What Do You Know about Acid Reflux?
There are literally millions of people suffering from acid reflux all over the world. Some estimation says that 7 millions of these live in the United States and suffer from severe form of this medical condition. Additional 15 millions of Americans reported chronic heartburn as one of their medical problems. Although the majority of the patients are people in their 40s, this problem may affect anyone, regardless their age. It doesn’t have any preferences whatsoever on the race and can affect people of any color. Socioeconomic status also doesn’t matter and both rich and poor people may suffer from acid reflux.
Relaxed or damaged lower esophageal sphincter (or LES) is the cause of this problem. It should hold the food away from the esophagus once it passes through this organ. However, when there are some problems, the food mixed with stomach acid start to go back, upwards and end up in the esophagus and the throat. Stomach acid may damage the lining of the esophagus and cause symptoms such as burning and pain in the chest or in the throat, swallowing problems (dysphagia) and hoarseness. People with acid reflux may also experience asthma and dental erosion.
Untreated acid reflux may become a serious medical condition. Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal cancer are some of the potential dangers for people suffering from this condition. Many of them turn to medications in order to avoid these complications.
Drugs and Other Treatments for Acid Reflux
Antacids, H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors (PPIs) are the most common drugs recommended to people suffering from acid reflux. All of the drugs mentioned here have certain side effects and many people are more than reluctant to use them, especially as the long term treatment option.
There are also some natural remedies and lifestyle changes that have proved to bring positive results for these patients. Slippery elm, Marshmallow and aloe vera are advised by many herbalists as the solution for acid reflux. Among the herbs used to treat this medical condition, bladderwrack and licorice are also frequently found to be very useful. Natural honey is extremely beneficial and many reported it helped them to recover much faster from acid reflux.
Eating food in a proper manner is also very important for these patients. Eat slowly and chew the food thoroughly. Skip the coffee and drink some kukicha tea. Fruits are much healthier choice for the morning than the cereals if you are suffering from acid reflux. Eat smaller portions of food and instead 3 big meals eat 4 or 5 smaller ones. Dinner should be at least several hours before sleeping.
Avoid the food which is known to provoke heartburn and acid reflux. This includes: spicy, fried food, coffee, alcohol and anything else that worsens your problem.