gerd symptoms

November 19, 2010

Esophageal Reflux

There are many causes of esophageal reflux and the symptoms vary greatly from one patient to the next. Individuals’ medical histories are a huge factor in how esophageal reflux affects each patient. The symptoms vary depending on the specific state of the condition but the most common symptom associated with it is heartburn that is often severe. Simple household remedies are occasionally sufficient in treating the symptoms but several medications are also available at most drug stores or your local grocery store.? Some of the home remedies are very simple such as drinking or eating something special before eating food that could potentially trigger an attack.? Specifically, things like apples are known to be acid neutralizers.? Also, simply drinkig a glass of water may be just enough to flush the extra acid that’s causing irritation out.

There are also daily changes that can be made to alleviate reflux.? Tracking what foods trigger reflux and then avoiding them is one of the main ways to reduce occurrences.? Also, eating smaller meals more frequently can help, as it doesn’t allow unnecessary pressure to build from assaulting the stomach with large amounts of food.

Over the counter medications are generally affordable, easy to use and the effectiveness has increased over the recent years which makes them better solutions than home remedies for most people. However, over the counter medications are not intended for continued use, and are not a permanent solution for frequent heart burn.

Esophageal reflux can be serious and you may not be able to treat it on your own. In this case you should consult a licensed physician to assist you in your treatment by prescribing a more powerful medication. Prescription medications can be a good solution for some people as they target specific causes of heart burn and prevent the production of acids or even neutralize them.? However, this is a very expensive route and can lead to a lifelong commitment.

Prevention is the best method for treating esophageal reflux because it is much better to prevent the pain and discomfort rather than to wait for it to hit you and then have to wait for relief. The most difficult part of treatment is simply finding the right solution for you because everyone’s body is unique and reacts differently to treatments.

Esophageal reflux can change over time so it is important to be proactive by monitoring your attacks and the effectiveness of different treatments to ensure that you are on top of the situation and not suffering more than you necessarily should be. If you suffer from esophageal reflux, keep in mind that there are several different ways to treat this condition so if you feel that your current treatment is not sufficient, keep an open mind to trying others until you find something that works for you.

For more information on Esophageal reflux and ways to treat it, visit and read The Reflux Remedy Report.

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October 27, 2010

What causes GERD?

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease ? or GERD ? happens when acid in your stomach chronically backs up into your esophagus. This acid doesn?t belong there and irritates the lining, causing heart burn. If this happens to you more than twice a week, doctors label it as GERD.

It all starts with the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES). It?s a muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, which should open and close to manage the flow of stomach contents. A normal LES prevents food and acid from backing up into the esophagus. An LES that isn?t functioning properly leads to GERD.

So, what causes the LES to act up repeatedly and essentially cause GERD? Medications, foods, certain health conditions, and various habits are among the many things doctors are pointing at.


Certain medicines, such as NSAIDS ? like aspirin and ibuprofen? have been linked to GERD. Research has shown them to commonly cause this problem, or increase the severity of symptoms in GERD sufferers. Other medications known to aggravate GERD include iron supplements, antibiotics, potassium and sedatives. If you?re having trouble with any of these medications, talk to your doctor for a possible solution.


There isn?t any one food that causes heartburn in all GERD sufferers. Everyone has their own specific triggers. Generally fried food, anything containing caffeine, alcohol, garlic, mint and onion are a few common ones. Keeping a food journal that documents what you ate and your reaction can help pinpoint your specific triggers.

Health Conditions

Hormones are thought to regulate the LES, so GERD and the associated heartburn often occurs during pregnancy, when hormones are out of whack.

Additionally, approximately 20 percent of people with Type 1 Diabetes have something called gastroparesis. The condition causes a delay in emptying stomach contents, which in turn can cause pressure build up, resulting in reflux.

When it comes to Asthma and GERD, there is some argument as to which came first for those that suffer from both. Some argue the constant coughing and constriction of the chest that occurs during an asthma attack puts pressure on the chest, resulting in reflux and essentially leading to GERD. Others say GERD sufferers may inhale acid from the esophagus causing irritation of the lungs. Doctors often point to GERD as a cause of asthma in adult asthma sufferers or if asthma gets worse at night or when lying down. Nevertheless, there appears to be a link between the two.

Obesity can also cause reflux. The additional weight causes pressure on the abdomen, resulting in acid build up.

Hiatal Hernia, a condition that occurs when the stomach is pushed above the diaphragm, has also been linked to GERD. The problem has been shown to worsen symptoms, although has not yet been proven to be a direct cause of GERD.


Even simple things like smoking and wearing tight fitting clothing are sometimes attributed to GERD. Smoking slows the function of the LES, causing acid to back up into the esophagus. Tight fitting clothing places constrictions on the chest and abdomen with the same results. Even snacking before bed can lead to GERD, as eating less than 2 hours before lying down can result in reflux.

For more information on GERD and natural remedies, please check out our book Reflux Remedy Report.

