Magnifying Acid Reflux
Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), the medical term for “Acid Reflux” is defined as the product of abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus thus, creating a mucosal damage, likewise known as the chronic symptom. This disease strikes adult primarily, while infants and children can also be affected. Normally spurred by eating certain foods, if not pregnancy, or taking a sleep right after eating a heavy meal, a large number of persons suffer from acid reflux at one time or another.
Heartburn or acid indigestion is another name that refers to acid reflux. Heartburn, the major symptom of Acid Reflux in the esophagus, is described to cause a burning uneasiness at the back of the sternum. The symptoms may come as coughing, voice transformation, hoarseness, constant ear ache, or sinusitis. The complications brought upon by acid reflux may lead to esophageal ulcers or worse this can lead to esophageal cancer. However, constant heartburn sensations do not necessarily mean that one has captured GERD already. The risk occurs when heartburn happened more than once a week, this occasion could possibly lead in developing GERD.
The usual cause of GERD is the increase in acidity or gastric acid production in the body, obesity, pregnancy, or tight-fitting apparels, these all can add to the problem. The yeast infections are also thought to be one of the causes of GERD-like symptoms. An added ironical cause of the GERD is the insufficient production of stomach acid in the body. The explanation says that the valve, the 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 will be blended into the esophagus, and then irritation occurs.
Meanwhile, there are already several treatments for GERD today, one of which is the balance and healthy eating habits. Now if proper diet fails to work, one can shift to medication therapy or surgery as suggested by the doctors. Below are the lists of several selections of Acid Reflux treatment:
• Proper Diet: the natural way to cure Acid Reflux is through change in their eating habits. A good number of people affected by GERD found success in following this method. Avoid the food ingredients which can intensify heart burn such as caffeine, soft drinks, and smoking. Avoid eating two hours before sleeping; likewise, avoid lying down after taking meal. These are the regular suggested change in lifestyle.
• Another easy way to treat GERD is to elevate the head of the bed. The pharmacologic therapy, the combination of prevention of food two hours before sleeping and the rise of the head of the bed, there is a great chance for a patient to gain a 95 percent relief. The rise of the head of the bed is suggested to range for only 6 to 8 inches or 20 cm. Using this method the backflow of gastric fluids will be hampered.
• Drug Treatment: Drugs reduce the secretion of the gastric acid, for instance and famotidine and omeprazole lessen the secretion of gastric acid and the Antacids counteract the acid.
• Surgical treatment: the 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.
Keeping Pregnant Women Away From Acid Reflux Dilemma
Many women tend to experience heartburn symptoms when they are still carrying their babies, and this happens for several reasons. One of these is the increase of hormones in the women’s body while they are pregnant. The occurrence of this will result in softening the ligaments which function is to keep the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) firmly closed. When the LES rests at unsuitable periods, tendency is, this will let the gastric acid and food to reflux back to the esophagus and throat. One more reason of experiencing heartburn during pregnancy is because the changes in the body and the development of the baby creates more pressure in the women’s stomach. Therefore, the stomach contents are forced right into the LES, and then to the esophagus.
However, there are several methods that a pregnant woman can observe to lessen the discomfort brought by heartburn. The following are good advices, although this may not remove the heartburn totally:
• Avoid the food that triggers heartburn. Examples of this are chocolates, spicy foods, citrus fruits and juices, mustard, tomatoes and tomato based products, fatty foods, fried foods, and highly seasoned dishes. Try to refer to medical specialists to know the complete list of foods to avoid Acid Reflux. Also, for foods that you may take which contains little danger of causing heartburn.
• Get rid of drinks that have caffeine, like tea, coffee, and soda. Too much of these will cause the LES to relax and let the acid to return into the esophagus.
• Stay away from alcohol beverages. This, like caffeine tends to relax the LES thus, creating the same effect—triggering heartburn.
• Avoid eating large meals. It is suggested that taking numerous small meals throughout the day will be better.
• Avoid rush in eating your meals. Chewing food thoroughly will really help in avoidance of heartburn, so better take your time in eating.
• Rest for at least three hours after having your last meal before taking your sleep.
