November 12, 2010

Acid Reflux and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Acid reflux is a problem that plagues millions of people in the world today.? When it occurs frequently, like twice a week or more, it can be characterized as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD.

GERD happens when a muscle in the digestive system called the lower esophageal sphincter malfunctions for one reason or another.? When operating properly, the sphincter allows food to flow one direction ? into the stomach ? and keeps acid down where it belongs.? When it becomes too relaxed acid can get into the esophagus which causes pain and irritation for the sufferer.

Symptoms of GERD include heartburn ? characterized as a burning sensation in your throat or chest, difficulty swallowing, cough, regurgitation of food or sour liquid ? characterized as acid reflux, and the feeling of a lump in your chest or throat.? When these symptoms occur frequently, GERD is generally to blame.

Some people have been shown to be more susceptible to GERD than others.? Pregnant women often struggle with GERD as a result of extra pressure on the stomach.? Some people with Diabetes struggle with a disease that slows the digestion process, keeping food in their stomachs too long, which causes excess acid production and can lead to GERD.? Smokers also seem to have a higher occurrence of GERD, as do those who are overweight.

Symptoms of GERD can be resolved in a number of ways.? In extreme cases, surgical intervention is necessary.? It involves tightening the lower esophageal sphincter to prevent acid from escaping the stomach.? However, this is often a last resort, as there are many other options for alleviating GERD.

Medications are one option, though they may not be the best option either.? While they can help to target the specific cause of acid reflux by neutralizing acids or stopping acid production all together, they are an expensive and inconvenient solution that results in several trips to the doctor and pharmacy.? Additionally, over the counter medications are not meant to be taken for more than two weeks at a time.

For those searching for more natural solutions, there are many options out there.? Simple things like tracking what you eat, and avoiding foods that set you off is one way.? Certain foods such as caffeine, garlic, onions and citrus are common triggers among GERD sufferers.? Even changes in habits can help, like eating smaller meals more often.? This technique prevents an onslaught of food from entering your stomach, which then prevents pressure build up and overproduction of acid.? Also, GERD sufferers should avoid eating less than two hours before bed.? This helps gravity keep acid in your stomach where it belongs.

There are a host of natural foods that may help relieve symptoms of acid reflux for GERD sufferers as well.? Just eating an apple can help absorb extra acid.? Drinking a glass of water can help flush acid through the digestive system faster.? Ginger, a well known herbal cure for all kinds of stomach ailments, can also help neutralize stomach acid.

For more information on GERD and relieving its symptoms naturally, please check out The Reflux Remedy Report at today!

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