Acid reflux

What is acid reflux?

Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a medical condition characterized by the backflow of acid from the stomach into the esophagus.

This happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), a ring-shaped muscle located at the entrance to the stomach, does not function properly.

The DES must close immediately after food passes through it to prevent stomach contents from returning to the esophagus.

When the DES does not close completely, or if it opens too often, hydrochloric acid and digestive enzymes from the stomach can escape in the opposite direction into the esophagus. This leads to various symptoms and complications that affect the body.

One of the most common symptoms of acid reflux is a bitter or sour taste in the mouth, known as regurgitation. Patients with GERD may also experience a burning pain behind the sternum called “the heat”.

In addition, acid reflux can lead to other unpleasant symptoms such as frequent nausea, difficulty swallowing (dysphagia), belching, a feeling of fullness in the stomach and frequent belching.

Prolonged exposure to the acid in the esophagus can also damage the walls of the esophagus, causing inflammation and ulcers.

When reflux symptoms occur more than twice a week, acid reflux disease is diagnosed.

This medical condition requires careful management and treatment to reduce symptoms and prevent possible damage to the esophagus.

What are the common risk factors for acid reflux?

  • Overeating or lying down immediately after eating;
  • Being overweight or obesity;
  • Eating heavy food and lying on your back or bending over immediately afterwards;
  • Having a light breakfast immediately before going to bed ;
  • Eating certain foods such as citrus fruits, tomatoes, chocolate or spicy and fatty foods;
  • Drinking certain drinks such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee or tea;
  • Smoking;
  • Pregnancy;
  • Taking aspirin, ibuprofen, and blood pressure medications.

What are the symptoms of acid reflux?

  • Stomach acid: burning pain or discomfort that may travel from the stomach to the abdomen or chest or even up the throat;
  • Regurgitation – the return of stomach acid into the esophagus, causing a sour or bitter taste in the throat and mouth;
  • Swelling of the abdomen;
  • Bulching;
  • Hiccuping;
  • Dysphagia – a narrowing of the esophagus that creates the feeling , that food gets stuck in the throat;
  • Wheezing, dry cough, hoarse voice or chronic sore throat.

How is acid reflux treated?

  • If you are overweight, begin to gradually normalize the weight. Research shows that losing as little as 10% of your body fat eases the symptoms of acid reflux.
  • Try starting to regularly eat raw almonds, which are an alkaline food and help balance of pH and the normalization of the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach, they are also a good source of calcium.
  • If possible, drink 60 ml. raw aloe vera juice daily.
  • Start your day with a glass of warm water with fresh lemon juice added. By drinking this drink 15-20 minutes before your first meal of the day, the body will only balance the acid levels including stomach acid. heartburn.
  • Take an herbal supplement of slippery elm, which has been shown to soothe irritated digestive tract tissues.
  • Chamomile and peppermint tea can also help relieve the symptoms of acid reflux.
  • Chew gum after meals to increase salivation, as saliva reduces acid levels in the esophagus.
  • Sleep on your left side, as when sleeping on your right side, where the stomach is, can cause additional pressure and worsen your condition. In most cases, when sufferers sleep on their left side, relief of symptoms is observed.

Wearing tight clothing that severely compresses the waist can increase the risk of acid reflux. This is because clothing puts extra pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), the muscle located at the entrance to the stomach.

When the DES is exposed to compression and pressure, it may not function optimally and open more easily, allowing acid from the stomach to enter the esophagus.

When stomach acid reaches the esophagus, it can cause a variety of unpleasant reflux symptoms, including a bitter or sour taste in the mouth, burning pain behind the sternum, and regurgitation.

It is therefore important to avoid wearing tight clothing around the waist that puts excessive pressure on the DES.

Instead, choose looser and more comfortable clothes that don’t cinch in the waist too much. This will help the DES stay closed and prevent backflow of stomach contents.

When choosing clothes, give your body enough freedom of movement without putting pressure on the stomach and waist.

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