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September 15, 2010

Know The Diet For Severe GERD

A modified diet for severe GERD is necessary when acids produced by the stomach begin entering the esophagus. The food that we eat travels through our mouth down the esophagus, and to the stomach. The stomach and esophagus are joined at the LES or lower esophageal sphincter. The LES opens up to enable food to enter the stomach. The sphincter normally closes to prevent stomach juices and food to move back to the esophagus.

The stomach produces certain digestive enzymes and juices that aid in digestion. The digestive track also possesses special mechanisms to protect it from damages caused by these enzymes and juices. However, the esophagus itself does not possess such defensive mechanisms and hence it is essential for the LES to close and prevent the juices from reaching the esophagus. Normally, some amounts of the stomach bile go back to the esophagus. However, if excess amounts of acid accumulate inside the esophagus it causes GERD. People suffering from GERD experience abnormal behavior of LES. Either it does not close properly or it opens up wrong moment. Severe GERD can result in ulcers, the narrowing and damaging of the esophagus, and even bleeding.

It is vital to have a proper diet for severe GERD. The diet should be combination of foods that are easily digestible and low in food which will help in weight reduction if you are obese. Avoid foods that worsen the condition including tomato, alcohol, caffeinated drinks, peppermint, chocolate and deep fried foods. These kinds of foods normally weaken the LES or fuel your stomach to produce more acid than necessary. Avoid mustard, garlic, spices, citrus fruits, vinegar and aerated beverages at any cost.

One of the best ways to end the severe effects of GERD is to eat in moderation while switching to highly nutritious and low fat foods. It is effective to eat in small proportions, consume less than 300 mg of cholesterol, restrict sodium intake to 2400 mg per day and count calories when you eat. Do not eat more than the daily caloric intake limit recommended for your body. Not every food will trigger GERD symptoms in your body. Mark the kind of food that specifically fuels GERD in your body and avoid them.

It is also important to eat timely and eat in small proportions instead of having large meals, and always leave a generous amount of time between meals and sleep. Acid travels easily into the esophagus when you are lying down, so try walking after you eat. For overweight people it is important to exercise every day to reduce weight.

Include poultry, whole grains, pears, bananas, fish, lean meat and low fat food in your diet for severe GERD, as well as skimmed milk and plenty of water. It is most important to eat the right combination food at the right time. Do not put pressure on your stomach by stuffing it with excess food, and avoid combining foods that require both the alkaline enzymes and stomach juices to work simultaneously. This leads to weak digestion and increased GERD symptoms.

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September 8, 2010

Acid Reflux and Anxiety Attacks

If you suffer from acid reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), then you are already aware of its painful effects. Even more disruptive than pain, it can cause a variety of unwanted physical and emotional responses. If you are a sufferer, you are familiar with the burning in your chest, upset stomach, nausea, and acid in your throat. Often, taking drugs such as Nexium, Tagamet, Omeprazole, Prevacid, Prilosec and Zantac provide only temporary relief. Indeed, these drugs are only intended to be taken for two weeks at a time, with a substantial break in between. Perhaps you’ve even been that person who constantly chews Tums or Rolaids, hoping for some relief from the burning. There is a psychological component to acid reflux that has been researched and documented. Researchers have determined that acid reflux and anxiety attacks may be related, simply because of the stress and terrible feelings it can cause.

This stress manifests itself in acid reflux sufferers as anxiety, which may even cause greater agitation of the esophagus, stomach and throat. Relaxation techniques have been shown to relieve acid levels in patients, which may be of benefit to anyone who is suffering not only from the acid reflux symptoms, but additional the anxiety and in some circumstances even panic attacks. The unwanted symptoms from acid reflux and anxiety attacks can be increased through lack of sleep. Acid back-flow, which occurs in the prone position one assumes when sleeping, can lead to emotional and psychological as well.

Anxiety can be felt as anxiousness, nervousness, sweating, rapid pulse, rapid breathing, anxious thoughts or actions, inability to sleep, or the feeling that the world is about to end. When you add a physical component such as acid reflux to this mix, you can aggravate both conditions, each feeding off the other, causing heightened symptoms. It can be severe, as the insomnia is caused by the acid that is flowing up into your throat and mouth. Severe burning may occur when stomach acid hits parts of the body it was never intended to meet. Stomach acid is corrosive and causes many problems when it is introduced into the body. This vicious cycle, however, can be abated.

Patients can be taught muscle relaxation techniques to combat the anxiety that aggravates acid reflux and GERD symptoms. Such relaxation eases the anxiety to the point where acid triggers are eased, thereby offering relief from further stomach and esophagus troubles. You can learn to relax your muscles and your emotional state to achieve peace of mind. A holistic approach to acid reflux treatment is possible with simple relaxation and stretching techniques. Acid reflux and anxiety attacks do not have to go hand in hand, but when they do, know that relief is available from a natural, easy-to-access source: your own body.

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