The Symptoms Of Acid Reflux
Many people are plagued with the symptoms of severe heartburn, which is also known as acid reflux disease. Just what is acid reflux? This uncomfortable condition occurs when stomach contents come up from the stomach into the back of the throat. Digestive juices accompany food which can cause burning of the throat or chest. When this condition occurs more than twice each week, it is diagnosed as GERD. This condition can occur in people of all ages and can lead to more serious health problems if left untreated.
Acid reflux symptoms include frequent burning in the throat or mid-chest. This condition can also cause different symptoms such as dry cough, difficulty swallowing and wheezing. It is also common for people with GERD to feel a lump in their throat, which is often uncomfortable.
While the exact cause of acid reflux disease is unknown, there are certain factors that contribute to its development. Those who obese are more likely to experience the symptoms associated with GERD. Smoking may also increase the risk of developing this condition. Many women find they have acid reflux symptoms during pregnancy. These symptoms often subside after delivery.
Eating certain foods may also increase the likelihood of acid reflux disease. Fried food, citrus fruit, fatty food, garlic, onions, chocolate, spicy foods and alcohol can exacerbate GERD.
Many people find that making a few lifestyle changes greatly reduces their symptoms of GERD. Losing weight, wearing loose fitting clothing, eating small meals and quitting smoking may all help keep GERD symptoms at bay. After eating, avoid lying down for at least three hours and elevate your head if necessary.
Anyone who uses antacid medications for over two weeks should consult their doctor for a full evaluation and treatment plan. If you are diagnosed with acid reflux disease, your doctor may prescribe medications to treat your symptoms. It may take time for these medications and lifestyle changes to reduce your symptoms. However, if your symptoms are difficult to control your doctor may recommend a battery of tests such as a barrium swallow radiograph or an upper endoscopy.
It is important to seek treatment for acid reflux disease because it can lead to other health conditions such as ulcers and esophageal cancer. Acid reflux disease can also make chronic conditions such as chronic cough or asthma worse over time.