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What is Acid Reflux?from: Maxx Family Life
Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is the medical term for "Acid Reflux" and it's the result of abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus thus causing a mucosal damage, also known as the chronic symptom.
GERD is most common in adults primarily, however infants and children can be affected. Most people suffer from acid reflux from time to time usually from eating certain foods, pregnancy, or sleeping immediately after eating a heavy meal.
Heartburn or acid indigestion are also terms that refer to acid reflux. Heartburn, the major symptom of Acid Reflux in the esophagus, is causes a burning uneasiness at the back of the sternum.
Some of the symptoms are coughing, voice transformation, hoarseness, constant ear ache or sinusitis. Complications brought on by acid reflux could lead to esophageal ulcers or worse, esophageal cancer.
On the other hand, constant heartburn doesn't necessarily mean you already have GERD. The risk occurs when heartburn occurs more than once a week, which could lead to GERD developing.
The typical cause of GERD is the increase in acidity or gastric acid production in the body, obesity, pregnancy or it can even be cause by tight-fitting clothing. Yeast infections are thought to be a cause of GERD-like symptoms as well.
It's ironic that GERD is the insufficient production of stomach acid in the body. The valve and hollow organ with a flap that insure the one-way course of fluid through the organ, once emptied triggers acidity in the intestines. If the valve fails to open, the contents of the stomach are blended into the esophagus which causes irritation.
There are already several treatments for GERD available, the easiest one to implement is of eating balanced and healthy meals. If a proper diet fails, there are medications or surgery depending on the recommendation of your doctor. Here is a brief list of several Acid Reflux treatments:
* Proper Diet: The natural way to cure Acid Reflux is through an adjustment in your eating habits. Many people affected by GERD are successful in eliminating it by following this method. Avoid foods that can intensify heart burn such as caffeine, soft drinks and smoking. Try to avoid eating about two hours before sleeping or just avoid lying down after taking meal. These are the main lifestyle changes that can reduce or eliminate the problem.
* Another simple way to treat GERD is to elevate the head of your bed. The pharmacologic therapy, the combination of prevention of food two hours before sleeping and the rise of the head of the bed, it's possible gain a 95% relief. The rise of the head of the bed is suggested to range for only 6 - 8 inches or 20 cm. This adjustment ensures the backflow of gastric fluids will be hampered.
* Surgical treatment: Nissen fundoplication, the standard surgical treatment for Acid Reflux, the medication process will only cover a short period of time. The function of this is to support the sphincter, a spherical bond of muscles that opens and closes to let the food or waste to pass, as well as stop Acid Reflux, and of course restore the hiatal hernia.
* Drug Treatment: Drugs reduce the secretion of the gastric acid, and famotidine and omeprazole reduce the secretion of gastric acid and the Antacids counteract the acid.
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