Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms-Cause and treatment.

Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms-Cause and treatment.

Acid reflux disease symptoms

Acid reflux is the common term for gastro esophageal reflux disease or GERD, the condition of abnormal reflux that causes mucosal damages (damage to the esophageal lining). This disease can affect both adults and children or infants, but people with a high vulnerability are pregnant women, smokers and people who lie down and sleep directly after eating.

Acid reflux disease symptoms are as follows: heartburn is the main symptom, which is characterized by chest pain; inflammation in the esophageal lining; difficulty in swallowing; cough and hoarseness. These symptoms are felt by people with GERD after eating a fatty meal or drinking liquor, when bending and worse when the sufferer is a smoker.

Acid reflux causes

Acid reflux is primarily caused by the malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). Either by unnatural or weak muscle contractions of the LES or abnormal relaxation of the LES muscles which is called transient LES contractions. The LES being a ring of muscle that acts like a valve between the stomach and the esophagus. In other cases, it can also be brought about by the abnormal production of gastric acids. Also if there is insufficient supply of stomach acid, the valve in the lower stomach responsible for digested foods containing stomach acid entering the intestine does not open up. This allows stomach contents to either stay in the stomach or enter the esophagus. This irritates the esophagus lining and leads to inflammation, which is heartburn.

Some of the factors that can trigger acid reflux are Hiatus Hernia which stops the LES from closing properly, Zollinger-elison syndrome a rare disorder that causes tumors in the pancreas and duodenum and ulcers in the stomach and duodenum, Hypercalcemia a raised level of calcium in the blood, Scleroderma systemic sclerosis a rare, progressive connective tissue disorder involving thickening and hardening of the skin and connective tissue.

According to some beliefs, drinking alcohol, tea and coffee can lead to gastro esophageal reflux. But recent studies show that although individuals already affected by this disease can be aggravated by alcohol, tea and coffee, these elements do not cause the disease. Compared to smoking which amplifies the risks of getting the disease, alcohol, tea and coffee had the least impact. But this doesn’t mean that GERD infected people are free to take the beverages stated above. Doctors still suggest avoiding drinking of alcohol in order to avoid further aggravation.

Smoking is one of the chief culprits that cause acid reflux disease. Regular smokers for twenty years are 70% more susceptible to acid reflux disease than non-smokers. And acid reflux disease symptoms of those who already developed GERD are worsened day by day due to smoking.

One highlight of the research is eating large amounts of salt with our food are found to be equivalent to regular smoking in terms of the risk of developing GERD. It is not common knowledge that table salt can cause acid reflux disease but researchers found out in their studies that people who are heavy salt users have a 70% risk of contacting gastro- esophageal reflux disease. Gastroenterologists of New York University Medical Center attested this fact.

GERD Treatment

Gastro esophageal reflux disease can be self diagnosed. If you have heartburn or more that say twice a week or any other symptoms already mentioned it is advisable to seek medical advice and to have tests to enable the doctor to diagnose what possible treatment is required. The disease can be treated in a variety of ways. It can be alleviated by prescribed drugs such as antacids, by natural way such as change of diet, elevation of the torso and head when lying down, or the last option is surgery. And of course lifestyle changes like avoid smoking and drinking alcohol will help enormously.

Gastro esophageal reflux disease causes a lot of discomfort, so much so that it can ruin your lifestyle. To avoid its effects, precautionary measures should be considered at its onset. The quote that prevention is better than cure definitely apply when acid reflux disease symptoms strike here.