What is Acid Reflux?

06 August, 2020 Gehna Kapoor

In the process of digestion, the various organs like the liver, pancreas secrete digestive juices that help in the breakdown of various components of the food. In these digestive juices, there are also acids like hydrochloric acid that breakdown proteins.

These juices are separated from the esophagus and kept in the stomach by a muscle called lower esophageal sphincter. In normal circumstances, the sphincter closes as soon as we finish eating. Whereas, sometimes, due to various factors, the sphincter does not close properly and the digestive juices move up in the esophagus. This is called acid reflux. In light of the above, the current article intends to discuss some of the causes of acid reflux, symptoms, and treatment that can be provided to ease the pain caused by it.

Causes of Acid Reflux

The condition which causes the sphincter to malfunction is called hiatal hernia. If a person has hiatal hernia, then the acids can move up into the esophagus and cause pain. The following are some of the causes and factors that determine whether a person has acid reflux or not.

1.      Diet and Lifestyle: Having large and heavy meals followed by lying down immediately afterward.

2.      Weight: Being overweight or obese can cause acid reflux more often.

3.      Eating meals or snacking right before bedtime.

4.      Eating certain foods like tomato, citrus, fatty foods, etc.

5.      Eating very spicy food especially if you are not used to eating spicy food.

6.      Drinking certain beverages like aerated drinks, coffee, tea, etc.

7.      Smoking

8.      Pregnancy

9.      Consuming certain medicines related to muscles relaxation and blood pressure.

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

One of the most common symptoms of acid reflux is heartburn. Heartburn refers to burning pain that one feels in the chest and throat during acid reflex. This is often accompanied by a bitter or sour taste in the mouth and back of the throat due to the acids of the stomach. In addition to that, the following are also some symptoms of acid reflux but they vary from person to person.

1.      Feeling bloated.

2.      Passing bloody stools.

3.      Blood in vomit.

4.      Burping.

5.      Feeling that food is stuck at the back of the throat.

6.      Persistent sore throat.

7.      Feeling nauseated.

Treating Heartburn and Acid Reflux

In many cases, a few lifestyle and dietary changes are enough to prevent acid reflux but patients can opt for antacids to ease the burning pain sensation. Antacids neutralize the acid and ease the pain. One should consume antacids in moderation as too much of antacids can cause diarrhea or constipation depending upon how the body reacts to it. You can easily obtain the best antacid for yourself through 3MEDS, the best online pharmacy in India.

In case the antacids do not work, the doctor may suggest prescription medicines according to your conditions. In some cases, the doctor may perform some tests like pH monitoring, endoscopy or a biopsy to check for ulcers or other causes of heartburn.

How to Prevent Acid Reflux?

To prevent the frequent bouts of acid reflux one only has to make a few changes in their lifestyle. This section of the article lists some of the changes that can help the patient.

1. Instead of having one big meal, the person should break it down into many smaller meals.

2. Avoid foods that trigger an acid reflex in their bodies. This varies from person to person. Some of the common triggers are fatty and fried            food, tomatoes, and citrus.

3. Avoid eating spicy food especially if you are not used to high levels of spice.

4. Avoid wear very tight clothes and tie your belt loosely.

5. Quit smoking if you smoke.

6. Eat at least 3 hours before your bedtime.

7. If you are obese, try to exercise to lose weight.

Conclusion: 

Typically, acid reflux is not a life-threatening condition and can be prevented easily at home by making changes to lifestyle and diet. In cases when a person is already suffering from acid reflux, they can consume an antacid to subdue the burning sensation in the chest. If neither of those work, then it is best to talk to your doctor and check for ulcers in your esophagus.

The doctor can then prescribe medicines specifically for your case to help you with your condition. You can easily obtain the medicines on 3MEDS, the best medicine app in India.