March 3, 2011

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a disease that is caused by an irregularly functioning lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The LES serves as a gateway for foods that have been chewed and swallowed into the stomach. Ideally, the LES closes after food passes through to the stomach. If the LES malfunctions and does not close completely or at all, this allows stomach acids to enter into the esophagus, causing acid reflux. Acid reflux affects many people and can be caused by several things. If you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice in one week, you may have contracted acid reflux disease or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Signs and Symptoms

  • Heartburn is the leading symptom of acid reflux and is also referred to as acid indigestion. If you feel a burning sensation in the chest, abdomen or throat, this could be a sign of heartburn. Heartburn can trigger chest pain as well.
  • Dysphagia is characterized as a symptom of acid reflux. It creates the feeling of food being trapped in the throat or neck. Trouble swallowing is a signature effect of dysphagia and prevents people from enjoying meals normally.
  • Bloating causes the abdomen to feel uncomfortably full. Painful bloating is associated with chest pains and hiccups. Stomach bloating that is a result of acid reflux will not subside until the food has been completely digested.
  • Nausea involuntarily prompts you to vomit or burp. A sign of acid reflux, nausea makes you feel discomfort in the stomach, and throat. This feeling can cause stress, especially when driving or walking.
  • Regurgitating food is a dangerous symptom of acid reflux. Food that has passed through the esophagus and is now imbued with stomach acid has the opportunity to damage the esophagus when refluxed. Food and acid that has been regurgitated causes a burning sensation.
  • Chest Pain can be severe and uncomfortable. Chest pain can cause difficulty breathing. Be careful not to assume that chest pain is related to acid reflux and not a heart attack.
  • Excessive Burping is an effect of acid reflux. Belching and burping usually brings up the wet gastric acid from the stomach. Burping up acid can cause bad breath.


Causes and Treatment

Acid reflux may be caused by other health conditions. Hiatal hernias, pregnancy, obesity and diabetes can ignite symptoms. People that have respiratory diseases are more likely to be affected by acid reflux.

Eating heavy meals right before you go to sleep, lying down after a meal and not lifting heavy objects are preventative measures. Lifestyle modification can go a long way in treating acid reflux. Preventative measures can be taken to reduce your chances of suffering from the symptoms of acid reflux and can ward off GERD. Adjusting your diet and habits are also beneficial. Diets that are low in fat are excellent for decreasing the frequency of symptoms.

For more information on the symptoms of acid reflux and possible treatment options, visit today and find out more.

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