• A pregnant woman is advised to take more glasses of water a day, at least 8 to 10 glasses, though this must be taken not just during meals. Through this, the stomach will expand, and then the LES will be given more pressure, obliging it to open inappropriately. Hence, it is really recommended to drink more water and other fluids in between meals.
• When sleeping elevate the head of the bed for at least six to eight inches. Try to sleep with an elevated head and shoulders through a wedge pillow. Through this, the gravity will work as much that it will keep the acids in your stomach in their place—in the stomach, not in the esophagus. Try to consult physicians to gain additional knowledge on how to relieve nighttime heartburn.
• Don’t wear tight fitting clothes. Tightness around the waist and stomach will trigger heartburn as it causes uneasiness.
• When bending, do it at the knees, not at the waist. This will avoid in creating too much pressure in the stomach.
• Don’t slouch; rather sit erect in a relaxing chair.
• Maintain a sensible amount of weight, too much weight and fatness will give more stress in your stomach. As a result, this will force stomach contents throughout the LES and to the esophagus. Stay with your doctors guidelines.
• Avoid smoking. Doctors stated that smoking could cause several effects to a pregnant woman, much that it can add to the possibility of experiencing heartburn.
Heal Your Heartburn Through Acid Reflux Diet
Acid Reflux, another term for heartburn, is a disease which is created by a simple imbalance of chemical make-up in the body the attack of acid reflux in the esophagus when it is supposed to be in the stomach only. The fact that Acid Reflux, the acid indigestion, affects not just adults but also infants and children, make it essential for everyone to be aware of its symptoms and how it can be prevented. Since the Acid Reflux is triggered by various foods like chocolate, citrus fruits, spicy foods, including fried and fatty foods. Together with the time of day the foods are eaten and over eating which causes excessive weight. Therefore, the key to avoid the heartburning uneasiness brought by the Acid reflux also lies on the foods—a manage diet.
Truth in studies show that a specific food can head out acid reflux, so it is vital that everyone must take a careful observation of their eating habits. Nevertheless, any person who is suffering from Acid Reflux needs a diet that would suit to treat the illness, the foods that should be taken and those which should not be. Now, you might be wondering what could be the best diet to observe to avoid acid reflux, the heartburn-free recipes that are fitted to an Acid Reflux diet. It was distinguished that drinking milk can be a speedy cure to alleviate acid reflux trouble. Although, milk produces an action and encourages discharge of more stomach acid, causing then acid reflux.
So, people affected by heartburn should follow a diet wherein they eat a small meal during dinner and follow it up with a small snack before they go to sleep, crackers for instance. Likewise, they should make sure that they their meal are rich in complex carbohydrates. This includes breads, rice and pasta; this fixes the excessive acid in the stomach, hence, giving it an easy feeling. Chew your foods well, do not rush on eating, 20 minutes for each meal will do. Extract all the nourishment that you can get in your food.
Along with the diet, it is also advisable to keep yourself in a straight position during and after eating, for least 45 minutes. Remove from your diet high-fat foods, this will tend to stay in the stomach longer, with this, the stomach will be forced to produce more acids for digestion. In addition, avoid eating large meals; this will also stimulate the stomach to produce more acids to digest them. One the medical specialists’ recommendations is to add more plant protein in your diet, like beans and lentils, in this process the animal protein that you have taken will be replaced.
Also, try to observe in your diet the time you spend for eating, the amount of your meal, your relaxation when you eat, and how thorough you chew your food. It is advisable that you take several small meals in a day, than you take large meals regularly, for instance six small meals a day will do than having three large ones. The procedure is simply breaking up the meal. If you want additional information regarding proper diet to battle Acid Reflux, you can visit a nutrition-oriented health care practitioner like a dietician, naturopathic physician, or nutritionist. They can give you accurate dietary schemes that will fit your private health needs and objectives.
