Heartburn is a condition in which the liquid content of the stomach backs up (refluxes) into the esophagus. The most common and persistent symptom of Heartburn is a burning sensation centered in the middle of the chest and/or throat, brought on by stomach acid that churns up onto the lining of the esophagus.
Acid Reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a condition which has many symptoms that are similar to heartburn. In many cases, people suffering from Acid Reflux typically suffer from persistent heartburn two or more days per week. In the long term, this can be very serious since, over time, the reflux of stomach acid can erode or wear away the delicate esophagus lining. This can then lead to scar tissue, which causes swallowing problems. GERD has also been linked to an increased risk of esophageal cancer. However, some people have Acid Reflux without heartburn. In such cases, symptoms include chest pain, wheezing, coarseness in the throat, breathing problems, a bitter taste in the mouth, dry coughing, and interrupted sleep, tightness in the throat, and halitosis or bad breath. Acid reflux can also lead to regurgitation of acid into the mouth, often due to overeating or bending down or going to bed right after a meal.
Causes of Acid Reflux
Just like other health conditions, there is not one specific cause of Acid Reflux and Heartburn. However, a malfunction of a band of muscle tissue called the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES) can ultimately lead to many of the problems and symptoms associated with Acid Reflux and Heartburn. The LES is a complex area of smooth muscles and various hormones, which is responsible for the opening and closing of the lower end of the esophagus when we eat and swallow. It normally keeps the stomach contents from regurgitating, but due to certain physical conditions it can weaken and lose its contraction control. If this happens, the LES fails to close up and cannot maintain the pressure barrier between stomach and esophagus. As a result, acid and pepsin from the stomach can back up and cause acidity and heartburn in the esophagus.
The most common causes of Acid Reflux and Heartburn include:
• some antidepressants and sedatives
• elevated hormone levels during pregnancy
• eating before going to bed
• eating large meals
• slower emptying of the stomach
• frequently eating greasy, fried, and fatty foods
• drinking lots of bubbly (carbonated) beverages such as soda
• diseases that weaken the esophageal muscle (such as scleroderma, mixed connective tissue disease, or hiatal hernias)
• First n foremost thing is changing eating habits
• Avoid heavy eating; in the sense eat in limit. Overeating will make food to come back.
• Stop eating sour, salted food…this is one of most dangerous item to trigger the symptoms.
• Don’t sleep immediately after meals. Keep a gap at least 2 to 3 hrs between your meal and going to bed.
• While sleeping sleep on right side so that there are less chances of getting stomach contents back into your esophagus.
• Improve your digestion. Eat at regular interval with perfect timing. Be regular in taking food.
• Junk food, fermented, bread, pizza, carbonated drinks, citrus fruits, also milk products like processed cheese, etc also worsens the symptoms.
• Try to give up the food containing preservatives, pickles, fried fish etc.
• Infusion of cumin , fennel, sweet grapes, pomegranate etc are good .
Be doctor of your Body...