After you finish eating, do you ever get the feeling that your food is going to come back up? Then you know what I have to deal with on a daily basis. Acid reflux disease occurs when the valve at your stomach’s entrance doesn’t close all the way, or opens too often. When this happens, stomach acid can move up into your esophagus. This can cause heartburn. If you experience acid reflux symptoms more than twice a week, you have acid reflux disease, which is also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Acid Reflux: The Causes
I seem to notice acid reflux symptoms more often after eating a large, carbohydrate-filled meal. Certain other types of food can trigger these symptoms, as well: citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, spicy, and fatty foods. And certain beverages can trigger reflux, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, and tea. I can’t lay down or bend over after eating, and I can’t snack close to bedtime (which is unhealthy, anyway). Other triggers may be: smoking, pregnancy, obesity, and even certain medications.
Acid Reflux: The Symptoms
The worst symptoms, in my case, are heartburn, dysphagia (the sensation that food is stuck in your throat), and regurgitation. These symptoms have become so common that I hardly notice them anymore and often forget to take medicine for them. You may also notice symptoms of acid reflux, such as: bloating, burping, nausea, hiccups, and weight loss.
Acid Reflux: The Treatment
There are three forms of treatment for acid reflux disease: actacids, H-2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs). Antacids, such as Tums, neutralize stomach acids; this is the form of treatment I am currently using. H-2 receptor blockers do not work as quickly as antacids, but usually start working within the hour. They lessen the production of stomach acids and provide longer-lasting relief from acid reflux symptoms. Finally, PPIs control the production of stomach acid in order to allow time for the esophagus to heal. I took Prilosec OTC for a while, but they only seemed to mildly help.
Acid Reflux: Long-Term Effects
If left untreated, acid reflux disease can cause serious, long-term effects. You can get esophagitis, which is an inflammatory condition that affects the lining of the esophagus. If still left untreated, continued exposure of stomach acids to the esophagus lining will result in Barrett’s Esophagus, or Barrett’s Syndrome. Then there is esophageal cancer, one of the most serious long-term effects of Acid Reflux Disease. If the reflux is yet left untreated, the acid from the stomach can go into the sufferer’s lungs, causing respiratory problems. And finally, you can suffer from throat damage.
Source: What is Acid Reflux Disease? WebMD
Over the Counter Meds for Acid Reflux Disease: What’s the Difference?
Untreated Acid Reflux: What are the Serious, Long-Term Effects?
** Note : This author does not claim to be a medical professional. If you or someone you know is experiencing symptoms of acid reflux disease, please visit your doctor to discuss treatment.**