Acid reflux disease is sometimes also referred to as Gastroesophageal Reflux disease (GERD) or Gastric Reflux disease. It is not a new phenomenon; rather it is being experienced by millions around the world. Acid reflux is the name of that condition when the acid in stomach flushes toward the esophagus and back to the throat, resulting in the feeling of discomfort. Here, you need to distinguish that acid reflux is just a symptom which results from acid reflux disease. Moreover, there is a misconception that acid reflux and heartburn is one and the same thing. Actually heartburn is another symptom for acid reflux disease. If we want to cope with acid reflux disease, we first need to know about its causes and symptoms.
The main cause of acid reflux disease is the abnormal functioning of lower esophageal sphincter muscle. However, this is not the sole cause. Most commonly, acid reflux disease is the result of improper diet and unhealthy eating habits. E.g. taking a lot of spicy and fried items in your food mostly results in acid reflux disease. Similarly, taking heavy meals at night and then going to bed immediately, or bending down after taking heavy meal can result in acid reflux. The other reasons include smoking, alcohol consumption and obesity. A question which may arise in your mind is that what causes pregnant women to suffer from acid reflux? Here the cause is different. It results from the pressure put on abdomen because of the increased weight and expanded size of uterus. Moreover, it also results due to hormone changes.
The symptoms of acid reflux disease in men and women are as under;
Difficulty in swallowing
The symptoms listed above are also seen in infants and children when they suffer from acid reflux disease. However, in their case, the symptoms like constant crying, loss of appetite, irritation etc may also be seen. Chronic and constant cough may also be caused due to acid reflux disease in children.
The treatment for this common disease mostly includes some home remedies along with medication. In mild cases, the disease can be easily cured by using some antacids and syrups which are readily available. Moreover, it can also be treated by using proton pump inhibitors or H2 blockers. However, these treatments are not a permanent remedy and can only provide temporary control over the disease. Unless you nip the disease at its roots, these treatments wouldn’t eradicate acid reflux disease for good. The treatment requires a change in eating habits and diet. Moreover, meals need to be taken in time and one needs to avoid heavy meals at night before sleeping. Balanced, timely diet needs to replace the junk food and haphazard eating habits. Moreover, smoking and alcohol consumption should be reduced to avoid acid reflux. Pregnant women must not use any medication without consulting their doctor.
Now since you are well aware of the causes, the symptoms and treatment, it should be easier for you to get rid of acid reflux disease. However if you experience severer symptoms than those mentioned above, don’t delay your appointment with doctor. Stay healthy!
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