Acid reflux is the result of improper digestion and the misalignment between the upper portions of the body with that of the stomach. The esophagus or the food pipe contains a valve that closes as soon as you complete the intake of the food. Once closed, the body releases several chemicals into the stomach to burn the food, which in other words is the digestion process. As there is a misalignment, partial opening of the valve connecting the esophagus and the lower stomach takes place, which is allowing the acids to travel in a backward direction towards the throat.
What Happens When You Have Acid Reflux?
If you are suffering from acid reflux, the first thing that you will be noticing is the sensation where these acids create a burning in the food pipe. You can also feel heart burning sensation, and in a few cases, these acids come out in sour, bitter liquid until it reaches the throat or the mouth. Other indications include bloating of the stomach, nausea, stomach upset, and feeling fullness all the time.
As you have understood the occurrence of acid reflux, it is essentially necessary to possess knowledge on what happens when the situation worsens. Apart from causing a burning sensation and other symptoms as explained above, neglecting acid reflux could cause damage to the esophagus. It can moreover lead to the development of cancer causing cells that overall damage the food pipe.
What Causes Acid Reflux in the First Place?
Acid reflux is caused due to the abnormality often referred to as a hiatal hernia. As explained above, the misalignment is the cause of the occurrence in the first place. Other reasons include:
- Consuming excessive food
- Being obese
- Lying down immediately after consuming a heavy meal
- Eating snacks before bedtime
- An increase in intake of spicy foods, chocolates, coffee, mint, onions, and fatty foods
- Drinking carbonated beverages, refreshing drinks, and alcohol
- Using excessive painkillers.
How to Treat Acid Reflux?
Commonly, antacids are the easiest and quickest methods to cure acid reflux. However, if you happen to notice acid reflux occurrence more than twice in a week with no effect of the medicines, then it is time to see a doctor. Apart from choosing an appropriate treatment procedure, it is essential to make changes to the lifestyle. Only then, it is possible to keep the illness from appearing again or create severe troubles in the future. If the physician is unable to diagnose the accuracy of the disease, they choose to carry out Barium swallow, pH monitoring, and Endoscopy tests.
How to Prevent Acid Reflux?
The best way to keep away from developing acid reflux is through lifestyle changes and food habits. The following steps will be of immense help:
- Eating six meals a day with reduces portions than three heavy meals
- Quitting smoking and drinking alcohol is the best way to prevent acid reflux
- Keeping away from cool drinks and aerated drinks
- Eating the dinner at least three hours before the bedtime
- Using pillows as a rest to raise the hip for about 6 inches so that the acid does not travel back into the esophagus
- Exercising helps in reducing obesity, which is another reason for occurrence of acid reflux
- Consulting the doctor is preferable if you are under treatment to know whether certain medicines are causing the acid reflux as a side effect.
- Sorting out everything, one at a time, will be helpful in preventing the occurrence of acid reflux and promote good health.