Most people will experience heartburn once and a while. Heartburn is the burning sensation of stomach acid getting into the esophagus, or what is acid reflux. Unfortunately, chronic acid reflux can be a sign of a serious problem, and may eventually cause serious complications of its own.
What Is Acid Reflux?
Acid reflux is when stomach acid gets into the esophagus, eventually destroying the protective mucus lining. The unprotected esophagus is then at risk for ulcers, inflammation (which can narrow the esophagus and cause swallowing pain or difficulty), or a more severe (but not common) reaction.
Some people with acid reflux will experience regurgitation, when bile enters the mouth (not vomiting). Others will experience nausea.
What Is Acid Reflux A Sign Of?
The esophagus reaches the stomach at an angle, so normally there is a valve that protects it from stomach acid.
In some cases, there might be something wrong with the gastrointestinal tract, a malformation, a problem with the pancreas or gall bladder, or a tumor, which causes acid reflux and its symptoms. A doctor can easily diagnose acid reflux with a pH test, and check for serious causes.
There are other, simpler causes of acid reflux, too. Additional weight, even a few pounds (or pregnancy, or tight clothing on the abdomen) can increase the risk for acid reflux. Overeating, smoking, and certain medications can also be a trigger.
How To Avoid Acid Reflux
If you have chronic acid reflux, avoid antacids. Taking them regularly can actually cause the stomach to produce more acid, and one study even found that regularly taking antacids causes IQ to go down. Talk to a doctor about the cause of your acid reflux, and address that rather than just the symptoms.
Avoid trigger foods, and eat smaller meals throughout the day to avoid triggering too much acid production. It’s also beneficial to avoid eating for 2 hours before bed (and avoid midnight snacks!).
Speaking of sleeping, studies have found that you can change position to keep acid in the stomach while you sleep: either sleep with the upper body raised, or sleep on your left side.
Finally, some people may have acid reflux due to an infection of the bacteria H. Pylori. A common, antibiotic resistant infection, H. Pylori can be difficult to treat. Gastric RLF may help the body fight H. Pylori, or try supporting your body’s immune system with MesoSilver (alternated with probiotics).
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