esophagus

September 19, 2011

Burning Esophagus

Burning esophagus is also known as heartburn, pyrosis and acid indigestion. It is classified as a burning sensation in the chest originating just behind the breastbone in the esophagus. The sensation usually rises in the chest and spreads to the throat, neck and in some cases even to the jaw. Those who suffer from occasional heartburn should not be alarmed; over-the-counter medications and changing your lifestyle can be just the remedy required. Those who experience more severe heartburn should make changes to their lifestyle and seek more intensive medical help.

In most cases heartburn is associated with the regurgitation of gastric acid which is also one of the significant indicators of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Burning esophagus is also an indicator of ischemic heart disease, so doctors have to be sure that they don’t misdiagnose patients who think they have gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Symptoms of heartburn include: a burning pain in the chest that is usually experienced after eating and tends to occur at night, pain that sharpens whenever you bend over or lay down. You should seek immediate medical attention when you experience acute chest pain and other symptoms such as difficulty breathing, pain in the arm and/or jaw as well as chest pain. Chest pain is especially important as it could mean that you’re having a heart attack. You should be sure to schedule an appointment with your doctor if your heartburn flares up more than twice a week, if you have trouble swallowing or if your symptoms continue despite using over-the-counter medications.

There are certain kinds of drink and food that have been known to cause heartburn. The include: alcohol, chocolate, black pepper, coffee, fatty food, ketchup, fried food, orange juice, onions, mustard, peppermint, soft drinks, tomato sauce and vinegar.

Antacids such as Maalox, Gelusil, Tums, Rolaids and Mylanta can provide you with rapid and temporary relief, but antacids alone will not heal an inflamed esophagus that has been eaten away by stomach acid. Overuse of these over-the-counter medications can cause unfortunate side effects such as constipation or diarrhea. Medications called H-2 receptor blockers include cimetidine (Tagamet HB), ranitidine (Zantac 25, Zantac 75, Zantac 150), nizatidine (Axid AR) or famotidine (Pepcid AC). While these don’t act as quickly as antacids do, the relief they provide is longer. Even stronger versions of H-2 receptor blockers are available in prescription form.

For those who subscribe to an alternative medication lifestyle, there are some natural remedies that can help with heartburn. Aromatherapy, gentle exercise, hypnosis, music, massages and relaxation techniques can all be used to combat heartburn.

Lifestyle changes that can reduce heartburn include: maintaining a healthy weight, avoid tight clothing, eating smaller meals, avoiding food and drink that trigger burning esophagus, not lying down after meals and elevating the head of your bed. These small changes can have a large impact on your heartburn flare-ups. For more information on soothing and/or eliminating a burning esophagus be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at refluxremedy.com today!

Talk with your doctor today if you experience constant and acute heartburn as it may be an indication of a more serious medical condition.

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May 10, 2011

Gerd Acid Reflux

There is a muscle that is located above the stomach and just below the esophagus. It is called the lower esophageal sphincter or LES. This muscle acts as a link between the esophagus and stomach, allowing food to pass from one to the other during the process of digestion. Some people have or develop a weak LES, which can be harmful. A dysfunctional LES sometimes allows stomach acid to leave the stomach and travel up the esophagus and even to your throat. This is harmful because stomach acid is corrosive and irritating to areas that are not naturally protected against it. When stomach acid and food is regurgitated or brought up to the esophagus, this is called acid reflux. Frequent acid reflux— acid reflux that occurs more than a few times per week is commonly classified as gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. Stomach acid in the esophagus can cause a burning sensation, commonly known as heartburn.

Causes

  • Unhealthy behaviors can promote acid reflux and GERD. Habits like smoking and drinking excessive amounts of alcohol can encourage the development of GERD. You should also practice eating lighter meals. Don’t eat a meal right before going to bed because this promotes gastric acid production.
  • Some foods can cause acid reflux. Try to avoid foods that have a lot of caffeine, garlic and onions. You should also eat meals that are low in fat, because this is easier for the stomach to break down. Fatty foods require more gastric acid to digest.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) can cause acid reflux. These over the counter drugs include aspirin, ibuprofen and naproxen, all found in many readily available pain killers. Vitamin supplements that have too much potassium, calcium and iron can contribute to GERD.
  • Medical conditions can also increase your chances of developing GERD. People that are pregnant, have diabetes, obese or have respiratory problems are more likely to develop GERD.

Symptoms

  • The main symptom of GERD and acid reflux is heartburn. Heartburn is experienced by about 40 percent of the population. The occurrence of heartburn doesn’t necessarily mean that GERD is present. If you have persistent heartburn, then you may be suffering from GERD.
  • Regurgitation is another symptom of GERD.¬†When acid and/or food back up into the throat, this is called regurgitation. This may be joined with burping and a bitter taste. Regurgitation causes painful irritation in the esophagus and throat.
  • Other less common symptoms of acid reflex and GERD include nausea, chest pain and abdominal pain. Atypical symptoms include having asthma, laryngitis, a persistent cough and sinusitis.

Management and Treatment

  • Diet is a contributing factor for acid reflux and GERD. Eliminate fattening foods and alcohol from your diet. You should eat a balance of acid and alkaline forming foods. Meals should not be eaten right before bed. Make sure that you drink a lot of water along with aloe juice, papaya and ginger. For more treatment methods and information visit www.refluxremedy.com today.

