Introduction to Acid Reflux
Causes and symptoms of Acidity| Acid Reflux | GERD –Hello and welcome to GOOD VIBES BLOG. I hope all of you are doing well. Today, we will discuss GERD, also known as Acidity (Acid reflux disease) or Heartburn. We all know how common this problem is. After a certain age, many of us get easily prone to acidity, which makes us uncomfortable. Let us discuss it in detail.
What is ACIDITY (ACID REFLUX)?
Acid Reflux, ordinarily known as Acidity is a condition where bile or stomach acids stream once again into our throat or food line and cause aggravation. Acid reflux occurs when the fermented fluid of the stomach goes in reverse into the throat. It is a common digestive condition creating a burning sensation in the lower chest area. It often occurs after a hearty meal. Acid reflux is known as gastroesophageal reflux or GERD.
What is GERD? GERD happens when a substance from your stomach moves up into your throat. It is otherwise called acid regurgitation or gastroesophageal reflux. It can cause indications such as a burning chest called heartburn. If acid reflux indications happen more than two times every week, you may have heartburn sickness, otherwise called gastroesophageal reflux infection (GERD).
Causes of Acidity or Acid Reflux
Let’s look at the three main factors that lead to Acidity or GERD- They are:
1. Poor or slow clearance of food from the stomach
Poor clearance of acid or food from the stomach can be due to eating large meals at once or lying down early after eating meals. Obesity is also an important reason. Slow clearance of food from the stomach can be caused by various reasons like
- Eating large meals
- Being overweight or obese
- Eating a heavy meal
- Snacking close to bedtime
All these habits lead to the retention of food in your stomach for longer periods and more chances of the acidic contents of your stomach to regurgitate into your esophagus.
2. Delayed stomach emptying
Delayed stomach emptying is also known as Gastroparesis, and one of the most common causes that lead to Delayed stomach emptying is Diabetes. It can also be caused due to pregnancy as the uterus can push against the bowel and stomach leading to partial mechanical obstruction. Other causes include
- lack of thyroid hormone( hypothyroidism)
- Viral stomach infections
- Medications such as narcotics
- It can also happen in diseases like Parkinson’s disease and Multiple sclerosis.
3. Too much acid in the stomach
The third main factor that leads to Acid reflux diseases is much more common than the previous two and that is Excessive production of acid in your stomach. The most common causes that increase to Excessive production of acid in your stomach are:
- Eating Spicy Foods: Eating certain foods, such as spicy or fatty foods, chocolate, garlic, onions, and citrus fruits.
- Drinking beverages: Such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee, or tea.
- Smoking is also one of the most common causes of hypersecretion of acid in the stomach.
- Use of Medicines: Many medicines can lead to excessive acid secretions and these include pain medications like NSAIDs like ibuprofen, Diclofenac, Aceclofenac, etc
- Use of blood pressure medicines: Some blood pressure medications like Nifedipine, Iron supplements, and Bisphosphonates takes for low bone density or osteoporosis.
- Stress: People with excessive levels of stress can also develop excess acidity in their stomachs.
So these were the three main factors that lead to Acidity
Symptoms of Acidity or Acid Reflux
Now let’s look at some of the symptoms of Acidity.
1. Persistent Heartburn
It is a burning sensation in the chest and throat. Heartburn occurs when stomach acid splashes into the esophagus. It is a burning pain or discomfort that moves from your stomach to your abdomen or chest, or even up into your throat. Furthermore, a burning feeling may radiate into the mouth. Heartburn often increases when you lie down after a meal. It typically lasts for a few hours and commonly eaten foods trigger it. The good news is that heartburn can be somewhat controlled. Avoid common trigger foods including garlic, citrus fruits, and peppermint.
You can also experience continuous regurgitations of food or fluids into the mouth which leaves a very sour taste on the tongue. Acid reflux can result in sudden retching. There is an extreme or acrid insight in the mouth. If vomiting or stifling happens while you are asleep it can be dangerous and lethal.
