Commonly referred acid reflux, GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease is an uncomfortable condition where liquid from the stomach backs up or “refluxes” into the esophagus causing inflammation and damage to the esophagus lining. In some patients, this can range from mild and uncomfortable to a very serious problem. This refluxed liquid can cause pain and burning sensations.
It is important to note that acid reflux can develop into a chronic condition, with symptoms that are hard to manage once treatment is stopped. To avoid this happening some lifestyle changes are normally required.
Acid reflux can be harmful, but the body has a way of minimizing those affects. Usually, reflux occurs after eating and the refluxed liquid normally follows the path of gravity and goes back into the stomach. We also have a habit of swallowing throughout the day. This also carries the liquid back into our stomachs. You may not even realize that your saliva acts as a neutralizer for this acid.
Although acid reflux can affect almost anyone, there are instances where people are more likely to suffer from this problem. One of the best examples of this is during pregnancy. While many women experience “heartburn” or acid reflux during pregnancy, they often see a lessening of symptoms after delivery. The reason for the increased acid reflux problems during pregnancy can be explained the pressure a growing fetus puts on the stomach. In addition, elevated pregnancy hormones often work to relax the muscles in the esophagus, contributing to acid reflux.
Other causes of acid reflux include patients with various conditions that affect the muscles in the esophagus, as a side effect of some medications, being overweight, having too little acid produced in the stomach and eating spicy or fatty foods.
Although acid reflux is a painful problem, there are treatment options available.
There are both prescription remedies available as well as a variety of over the counter products that can help you to find relief from the pain and agitation of acid reflux. However, there is usually a time limit on how long you can take these medications for.
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