HomeHealthCareWhat causes chronic acid reflux?

What causes chronic acid reflux?

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When you have GERD (chronic acid reflux), stomach acid flows back up into your mouth through your esophagus on a regular basis. You may experience heartburn, acid indigestion, difficulty swallowing, a feeling that food is stuck in your throat, and other issues.

What exactly is GERD (chronic acid reflux disease)?

GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as chronic acid reflux) is a condition in which acid-containing contents from your stomach leak back up into your esophagus, the tube that connects your throat to your stomach.

When food reaches your stomach, a valve at the end of your esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter doesn’t close completely, causing acid reflux. Acid backwash then flows up your esophagus and into your throat and mouth, leaving you with a sour taste.

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Almost everyone experiences acid reflux at some point in their lives. It is completely normal to experience acid reflux and heartburn on occasion. However, if you experience acid reflux or heartburn more than twice a week for several weeks, take heartburn medications and antacids on a regular basis, and your symptoms persist, you may have GERD. Your healthcare provider should treat your GERD, not only to relieve your symptoms but also because GERD can lead to more serious issues.

What are the most common GERD (chronic acid reflux) symptoms

The primary symptoms are chronic heartburn and acid regurgitation. Some people have GERD without experiencing heartburn. Instead, they have chest pain, hoarseness in the morning, or difficulty swallowing. You may feel as if you have food stuck in your throat, as if you are choking, or as if your throat is constricted. Bad breath and dry cough can also be symptoms of GERD.

What exactly is heartburn?

Acid reflux is characterized by heartburn. Your esophageal lining is irritated by stomach acid,resulting in a sharp, burning pain in the center of your chest.

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This burning can occur at any time, but it is usually worse after eating. Many people’s heartburn worsens when they recline or lie in bed, making it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.

Heartburn is usually treatable with over-the-counter (OTC) heartburn and acid indigestion medications. Your doctor may also prescribe stronger medications to help control your heartburn.

READ ALSO: The Uncomfortable Burning Sensation: HeartBurn, Everything you need to know.

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What exactly causes acid reflux?

alt=What exactly causes acid reflux?

The lower esophageal sphincter’s weakness or relaxation causes acid reflux (valve). Normally, after food enters your stomach, this valve closes tightly. If it relaxes when it shouldn’t, the contents of your stomach rise back up into your esophagus.

Acid refluxing from the stomach into the esophagus. Reflux occurs when stomach acids flow back up into the esophagus.

Factors that can contribute to this include:

  • There is too much pressure on the abdomen. Because of the increased pressure, some pregnant women experience heartburn almost every day.
  • Food preferences (for example, dairy, spicy, or fried foods) and eating habits
  • Medications such as asthma, high blood pressure, and allergy medications, as well as pain relievers, sedatives, and antidepressants.

What are the signs and symptoms of GERD (chronic acid reflux disease)?

GERD affects different people in different ways. The following are the most common symptoms:

  • Heartburn.
  • Regurgitation (food comes back into your mouth from the esophagus) (food comes back into your mouth from the esophagus).
  • The sensation of food becoming stuck in your throat.
  • Coughing.
  • Chest pain
  • Swallowing difficulty
  • Vomiting.
  • Hoarseness and a sore throat

Infants and children can suffer from GERD symptoms such as:

  • Small bouts of vomiting occur frequently.
  • Excessive crying, inability to eat (in babies and infants).
  • Acidic sour taste, especially when lying down.
  • Other respiratory (breathing) issues
  • Hoarseness of the throat
  • A choking sensation that may cause the child to awaken.
  • Poor breath.
  • Sleeping difficulties after eating, particularly in infants.

What medications do I take to treat GERD (chronic acid reflux) symptoms?

Many OTC and prescription medications are available to treat GERD. Most OTC medications are also available in prescription strength. If you aren’t getting relief from over-the-counter medications, your doctor will write you a prescription for these stronger medications.
The following are the most commonly used GERD medications:

  • Antacids (provide quick relief by neutralizing stomach acids) (provide quick relief by neutralizing stomach acids)
  • H-2 receptor antagonists (which decrease acid production)
  • Inhibitors of the proton pump (stronger acid blockers that also help heal damaged esophagus tissue)
  • Baclofen is a prescription medication that relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing acid backwash.

How can I avoid GERD (chronic acid reflux) symptoms?

Here are 10 tips to help you avoid GERD symptoms:

  • Achieve and keep a healthy weight.
  • Eat small, frequent meals rather than large, three-course meals a few times a day.
  • Reduce your fat intake by cutting back on butter, oils, salad dressings, gravy, fatty meats, and full-fat dairy products like sour cream, cheese, and whole milk.
  • Sit or stand upright while eating and for 45 to 60 minutes afterward.
  • Eat nothing before going to bed. Go to bed at least three hours after eating.
  • Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight around the waist. They have the ability to squeeze your stomach and push acid up into your esophagus.

What foods should I avoid if I have GERD?

Changing your diet and eating habits can help you control your GERD symptoms. Try to avoid the foods that cause you to have heartburn.

For example, many people suffer from heartburn as a result of:

  • Foods that are spicy.
  • Foods that are fried.
  • Foods high in fat (including dairy).
  • Chocolate.
  • Sauces made from tomatoes.
  • Onions and garlic
  • Alcohol, coffee, and carbonated beverages
  • Fruits with citrus peels.

Keep a list of the foods that give you trouble. Contact your service provider for assistance. They’ll give you advice on how to keep track of what you eat and when you should eat it.

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