3. Terrible breath
Bad breath is another characteristic of acid reflux. This can be brought by food in the stomach or by regurgitating small amounts of undigested food. When a bitter taste in the mouth follows an episode of heartburn you are probably suffering from acid reflux rather than simple heartburn.
4. Pain that worsens during rest
Standing or walking is beneficial for people on the brink of an attack. Gravity aids in digestion and helps prevent stomach acid from reaching the esophagus. Refrain from eating 2 to 3 hours before going to bed to reduce stomach acid and to allow the stomach to empty its contents.
5. Constant pain in the stomach
Constant dull pain in your stomach or chest or shortness of breath can also be the presenting symptoms. Chronic acid reflux can lead to erosions in your stomach or esophagus which may bleed overtimes. This blood is passed in your stools which appear blackish.
6. Excessive salivation
Production of unnecessary saliva is an obvious sign that a person has acid reflux. Numerous patients notice an expansion in salivation. It is the body’s natural to free of an undesirable aggravation in the throat. This is similar to what occurs before vomiting. Acid reflux results in hypersalivation to clear the passage and to buffer for excess acid.
7. Painful swallowing
If you are having acid reflux indigestion for a long span you may encounter trouble in swallowing food and a sensation of irregularity in your throat. It is additionally called dysphagia. This causes the lower throat tissues to expand. Swallowing food can become an extremely troublesome and agonizing cycle.
Nausea is a piece of numerous ailments, including acid reflux. Heartburn can be a manifestation of GERD however is not always present, making it hard to attribute nausea to acid reflux. In a few people, the solitary indication of reflux is sickness. Patients can encounter stomach torment ranging from moderate pain to vomiting. A burning feeling of the throat after a meal may signal acid reflux.
9. A sore throat
Many people with acid reflux suffer from a chronic sore throat. It often feels like a constant lump that just won’t go away. Patients with GERD are often attempt to clear their throats. If you suffer pain in your throat, after your meal it is likely a symptom of heartburn.
10. Frequent night awakenings
Many patients will have their worst bouts of acid reflux at night. Do not take meals and acidic drinks before going to bed.
11. Hiatal Hernia
One of the most common causes of Acidity is Hiatal Hernia. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. Normally there is a Hole or “hiatus” in the diaphragm through which the oesophagus passes and connects to the stomach. If this hole or Hiatus enlarges, the upper part of the stomach can partially move through the abdomen into your chest which increases acid reflux. Weak muscles in the diaphragm can allow the stomach to move freely into the hiatus, or inherited structural abnormalities in the diaphragm can cause a congenital Hiatal hernia, which presents at birth.
12. Excess pressure on the abdomen
Other causes include excess pressure on the abdomen or muscle strain due to heavy coughing, constipation, or intense physical exertion.
Diagnosis of Acid Reflux
X-rays of your upper digestive system: X-rays are taken after you drink a powdery fluid. This fluid which normally contains barium permits you to imagine an outline of your throat, stomach, and upper digestive system.
Upper GI Endoscopy: In this test a slender, flexible tube outfitted with a light and a camera is embedded down your throat, to look at within your throat and stomach. Endoscopy can identify inflammation of the oesophagus throat, Hiatus hernia, injuries, or different inconveniences. The endoscope is likewise utilized to gather a tissue test for different tests like biopsy or tests for H. Pylori.
Ambulatory acid pH probe test: One more test that can be used to diagnose GERD is the Ambulatory acid pH probe test. In this test, a monitor is placed in your oesophagus to identify how frequently the acid from your stomach regurgitates in your oesophagus.
Closing it, I want to say that. You should see your doctor if you have acid reflux indigestion at least two times each week. Indications, for example, Heartburn, harsh eructation in the mouth are the fundamental purposes behind acid reflux disease. If your problems persist for a longer duration of time or if you are not having relief with medicines your doctor may perform above-mentioned tests to confirm the diagnosis of GERD.