WASHINGTON, September 28, 2016 – Acid reflux is a relatively common issue among many people. It ranges from an occasional irritation to a chronic problem.
Acid reflux often results in a burning sensation that moves up the esophagus, lodging behind the breastbone and frequently moving up into the throat. This highly uncomfortable sensation occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to close properly, allowing stomach acid to escape from the stomach up into the esophagus where it doesn’t belong.
Subsequently, the acid escaping from the stomach irritates the lining of the esophagus and causes it to swell. This can lead to painful swallowing and inflammation of the esophagus.
Fortunately, there are numerous treatment options and lifestyle changes to help prevent this problem.
The Dangers of Untreated Acid Reflux Disease
Heartburn may seem like a commonly occurring minor health issue. But left untreated, it can cause serious side effects and complications, and can lead to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, more commonly known as Adid Reflux Disease, a chronic digestive disorder that can lead to serious complications if left untreated. Consequences can range from esophageal cancer to minor issues like dental abrasions.
Acid Reflux Causes
There are several factors that may contribute to acid reflux including stomach abnormalities, pregnancy, smoking, the eating of certain foods, weight, or medications. The exact cause for an individual acid reflux case is best diagnosed by a physician. Discussing acid reflux issues with a doctor and learning the likely causes behind the symptoms will help make treatment easier and more effective. Whether it’s a more complicated fix such as a stomach abnormality that must be repaired, or an easier solution such as eliminating carbonated beverages from the diet, a physician will generally have the answers to help alleviate the symptoms.
Treatment options vary depending on the cause of acid reflux. Treatment options for more moderate symptoms may as simple as an over-the-counter antacid to help calm the symptoms ofheartburn. For others suffering a more severe case or those with a more serious underlying cause for their symptoms, the treatment may be more extensive.
Prescription medications or even surgery may be needed to treat severe cases. Anti-reflux surgery is an option for those concerned with the dangerous complications associated with untreated acid reflux. There are many different surgical options available with the potential to permanently relieve serious acid reflux complications.
Lifestyle change may help relieve acid reflux, regardless of its severity. One small lifestyle change is to simply let gravity work for you. If you avoid lying down within 3 hours of eating, this can help stave off the symptoms of heartburn. Limiting or eliminating foods that may aggravate acid reflux such as carbonated beverages, onions, chocolate, or fatty foods can often help. Since obesity is another contributing factor, a healthier lifestyle, including exercise and weight loss is yet another way to help reduce the severity of symptoms.
Medication and surgery don’t have to be your first choices in combating acid reflux. There are many natural remedies you can try to help alleviate those uncomfortable symptoms. Using a vertical pillow to keep your body upright can help combat the the discomfort of acid reflux.
Other natural remedies include consuming apple cider vinegar, chamomile, licorice, marshmallows, or slippery elm. These natural remedies may work to neutralize escaping stomach acid or even keep it from entering the esophagus. Discussing various remedies with a physician is the best course of action in deciding what treatment is best for you.
Heartburn can happen to anyone regardless of diet, age, or weight. But it’s helpful for those suffering from acid reflux to grasp the physical realities of the problem and its potential treatments.
It is important to understand the dangers associated with untreated acid reflux as well as its causes and treatment options, the lifestyle changes that can help reduce symptoms, and the natural remedies that are also available.
In short, acid reflux and acid reflux disease has many different causes, levels of severity and treatments. But there’s no cause to suffer needlessly. There are many options for relief.