerbated due to certain behaviors and lifestyle choices. People that smoke tend to increase the effects of gastro reflux symptoms. Bending over, lifting heavy objects and even lying down may cause gastro reflux as well. Drink alcohol, and partaking in caffeinated products may contribute to gastro reflux.

Extended exposure to gastro reflux has the potential to develop into esophagitis. Esophagitis is characterized by severe inflammation to the esophagus that may reduce the size of the esophagus and hinder normal swallowing functions.

For more information on the symptoms of gastro reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, visit refluxremedy.com today.

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