Overlooking Acid Reflux Disease in Children
An 11-year-old boy in Boston developed a Gastro esophageal reflux Disease (GERD). According to his mother, Cathy, it was the end of June in the year 2005 when his son developed a cough which usually happens during sleep, and even during daytime. It is only a short dry cough symptom. His pediatrician thought it was only allergy, however, when his son was tested, result showed that his son had no allergy. According to her, it was his son’s asthma that relates to GERD. Studies show that GERD is likewise normal to infants and children like in adults, though this fact is often times being overlooked. The symptoms come in continual sickness, coughing, and other respiratory trouble. Children are vulnerable to GERD because of their immature digestive system. Truth is majority of the infants grow out of GERD once they reach the age of one year old.
The medical specialists further stated that symptoms for children may come in difficulty in swallowing foods, or failure to grow. The doctors recommended that in situation like this it is best to lessen the amount of acid in the children’s stomach before it could lead to acid reflux, since this disease is not very curable in children. However, the doctor suggested some approaches to avoid acid reflux on children; an example of these is burping the infant quite a few times during feeding, or letting the infant stay in an erect position for 30 minutes after nourishing. Although, for a child ages three and up, doctors suggested to keep them off from sodas that includes caffeine like soft drinks, carbonated drinks, spicy foods like peppermint, acidic foods like citrus fruits, too much chocolate, and fried and fatty foods. Ideally, establishing a healthy eating habit diet can really decrease the acid reflux in children. It is also suggested that children will eat smaller meals before sleeping, if possible, do not allow them to eat two to three hours before sleeping, also, elevate the head of their bed for at least 30 degrees.
Further treatments include the use of H2 blockers; this is available in any drugs store. Prevacid, proton plump inhibitors, can also be used in treating acid flux for children. However, if these treatments fail to stop the symptoms, other treatment method needs to be done. It is very atypical, but doctors’ recommends surgery, this is so far the best treatment for relentless symptoms which do not anymore counter to other treatments. The Esophageal reflux surgery for children is designated for children who have had unsuccessful medical treatments, and continuous surgery is essential as the child grows.
Now, if you get confused whether when is the time to consult a pediatrician regarding acid reflux. The answer is you observe, observe the amounts of vomiting of the child, if it already comes out in green or yellow or appears to be like blood or coffee grounds, there difficulty in breathing after vomiting, and there is pain in swallowing, immediately consult a pediatrician before the symptom gets aggravated. So to prevent the occurrence of this disease, stay away from the habit of leaning forward after eating, or worse, sleeping after taking a large amount of food. Take note, advanced acid reflux disease has a great possibility to end serious medical complications, and it may lead to hospitalization. Be keen of the possible symptoms so will not overlook it. Take care of your kids.
Acid Reflux in Baby: Keeping Your Baby Protected
Acid reflux, which is also termed as gastroesophageal reflux, is one of the most frequent problems among infants. Babies with acid reflux often suffer from a range of conditions, from a mild degree to a severe one, such as recurrent spitting up, abdominal pain, and night waking. This discussion would be more comprehensive with the understanding of the physiological or the mechanical aspect of the condition. The body has a band of muscle in a circular structure that is called the lower esophageal sphincter. This muscle detaches the esophagus from the stomach. When food comes into the stomach, it closes so as to prevent the stomach acids and contents from backing up into the esophagus or regurgitating. But in the case of some babies, the lower esophageal sphincter has grown immature. As such, the partially digested food and digestive acids are allowed to be refluxed. This condition causes irritation in the esophagus lining which results to inflammation that is also commonly called as heartburn.
Acid reflux among babies usually develops when they are between two to four weeks old. Doctors usually prescribe medicines that minimize the production of digestive acids. Within six to nine months, the acid reflux starts to naturally subside. At this time period, the babies spend most of their time in an upright position. This is to apply the law of gravity on the food taken in; that is, the food stays down more naturally and reduces possible regurgitation. The following are helpful pointers on feeding and positioning of babies to lessen acid reflux:
- Prepare smaller feedings recurrently. It makes sense to feed your baby more than usual but less than the accustomed. If lesser volume of milk goes into the stomach, the digestion will be faster and there will be fewer amounts of contents available for regurgitation.
- Maintain the baby in an upright position after feeding. As discussed earlier, gravity helps to keep the digestive contents down. Position your baby seated in your lap while his head rests on your chest. Keep this position for at least half an hour after feeding.
