Information on Acid Reflux
Gastric acid is meant to stay in the stomach so that it can digest and sterilize everything a person drinks or eats. Stomach acid consists mainly of hydrochloric acid which is known for being a very potent corrosive agent. At the bottom of the esophagus there is a muscular valve called the lower esophageal sphincter and its main purposes is to allow the ingested foods and drinks to move into the stomach. It is also meant to prevent the digested material from backing up into the esophagus. Due to the malfunctioning of the valve, the acid leaks back into the esophagus and triggers all the annoying symptoms. The most common symptoms of acid reflux include abdominal pain, labored breathing, nausea, insomnia, regurgitation, difficulty swallowing, chest pain and heartburn.
Acid reflux is a medical condition which can be treated by three different types of medications and drugs. The first group of drugs commonly used for the treatment of acid reflex is known by the name antacids. Antacids are considered as a temporary solution for the problem but they are still very efficient in neutralizing the acid in the stomach of the sufferer. The bad thing about antacids is that they are jam packed with certain harmful types of ingredients such as aluminum and sodium.
The second type of medications is called H2 Blockers. These drugs are very efficient in reducing the amounts to acid in the stomach and can be considered as a much longer lasting relief than the aforementioned type of medications. The third type of drugs is known by the name of PPI drugs. PPI stands for proton pump inhibitors. These medicaments are very efficient in shutting off the proton pumps which are responsible for the secretion of the hydrochloric acid in the stomach. These types of drugs should not be used for prolonged periods of time. None of these medicaments have been checked for any unwanted effects triggered by long term usage. They can be associated with a vast array of side effects and those may or may not include (depending on each individual sufferer’s case) Barrett’s esophagus, fungal infections, taste loss, acne, pharyngitis, asthma aggravations, menstrual disorders, visual field defect, migraines, insomnia, impotence, dizziness, depression, anorexia, fibromyalgia syndrome, arthritis, weight gain, vitamin B12 deficiency, anemia, tinnitus, vomiting, gastrointestinal hemorrhage, constipation, hypertension, flu-like disorders, fever, fatigue, chest pain, back pain and various different types of allergic reactions. Fortunately enough, there are various alternative procedures and techniques which can be very helpful for all those who suffer from gastro esophageal reflux disease.