February 25, 2011

Gastroesophageal Reflux Diseases

Digestive diseases run the gamut between appendicitis and liver failure. A digestive disease comprises any condition that is directly related to an organ in the digestive tract. These organs include the stomach, liver, esophagus, pancreas and the large and small intestine. Gastroesophageal reflux diseases (GERDs) are common types of digestive diseases. The esophagus is a long tube like organ located between your neck and stomach. Food goes down this organ and into the stomach. To reach the stomach, the muscle ring at the bottom of the esophagus must open. This ring is called the lower esophageal sphincter. A strong LES functions well, allowing food to access the stomach for digestion and blocking acid from spewing into the esophagus. A weakened LES does the opposite and allows stomach acid to come in contact with the esophagus. This causes GERD which is injurious to the body and uncomfortable.


The cause of GERD is not standard for everyone. Specific foods can promote GERD so your diet is a main factor in treatment. Eating foods with large quantities of fat, garlic, onion and caffeine can contribute to acid reflux, when acid and food goes backwards up the esophagus. Eating large meals can promote GERD. When eating, make sure that you sit up and have good posture so that the acid in your stomach does not flow above the LES. You should never eat before bed because this puts your esophagus in a horizontal position that is perfect for letting stomach acid in.


Bad habits are unhealthy and help GERD to develop. When you smoke, this makes the LES weak and prone to dysfunction. A weakened LES will not stop acid from going to the esophagus. Drinking alcohol can also trigger acid reflux and GERD. If you eat while lying down, you may experience heartburn, one of the main symptoms of GERD.

Health Conditions

Being pregnant puts many women at risk for GERD. When you are pregnant your body undergoes considerable physical changes. The body instinctively will make space for the baby by condensing in other areas. When the stomach moves and condenses, this can cause acid to reflux. People who are significantly overweight increase their risk for GERD. The additional weight that is carried by an obese person inflicts pressure on the stomach and abdominal area, thus pushing acid where it does not belong.


The signs of GERD include regurgitation, heartburn, dysphagia or difficulty swallowing, nausea, chest pain, excessive burping, a bitter taste in the mouth, sore throat and hoarseness. Symptoms vary from person to person and are less severe in children. Heartburn is the most common of all the symptoms. If you have persistent heartburn, occurring more than twice per week, you may have GERD.

There are natural treatments for GERD. Changing your diet and lifestyle are the main ways you can control or reduce the symptoms of GERD. If you would like to learn more about the causes, symptoms and treatment of gastroesophageal reflux diseases, review the Reflux Remedy Report or visit for more information.


GERD Symptoms

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