Sunday, September 26, 2010

The Causes of Acid Reflux

The Causes of Acid Reflux

Acid reflux is a problem that plagues many Americans, causing them pain and discomfort. Commonly referred to as GERD, acid reflux is the term used to describe gastroesophageal reflux disorder. An uncomfortable and often painful condition where a person’s stomach liquid backs up or “refluxes” into his esophagus, acid reflux is the cause for pain, agitation, and discomfort in many Americans.

Although many people recognize that they suffer from this chronic condition, some people don’t really take time to consider where the problem stems from. Perhaps you have already found an over-the-counter drug, a prescription medication, or even a natural remedy to ease your discomfort. The bottom line is that not everyone who suffers from this disorder is aware of the causes. One of the most common causes of acid reflux is abnormal levels of acid. It is important to know that everyone has reflux. It is common and normal. However, in patients with acid reflux, the reflux has a higher acidic content, making it painful and burning as it affects the lining of the esophagus.

Another cause for acid reflux is a weakening of LES pressure or lower esophageal sphincter pressure. This is especially common in pregnant women. Combine that with the fact that the growing baby is putting new pressure on the woman’s abdomen, and it is not difficult to see why acid reflux is so common in pregnancy.

In some cases, acid reflux is caused by esophageal contractions. These contractions can actually cause reflux to back up into the esophagus. This causes pain, discomfort, and irritation for patients. Although this isn’t something that can be magically cured, there are things your doctor can recommend to help you cope with the symptoms.

Another reason many people battle acid reflux is because of hiatal hernias. Hernias occur when the top part of your stomach juts through an opening in your diaphragm, lodging itself up into your chest. This can cause acid reflux in patients. Since the LES (the muscle connecting the esophagus with your stomach) usually keeps your stomach liquids from backing up into your esophagus, it is logical that the weakening of the LES caused by a hiatal hernia can contribute to acid reflux.

Another cause for acid reflux can be the speed at which your body empties your stomach. If this is not done at a normal rate, the result can be acid reflux. There have been a variety of tests and research compiled on this topic, with some interesting information revealed. Medications you are taking could actually contribute to your acid reflux.

Although there are various causes for acid reflux, the good news is that there are also various modes of treatment. You do not have to silently suffer with the uncomfortable, burning sensation that accompanies this chronic disorder. As in the case of any disorder, it is important to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. After doing so, you might want to do a bit of exploring on your own to find natural remedies that can help you tame your acid reflux symptoms.

For more information about Acid Reflux and the natural treatments available take a look at Stop Acid Reflux Now .

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Symptoms of GERD/Acid Reflux

Acid reflux or GERD is a problem that many people face on a daily basis. Although everyone has reflux, a patient with acid reflux actually experiences a burning, painful sensation as the stomach liquids back up into the esophagus. This can be an uncomfortable and even serious medical problem.

In most cases, the symptoms of acid reflux are painful and uncomfortable but not seriously damaging to a person’s health. These types of symptoms are referred to as “uncomplicated” acid reflux. The three most common symptoms are nausea, regurgitation, and heartburn.

Patients with acid reflux often report suffering from nausea. In fact, nausea as a result of acid reflux is so common that when a patient experiences nausea with no apparent cause, a doctor usually suspects acid reflux as the culprit.

Equally as common as nausea occurring from acid reflux is regurgitation. Regurgitation occurs when refluxed liquid actually backs up into the mouth. Sometimes, this liquid can contain food. When a patient regurgitates, they often experience a burning sensation as refluxed liquid and food bypass the UES (upper esophageal sphincter) and make their way into the mouth. This burning is often accompanied by an awful, acidic taste. If a patient continues to experience regurgitation, it can actually cause damage to their teeth as the acidic substance erodes the enamel that encases each tooth.

Probably the most common reported complaint of acid reflux patients is the presence of heartburn. This is usually characterized as a searing pain in the chest. It can either begin in your upper abdomen or actually travel up to your neck. For some patients, this can be a cause for alarm. In fact, many people have mistaken painful acid reflux for a heart attack. Heartburn is especially prevalent after eating meals. Although heartburn usually goes away, the bad news is that it is usually a lifelong problem that will eventually return.

Although most forms of acid reflux do not pose serious health risks, there are complications that can occur from acid reflux. One of the most common complications comes in the form of ulcers. If the liquid from the stomach that refluxes, damages the lining of the esophagus, inflammation can occur. If the damage is deep enough, an ulcer can actually form. Scar tissue can form a “stricture” which can cause food to get lodged or stuck in the esophagus.

Another complication that can arise from acid reflux is Barrett’s Esophagus. If a person has severe acid reflux, this causes changes to the cells that surround and line the esophagus. These can turn pre-cancerous and even evolve into cancer cells.
There are many other complications that sometimes occur as a result of acid reflux. Asthma and coughs can be intensified or sparked by acid reflux. The same is true of inflammation of the throat, larynx, or lungs. A patient can also experience fluid in his sinuses or middle ears.

Although the complications associated with acid reflux are rare, it is important to keep in mind that acid reflux is a condition that should be treated by your doctor. There are also a variety of effective home remedies for acid reflux. If properly handled, it is a highly treatable condition. If left unattended, you risk the possibility of causing irreparable damage to your body.

Take a look at Here for acid reflux information and relief.