June 4, 2010

Five Things You Need To Know About Acid Reflux

Filed under: acid reflux,heartburn — Tags: , — drwatson @ 11:56 pm

acid refluxMost people generally associate acid reflux with heartburn. It’s a good association, because heartburn is usually the first identifiable symptom of acid reflux, but at the same time, there’s a lot more to know about this condition – which causes both discomfort and health concerns.

  1. The Cause Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid regurgitates back into te esophagus, on a regular basis. This causes heartburn, a condition which every person experiences from time to time, however, because of its frequency; acid reflux causes much more damage to the esophagus. In severe cases, scarring of the esophagus may occur, along with pneumonia or bronchitis as a result of a reflux during sleep, which often allows stomach acid into the lungs.
  2. Those at Risk – Women most commonly experience acid reflux; however, those who are overweight and older than forty years old are more likely to experience acid reflux as well. This is because the stomach’s mechanism for preventing acid reflux (the lower esophageal sphincter) tends to deteriorate with age. If you have certain conditions, such as a hiatal hernia, you may also be more prone to developing acid reflux, as it interferes with the function of the lower esophageal sphincter.
  3. The Symptoms – Frequent heartburn is the most common and often the first noticeable symptom of acid reflux. If you experience heartburn that recurs even after taking medication, you may want to schedule a doctor’s appointment to discuss acid reflux.
  4. The Treatment – Acid reflux is a treatable condition, and there are several medications that have been specially developed to treat it. It’s important to talk to your doctor before taking any new medications – whether they are prescription or not. There are several over the counter drugs on the market to help ease the discomfort of acid reflux, including Pepcid, Zantac and Mylanta. If you have more severe acid reflux, your doctor may recommend taking a prescription medication for up to eight weeks such as Nexium, Prevacid and Protonix.
  5. The Trigger Foods – Certain foods will trigger acid reflux, and if you have acid reflux, it’s important to avoid them. These foods may include chocolate, citrus fruits and juices, fatty and fried foods, peppermint and spearmint, spicy foods, onions, peppers, and tomatoes and tomato-based foods. Avoiding alcoholic beverages, caffeinated drinks and carbonated drinks will be beneficial for your acid reflux as well.

Acid reflux affects close to three hundred million people worldwide, but by knowing what you know now, that acid reflux is so much more than just plain heartburn, you can prevent both yourself and others from experiencing the discomfort associated with acid reflux.

January 8, 2010

5 Natural Remedies For Heartburn

What is Heartburn?
Heartburn is caused by a regurgitation of acid, pepsin and other stomach contents into the esophagus, and creates a burning sensation that is incredibly uncomfortable. Though this uncomfortable feeling is often annoying and painful, frequent cases of heartburn can lead to more serious conditions, including acid reflux and damage to the esophagus.

How Can I Tell If I Have Heartburn?
Heartburn is primarily characterized by a burning sensation in the chest, and can spread into the throat, arms, jaw or back. Most people experience heartburn anywhere from thirty to sixty minutes after eating a large meal, and also experience more pain when sitting and lying down as opposed to when standing. Other symptoms of heartburn include nausea and the taste of acid or vomit within one’s mouth.

How Can I Get Heartburn Relief?

1. Eat Garlic – Although you’ll have to brush your teeth afterwards, chewing a clove of garlic when you experience heartburn eases the pain and acts as a natural antibiotic. However, garlic can impact the effect of prescription drugs, so check with your doctor before eating excessive amounts.

2. Eat Papaya – If you experience heartburn often, try eating a slice of fresh or dried papaya before your meal or as soon as symptoms begin to occur. The papaya, a tropical fruit with can be found at your local grocery market provides effective relief because it contains an enzyme that aids digestion called papain.

3. Drink Vegetable Juice – The alkaline nature of several vegetables helps to ease the acid within the stomach. The juices of carrots, cucumbers, radishes and beets are all excellent sources for heartburn relief.

4. Baking Soda – Baking soda, when added to water and lemon juice, can help to neutralize the acid within your stomach, and relieve heartburn pain. It is extremely important not to consume baking soda by itself, as it needs to first be mixed with the citric acid of lemon juice to dispel the gas that forms as a result of the acid base neutralization, which will occur in your stomach.

5. Eat Almonds – By eating a small handful of almonds after having heartburn symptoms, the oil in the almonds will also neutralize your irritating stomach acids.

There are several other options to relieve heartburn, as several medications such as ibuprofen and Tums will easily relieve any heartburn symptoms you might have. If your heartburn persists, do not hesitate to contact a medical professional, because you may have acid reflux.


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