July 11, 2011

Acid Reflux Indigestion

Acid Reflux IndigestionChronic heartburn, or acid reflux disease, occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter opens spontaneously, or does not close properly after eating or drinking, and stomach contents rise into the esophagus. Stomach acids rise along with the contents of your stomach which causes a burning sensation in the chest or throat. If you have heartburn that occurs more than twice a week or lasts for a period longer than two weeks, your doctor may diagnose you with persistent acid reflux disease.

Indigestion, or heartburn or acid reflux, causes a burning pain in the lower chest, right under and/or behind the sternum and in the middle of your abdomen. Sufferers may also find that they have a burning sensation in the back of their throat or have bouts of frequent belching. Symptoms are frequently worse at night when lying on your back because they head is in line with, or lower than, the stomach.

It?s unclear why some people suffer from acid reflux while others do not, however, there are several contributing factors that are known: obesity, pregnancy, smoking, eating just prior to bed and/or a lack of exercise. There are also foods that are known to trigger indigestion: acidic foods, spicy foods, tomato and tomato based foods, citrus fruits, chocolate, fried foods, garlic, onions, mint flavoring and any drinks with caffeine or alcohol.

Acid reflux disease can be controlled at home, many times without medication. By making a few lifestyle changes, you can prevent, or at least inhibit, your indigestion.

  • Quit smoking
  • Avoid foods and beverages that you know you are sensitive to
  • If you are overweight, lose weight
  • If you are sedentary, start exercising
  • Eat smaller meals more frequently rather than larger meals less often
  • Don’t wear clothes that fit tight around your waste or your abdomen
  • Avoid eating at least three hours prior to bed
  • Raise the head of your bed or prop yourself with pillows when you sleep

While indigestion, in itself, is not necessarily a serious condition, it can lead to serious conditions if ignored or left untreated. Complications that can occur with unresolved acid reflux include: ulcers, bleeding in the stomach lining, scarring of the esophagus, esophageal cancer. Acid reflux may also complicate conditions such as asthma and pulmonary fibrosis.

If you suspect your indigestion is more than just the occasional heartburn, the first step is to begin keeping a lifestyle journal. Write down the things you eat and drink, the times you consume them, when you sleep and when (or if) you smoke or consume alcohol. Also write down any time that you experience heartburn. After 2 to 4 weeks, go back over your journal and look for any patterns that you can see. By avoiding the foods, drinks and activities that cause your heartburn and changing your lifestyle, you may be able to rid yourself of acid reflux all together.

For more information on acid reflux and natural remedies, please download the Reflux Remedy Report at refluxremedy.com today!

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