These are the facts on Acid Reflux ……
It is estimated that about one third of all Americans have acid reflux disease. There is no cure for acid reflux although the symptoms of the disease can be managed with the help of over the counter or prescribed medications and lifestyle adjustments. If untreated, acid reflux can cause a medical condition called erosive esophagitis which is characterized by severe damage to the tissue lining of the esophagus.
Acid reflux disease is a form of (GERD) which is gastroesophageal reflux disease. The discomfort of the disease is that acid from the stomach moves up into your esophagus causing symptoms such as a burning chest pain known as heartburn or indigestion. If this happens more than a couple of times a week without provocation, chances are that you have acid reflux disease. At the entrance to the stomach is a valve called the lower esophageal sphincter, (LES) if it doesn’t close properly after the food passes through to the stomach then the acid can move up from the stomach causing the discomfort.
Causes And Triggers Of Acid Reflux
- Eating large meals and lying down right away.
- Certain drinks such as coffee, alcohol or carbonated sodas.
- Obesity and pregnancy.
- High sodium intake in diet.
- Eating too much food in one sitting especially spicy hot food.
- Low physical exercise.
- Bending over or lying down on your back after a heavy meal.
All of us will experience some of the symptoms of acid reflux disease such as heartburn and indigestion periodically. This does not mean that we have the disease. If you experience occasional heartburn you may want recognize some of the triggers above and cut them out of your routine. If the discomfort persists for more than a couple of days a week then you may have some damage and will want to see a medical professional for treatment.
If you are in the habit of eating before bedtime you may want to develop a new plan. The relief of these symptoms could be as simple always eating at least 2-3 hours before you go to bed.
The following are some of the more serious symptoms that signal that you may have Acid Reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Asthma and recurrent pneumonia.
- Laryngitis, hoarseness or any other throat problems including difficulty and pain when swallowing.
- Bad breath and dental erosion.
In a study published (May, 2013) in one of the journals of the American Association for Cancer Research a link between consistent acid reflux and the onset of throat and vocal cord cancers was documented. Some of the other risks of long term and untreated acid reflux disease include damage to the esophagus, including bleeding and ulceration. Acid injuries can also lead to scarring of the throat leading to difficulty swallowing and food getting stuck while travelling through the esophagus.
Statistics and Additional Facts on Acid Reflux
- Pregnant woman are more at risk and about 25% of those women will suffer from the symptoms of acid reflux. It is most common in the third trimester of pregnancy where the symptoms will occur in 50% of pregnancies.
- The symptoms of acid reflux last on average, about two hours.
- More than 65% of people that suffer from acid reflux are over 40 years of age.
- Acid reflux can occur in children as early as infancy but these symptoms usually stop as the child grows older.
If you have persistent symptoms of acid reflux disease see your doctor. If you don’t treat it now it could develop into a more serious condition such as ulcers, asthma, chronic cough, difficulty breathing or even throat cancer.