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May 4, 2011

Hiatal Hernia Diagnosis

Sliding Hiatal HerniaHiatal hernias happen when a section of the stomach abnormally shifts to another area. The new location could be in the chest area or adjacent to the esophagus. There are also two kinds of hiatal hernias: sliding and rolling. The difference between the two is determined based on the new location of the stomach. Hiatal hernias occur because of a weak diaphragm? When your diaphragm isn’t as strong as it should be, it may open wider than normal and allow the stomach to move up, beyond the diaphragm. It is important for you to become knowledgeable about the warning signs and symptoms of a hiatal hernia. This will allow you to familiarize yourself with this condition so that you can’t try to detect whether or not you are suffering from it. Early detection will enable you and your doctor to get you back to good health.

Hiatal hernia is not something that can be totally diagnosed based on how you feel. Self diagnosis is very hard to do because the symptoms of hiatal hernia may reflect another disease or condition. Often times, signs of a hiatal hernia are very similar to the symptoms of GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Symptoms of GERD may include a burning pain in the throat, chest, regurgitation, hoarseness, and a sore throat. Common physical issues that are associated with a hiatal hernia are pain in the stomach and chest.

Heartburn and chest pain are two of the major signs of hiatal hernia. When stomach acid goes up into the esophagus, this causes irritation. Stomach acid is meant to be used to break down and digest food particles within the stomach. If stomach acid goes outside of the stomach, it essentially will have the same properties and effects. Stomach acid in the esophagus is harmful and corrosive because of the level of acidity. Heartburn doesn’t actually affect your heart. When the stomach acid enters your esophagus and travels upward, you can feel pain in your entire chest and heart area. That is why it is called heart burn.

There are a number of things that you can do to reduce your risk of developing a hiatal hernia.

Lifestyle changes are probably the best way to combat the symptoms of hiatal hernia.

  • You can eliminate eating meals a few hours before going to bed.
  • You can also eat smaller meals, which causes your stomach to produce lower quantities of stomach acid.
  • The type of meals that you eat is also very important when it comes to relieving symptoms.
  • Cut back on spicy and high fat foods.
  • Reducing your alcohol consumption and cutting out smoking can lower the chances of having a hiatal hernia.
  • You should also practice lifting objects with the proper technique and avoid lifting heavy objects in general.

If you think that you may be suffering from a hiatal hernia due to your persistent heartburn, you need to consult with a medical professional. To find out more about hiatal hernia symptoms and what you can do about them, visit www.refluxremedy.com today for more information.

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April 29, 2011

Acid Disorder

Acid reflux disorder is a condition that can occur when you have a lower esophageal sphincter (LES) that does not operate as it should. The LES is a crucial component of the digestive system. Food that is headed to your stomach when you eat has to pass the LES to enter the stomach for digestion. The LES serves as a muscular ring at the end of the esophagus, right next to the diaphragm and stomach opening. For food morsels to get to the stomach, the LES has to open. Usually, the LES closes after each portion of food goes to the stomach. If your LES is weak, it does not close tightly enough to prevent stomach acids from getting into your esophagus.

Stomach acid is the last thing you want near your esophagus. Stomach acid is used to digest foods. The digestive process may begin in your mouth, but it is in the stomach that most of the work takes place. Gastric acids help to break down foods into smaller particles so that the intestines can absorb and distribute the proteins and minerals that are essential for your body. The acidity of stomach acid is very high and it can only be tolerated in the stomach. The stomach wall and lining is equipped to handle the corrosive nature of stomach acid.

Once stomach acid gains access to your esophagus there can be a problem. The esophagus doesn’t have the same protective lining that the stomach has. When acid that comes from the stomach backs up into the esophagus, this is called acid reflux disorder. Acid reflux disorder can be a challenge for many people. By being more aware of acid reflux you will be able to identify the causes, signs and treatment options.

Causes: The cause of acid reflux may stem from other conditions: being pregnant, obese, having a hiatal hernia or diabetes can contribute to acid reflux disorder. These conditions change the dynamics of the body, especially the stomach. When pressure is added to the stomach, there is a shift of the stomach. When food is digested irregularly, this can trigger acid reflux. Food is a big factor. Eating foods just before bed, lifting heavy objects or eating fatty foods can put you at risk for acid reflux disorder.

Signs: Symptoms of acid reflux disorder include heartburn, nausea, regurgitating food, chest pain, dysphagia, burping and an awful bitter taste in the mouth. Heartburn is the most common symptom of acid reflux disorder and can cause you to experience a burning feeling in your chest and throat. Signs in children may include respiratory problems that include a chronic cough, wheezing and asthma-like symptoms.

Treatment: Holistic remedies for acid reflux are highly suggested as a method of controlling symptoms. Drinking aloe juice, lots of water, and eating papaya will reduce the production of gastric acid in the stomach. Lifestyle changes like quitting smoking, eating less fattening meals and reducing alcohol intake are great techniques. Remember that effective treatment varies for each individual.

For more information on acid reflux disorder, review The Reflux Remedy Report to get all of your questions answered.

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