Treatment of Acid Reflux
Acid reflux can be treated through several procedures. Fundoplication is one of the most common surgical procedures performed to treat gastroesophageal reflux. This procedure involves wrapping the upper part of the stomach around the lower part of the esophagus. The goal of this surgery is to restore the natural antireflux barrier of the esophagus. It is extremely effective at preventing acid reflux and provides long-term relief from symptoms.
Causes of acid reflux
Acid reflux is a painful and uncomfortable condition that occurs when stomach acids travel up into the esophagus. This causes a burning sensation in the chest, which can also be accompanied by nausea and burping. The condition is often chronic and is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is caused by a malfunction in the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. This valve helps to keep food in the stomach and prevents acid from flowing up into the esophagus.
Aside from causing heartburn, acid reflux is also accompanied by other symptoms, including regurgitation, which is the feeling of something coming back up from the stomach. People with GERD may also experience a dry cough or bad breath. In addition, they may have difficulty swallowing. If the symptoms last for a long time or get worse, they should visit a doctor for further evaluation.
There are several causes of acid reflux. The most common causes are food allergies, obesity, and genetics. People with GERD may experience frequent bouts of acid reflux, which can significantly impact their quality of life. The good news is that there is a way to treat GERD and manage the symptoms.
Treatment for GERD typically involves lifestyle changes and medications. However, if the symptoms persist, surgery may be required. A gastroenterologist can determine what is causing the acid reflux and determine the appropriate treatment options. While there are no permanent cures for GERD, lifestyle changes and a healthy weight can help prevent symptoms and minimize their frequency.
Stress can also lead to GERD and worsen the condition. Researchers speculate that people who are anxious may produce more stomach acid, which can result in worse heartburn symptoms. A study published in 2013 suggests a connection between anxiety and GERD. Stress may also trigger a person to engage in behaviors that lead to heartburn and eat unhealthy foods.
A doctor may recommend upper endoscopy tests to diagnose the problem and determine the underlying cause. This procedure is done by passing a lighted, flexible tube into the esophagus. During the procedure, the doctor may take a biopsy of the esophagus. This test can reveal the presence of stomach acid and other conditions.
There are a number of home remedies for acid reflux that can be helpful in relieving the discomfort and burning associated with a reflux flare-up. However, they should not be used as a substitute for medical treatment, but rather, should be used in conjunction with it. According to gastroenterologists at the University of Maryland, prolonged acid reflux can lead to esophageal cancer. It can also cause scarring and narrowing of the esophagus. Furthermore, chronic acid reflux can lead to other problems, including asthma and breathing difficulties. Therefore, it’s important to find a cure for GERD, but you can try some home remedies first to ensure that you are not suffering from severe acid reflux.
Apples are a good natural remedy for acid reflux. Their anti-inflammatory and digestive properties help alleviate the symptoms. They can be added to tea or brewed in water for a refreshing drink. Basil leaves also relieve the symptoms of acidity and soothe the stomach lining. Chewing a few leaves of basil daily can be effective.
Changing your sleeping position can also help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux. Try sleeping on your side rather than on your back. This position increases the amount of time your body needs to digest your food, thus reducing the risk of acid reflux. To get the best results, try sleeping on your left side for at least three hours after your last meal. If you are unable to wait that long, you can use an OTC medication to soothe the symptoms and sleep well.
If these remedies do not work, you can consult a doctor. Acid reflux can be caused by different factors, including medications and certain types of foods. In most cases, it’s a temporary condition that you can treat by altering your diet. If you experience the symptoms repeatedly, you should see a doctor.
If you want to eliminate your symptoms, you should identify the triggers that cause your acid reflux. Try to avoid those triggers whenever possible. You can also try staying upright after meals. Another good way to relieve acid reflux is to sleep on a wedge or pillow. However, it’s always best to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms to rule out other causes. Your provider can also recommend other treatments that may help.
Prevention of acid reflux
Prevention of acid reflux can be accomplished through a variety of lifestyle changes. For example, patients suffering from acid reflux are advised to lose weight to reduce pressure on the diaphragm and LES muscles. Another effective preventative measure is to avoid smoking and alcoholic beverages. These substances can irritate the lining of the esophagus and cause acid reflux.
Inflammation of the esophagus is one of the most common symptoms of GERD. It can also lead to more serious complications, including Barrett’s esophagus and esophagitis. Acid reflux is usually caused by a high-acid diet, but it can also occur from certain food allergies. For the best prevention, consider eliminating or limiting these foods from your diet.
To prevent acid reflux, eat foods that are high in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory substances. Eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. Green leafy vegetables help neutralize acid in the stomach. Ginger is also a natural anti-inflammatory, and oatmeal and whole grain breads and rice absorb acid. Low-fat meat and non-citrus fruits can also help. Healthy fats are also important.
Eating smaller meals can also reduce acid reflux. Avoid consuming large meals, which can put pressure on the LES. Avoid lying down after eating, as this can cause acid to flow back up. Elevating the head of the bed can also help reduce the symptoms. It is also recommended that people not exercise for two hours after eating, as vigorous exercise may cause acid to be refluxed up into the esophagus.
Another prevention strategy involves learning to breathe in a more relaxed manner, a technique known as diaphragmatic breathing. These techniques help people relax and increase their vagal tone. Learning to breathe in this manner may also reduce the likelihood of experiencing acid reflux symptoms. Practicing slow diaphragmatic breathing can also reduce stress reactions.
In addition to home remedies, there are a variety of medications that can be prescribed by a healthcare provider. Surgical procedures are also available to correct acid reflux. Patients with GERD should consult a physician for a proper diagnosis.
When to consult a doctor
If you’re experiencing persistent GERD symptoms, such as heartburn and indigestion, you should see a health care provider for treatment. Although you can often get relief from lifestyle changes and over-the-counter antacids, a doctor will be able to diagnose your condition and recommend an appropriate treatment plan. A doctor can also perform a physical examination and order certain tests, such as an upper endoscopy.
Your symptoms can vary, but in general, you can expect heartburn and regurgitation as the most common symptoms of acid reflux disease. Heartburn is a burning sensation behind your breast bone that occurs when stomach contents irritate the esophageal lining. Acid regurgitation is the sensation of stomach fluid coming back up through the chest and sometimes into the mouth. You may also experience less common symptoms, such as unexplained chest pain or wheezing. Other common symptoms of acid reflux include coughing and sore throat.
While heartburn is a natural occurrence for everyone, frequent, or persistent occurrences of it may indicate a more serious condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In this case, the lower esophageal sphincter is not functioning properly, allowing stomach acid to travel backward into the esophagus, leading to symptoms such as a sore throat or coughing.
Your primary care doctor will be able to diagnose your acid reflux during a routine physical exam. However, you should seek treatment for reoccurring heartburn if the symptoms do not go away. If left untreated, acid reflux can lead to other serious conditions, such as Barrett’s esophagus, ulcers, and esophageal bleeding. Treatment options include lifestyle changes and medications. In most cases, surgery is not necessary to correct acid reflux. However, it is recommended that you stop smoking as well as other risk factors.
Lifestyle changes can also help you avoid certain foods that can trigger acid reflux. For example, avoid eating spicy foods, chocolate, mint, onions, and garlic. You should also eat smaller meals more often. Also, avoiding smoking and lying down for a few hours after eating can help.