- Breastfeeding helps a lot. Breast milk is well-known to have many advantages over other commercial formula, mainly for babies with acid reflux. Breast milk can be digested faster, which of course lessens spitting up, and it has special enzymes that assists digestion. In addition to that, breast milk does not trigger allergy to babies compared to other milks available in the market. But for those who are formula-feeding, it is advisable to use milk with a hypoallergenic formula as advised by a doctor. Aside from having higher tolerance with sensitive intestines, hypoallergenic milk can also be digested faster by the stomach so as to minimize refluxes.
Set your baby in a comfortable position when asleep. Since when a baby lies flat when sleeping, gravity cannot help in keeping the food down in this set-up. As a result, a baby with acid reflux often has to endure a sore night waking. If a baby can sleep soundly, then there will be no need to call for a change in his habit. But some babies become restless, which can be noted by abdominal pain, acid breath, and wet burps. In this case, it is recommended to elevate the baby’s crib to about 30 degrees. This will be enough to reduce the regurgitation. You may also try to train him to sleep on his left side. It is in this position where the inlet of the stomach is higher than the exit. This will also help to keep the food down.
Acid Reflux Medication: Keeping Heartburn at Bay
In a normal digestive process, the partially digested food is being forwarded by muscular movements from the stomach to the intestines. However, for some people, the stomach contents travel back to the esophagus from the stomach. This condition is known as acid reflux. Common symptoms of this disease include heartburn, difficulty in swallowing, regurgitation, chest pains, dental erosion, hoarseness, asthma, dyspepsia, vomiting, and many others. If not properly treated, acid reflux can last for several months. But drug treatment can play an essential part in the treatment process of a patient. The most common medications used include the following:
- Antacids. These drugs are used to neutralize the acids in the digestive tract and are primarily taken in for relief of mild symptoms, such as occasional episodes of indigestion and heartburn. They also act to incite the defensive mechanisms of our stomach by building up the secretion of mucous and bicarbonate. Most antacids can be bought over the counter even without a medical prescription. Moreover, these drugs are one of the first to be recommended by professionals to lessen the pain brought about by heartburn or mild symptoms. The three basic ingredients of antacids are magnesium, calcium, and aluminum.
- Acid suppressants such as histamine blockers are also commonly used. Histamine blockers obstruct the production of stomach acids by alienating the actions of histamine. Histamine is a chemical in the body that promotes the production and secretion of acids in the stomach. Anti-histamines are available even without prescription and offers relief of symptoms in most of the patients with frequent acid reflux. Patients have to wait for 30 to 90 minutes for these drugs to take effect. But their effect also lasts six to 24 hours. In cases of severe symptoms, a patient may have to take two dosages a day. In some researches, histamine blockers have shown to improve asthmatic symptoms in those who endure from both acid reflux and asthma. However, in a study dated 2001, it was suggested that histamine blockers occasionally impart complete relief of symptoms for dyspepsia and heartburn.
- Proton pump inhibitors are also employed as a medication. They act to trim down the production of stomach acids by reacting with the cells found in the stomach wall which produce and release acids into the stomach. However, researches have revealed that the use of proton pump inhibitors poses some concerns. Side effects, although uncommon, include diarrhea, headache, itching, and nausea. Moreover, these drugs should also be stayed away from by pregnant and breast-feeding mothers.
Another medication that is generally handled is the use of agents which protect the mucus lining in the gastrointestinal region. This kind of drug acts by attaching to an ulcer crater so that it will be guarded from damage caused by digestive acids. It is advisable for people undergoing maintenance therapy with mild or moderate acid reflux conditions. Likewise, it has minor side effects, including constipation. Anti-spasm drugs are also utilized to prevent acid and even non-acid reflux. A gamma-amino acid butyric acid agonist, an anti-spasm drug is generally used to abate the spasms in the muscles. Unlike most medicines used for acid reflux, it can also lessen non-acid refluxes and amplify the pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter, a muscle that separates the esophagus from the stomach and prevents backing up of stomach contents.