When you experience a burning sensation in your chest or just a uncomfortable sensation of acid from your stomach creeping up your mouth, then you may be experiencing acid reflux. This usually affects at least 40% of the American population. When this incident happens during the night, then you will wake up gasping for air for the acid has already reached your airway. These are common symptoms that affect a lot of people on a daily basis. Many people are not aware why they experience these symptoms. Here are some possible causes for your discomfort and maybe you could prevent further incidents of reflux.
List down the food that you eat. Reflux of acid is usually caused by a variety of foods. it could range from citrus fruits, sour cream, juices, high fat desserts, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Two of the most infamous causes are peppermint and chocolate. The esophageal sphincter is relaxed when these foods are ingested so there is no closure of the passageway from the espohagus to the stomach leading to the reflux of food up in the digestive tract. When the esophageal sphincter, relaxes the result is a reflux.
Determine from the person that sleep beside you or have seen you sleep if you snore during the night. Snoring could be an indication that you are suffering from sleep apnea. This is one major cause of reflux. Snoring restricts the passage of air causing you to increase effort at breathing. This will result in the lungs expanding causing the esophagus to be filled more with acid. This concentrates the acid. While sleeping, the body also stops producing saliva that helps in keeping the action of acid to the mucous membranes at bay. With a decrease in saliva production and increase in acid concentration, the effect could be damaging.
Too much abdominal pressure is also one of the major causes of reflux. This could be achieved in many ways. Eating a large meal before going to bed is one way. Wearing tight clothes is also another way to increase abdominal pressure. Fluids usually go from an area of high pressure to low pressure. In this case, the stomach has higher pressure leading the acid to go to the chest with lower pressure. This can be force up reaching the level of the esophagus.
Another cause of acid reflux is the presence of a hiatal hernia. This is where a portion of the stomach is present in the chest cavity. The contents of the stomach may spill to the chest area. Further test will be needed to diagnose this condition. Seeing your physician and opening to him about your problem will be of great help. He can help trace your medical history if indeed you possess this condition.
Acid reflux disease is a condition which is common to elder people, overweight, and those with unhealthy and stressful lifestyle. The symptoms of acid reflux disease at first serves as warning signs, but later on it aggravates to its severe form and would need intensive intervention.
Gastroesophageal Regurgitation Disease (GERD) is the severe form of acid reflux disorder, and this is manifested by heart burn, which can be felt due to the acid that comes back to the esophagus from the stomach. There are certain reasons why this is happening and one of this is the weakening of the esophageal sphincter muscle which can later on lead to esophageal cancer.
Common symptoms experienced by people suffering from GERD are:
- chest or stomach discomfort which can be described as a burning sensation.
- dyspepsia which happens after eating, bending down, or lying down flat.
- chest and stomach pain after consuming a large heavy meal or foods that are high in fat content and beverages with alcohol content.
- burping, this is known as a hallmark sign of acid reflux. There are also nausea and feeling of being bloat in the stomach.
- coughing, difficulty of breathing and swallowing can also appear on worst cases.
There are other serious symptoms of acid reflux disease
which the person needs to seek immediate medical assistance. Severe GERD can lead to stricture of esophagus that results to difficulty in swallowing and spasm which can actually impede the breathing pattern. Continues regurgitation in the throat or mouth of beverages and food can be a sign of a dangerous stage of acid reflux. This can actually develop distaste to food, eroding enamel, and bad breath if left untreated. It can eventually lead to permanent digestive damage which later on develops to cancer.
Gastroesophageal Regurgitation Disease is a serious case that needs proper treatment. Although the less serious form of acid reflux disease would only require lifestyle and dietary modification, it is necessary to keep an eye on the symptoms and follow the regimen religiously. The symptoms may be simple at first but it can be a start of something worse. Once you feel the burning sensation which is known as heartburn, you need to consult your doctor immediately so that further test may be done and proper treatment may be given.
There are some diseases that have similar symptoms to GERD, this is one reason why to seek medical advice is necessary. Symptoms of acid reflux disease may be different from one person to another. The important thing is to be aware of these symptoms and act on its early stage. Do not wait until you have come to the point of no cure, and the sufferings are terrible enough to be relieved by any medications.