Know the Causes of Your Acid Reflux Symptoms
When some of the stomach's acid flows into the oesophagus, it is known as acid reflux. When someone has acid reflux, they have heartburn, which is a burning feeling. A person may have GERD if they often experience acid reflux. Heartburn is a sign of acid reflux, commonly known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, even though the terms are sometimes used synonymously. Despite its name, heartburn is unrelated to the heart.
What Is Acid Reflux?
The lower oesophageal sphincter, a muscle ring, acts as a valve at the opening to your stomach. When food flows through the lower oesophageal sphincter, it typically closes. Acid from your stomach may rise into your oesophagus if the LES doesn't seal entirely or opens too often.
Heartburn, a burning chest pain, is one of the symptoms that might result from this. You might have gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as acid reflux disease, if your symptoms occur more frequently than twice a week (GERD).
Why Does Acid Reflux Disease Occur?
A stomach condition termed a hiatal hernia is a typical cause of acid reflux illness. It happens when the muscle that divides your stomach from your chest, the diaphragm, is moved above by the upper portion of your stomach and the lower oesophageal sphincter.
Normally, the diaphragm aids in maintaining stomach acid. Acid can, however, flow into your oesophagus through a hiatal hernia, resulting in acid reflux symptoms. These are some other common things that can make acid reflux disease more likely:
- Eating a lot at once or lying down shortly after eating.
- Being obese or overweight.
- Eating a large meal while bending down over or lowering at the waist.
- Eating a snack just before going to bed.
- Eating particular foods that cause acid reflux such as hot or high in fat or citrus, tomatoes, chocolate, mint, garlic, or onions.
- Drinking specific alcoholic, carbonated, coffee- or tea-based, or other beverages
- Being pregnant.
- Using blood pressure medications, ibuprofen, some muscle relaxants, aspirin, or other similar drugs.
Acid Reflux Common Symptoms
Some acid reflux sufferers may not be aware of their condition because they show no symptoms. Other individuals may suffer symptoms ranging from moderate to severe. Heartburn and regurgitation are two typical symptoms of stomach acid reflux, as is GERD, the chronic condition.
Heartburn can cause chest pain or a burning feeling. It might show up in the following areas:
- The centre of the chest
- Behind the breastbone area
- The bottom of the chest
The bottom section of the breastbone may slide up into the throat, moving with the burning feeling. It occurs when stomach acid that has travelled back up into the throat comes in contact with the lining of the oesophagus.
After a substantial meal or lying down, stomach acid may reflux back into the throat. It may occur regularly in some persons, such as those with GERD. Heartburn symptoms can linger for a short while or several hours.
Depending on the individual, heartburn can range in severity from moderate to severe. The intensity of heartburn may vary depending on the kinds of food consumed and the quantity.
Regurgitation will usually result from acid reflux. The acid reflux causes the stomach's contents to flow back through into the throat. An odd taste in the mouth could result from this. This flavour could be:
Due to regurgitation, stomach acid might end up in the mouth, giving food a sour or bitter taste. Regurgitation is a common occurrence in infants and is sometimes referred to as "spitting up."
Infants' regurgitated stomach contents can occasionally be mistaken for vomit by some persons. The two, however, are not the same. Gagging or retching are additional symptoms that go along with vomiting.
Regurgitation can happen in babies because of their small oesophagus. This tube has a tiny volume. Infants may consume significant amounts of fluids during meals and spend a lot of time lying down. Both of these aspects might also be responsible for regurgitation.
Additional signs of acid reflux
Heartburn and regurgitation are not always symptoms of acid reflux. While other people might suffer additional symptoms, some might not experience any symptoms.
The following are other signs and symptoms of acid reflux:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest pain and swallowing discomfort
- Strained voice
- Chronic cough
Over time, chronic oesophageal inflammation can lead to:
Inflammation of the tissues in the oesophagus (esophagitis). Inflammation, bleeding, and occasionally an open sore are signs of stomach acid damaging the oesophagus tissue (ulcer). Esophagitis can hurt and make swallowing challenging.
Oesophageal narrowing (oesophagal stricture). Stomach acid can harm the lower oesophagus and result in the formation of scar tissue. The scar tissue makes the food passageway smaller, which makes swallowing difficult.
The oesophagus develops malignant changes (Barrett oesophagus). The lower oesophagus's lining tissue may change as a result of acid damage. A higher risk of oesophageal cancer is linked to these alterations.
The Bottom Line
With early diagnosis and acid reflux treatment, uncomfortable GERD symptoms may be lessened or even eliminated. Avoiding the things that worsen your symptoms will definitely prove to be one of the simplest methods to make living with GERD simpler.
Some people will need to restrict particular meals, while others might need to give them up entirely; everything is based on your symptoms. Many initially worry that they will miss the offending food for acid reflux too much when they begin avoiding them.