muscular valve

April 11, 2011

Stomach Acid Reflux

Stomach acid reflux is a pain, plain and simple. Yes, there are worse things that can happen but there is ultimately little that offers greater distaste than having a negative reaction from your body simply because you eat or drink. It seems unfair, to say the very least. You have to eat to live. That you learn in Life 101. Food is essential. So, how is it that something so essential can send the body into such a burning rage that it turns you off from eating altogether? It just doesn’t make any sense. It appears that you’ve stumbled upon a situation where winning is impossible. You have acid reflux.

Stomach acid reflux disease is a condition that arises when the enzymes and acids of the stomach become hyperactivity, leave the stomach and make their way into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is a round muscular valve that is located in the lower portion of the esophagus, upper portion of the stomach. The main purpose of this valve is to allow food and drink access from the esophagus to the stomach while protecting the esophagus. The valve does this by opening to allow food and drink to pass through to the stomach then closing immediately after so that the acids which grow active when food hits the stomach don’t escape to the esophagus.

Often time there is a stomach abnormality that is known as a hiatal hernia. This abnormality occurs when the LES and the upper part of the stomach find its way above the diaphragm which is suppose to separate the stomach from the chest. The diaphragm usually does an excellent job at keeping stomach acids in the stomach but if there is irritation the diaphragm neglects to properly do its job resulting in stomach acid reflux.

There are triggers that can cause the irritation that would facilitate stomach acid reflux. Avoiding these triggers could mean eliminating acid reflux and enjoying eating all over again. Here are a few things that could possibly be triggering your acid reflux:

  • If you are eating larger meals or you are lying down right after you eat, this could certainly be a trigger. Try eating smaller meals several times a day. Smaller meals are easier on the digestive system. The energy it takes for your acids to break down smaller meals is far less than it would take to break down meals that are larger. Also, try eating 2 hours before bedtime.
  • If you are one that loves a good carbonated drink or an alcoholic beverage, you may want to consider switching up and trying water. Water is great as it aids in the digestive process and soothes the esophagus. Water has also been known to stabilize stomach acids.
  • Eliminate citrus, garlic and spicy foods from your diet. There are ways to enjoy flavorful foods that aren’t a strain on your digestive system. Opt for alternatives. Try hearty fruits, vegetables and salads. Not only will your acid reflux be at ease, your overall health will benefit.

You don’t have to suffer from stomach acid reflux forever. Try altering your lifestyle–the benefits will be well worth it.

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