Acid Reflux – Common Symptoms and Causes of Heartburn

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Acid Reflux

Overview

Acid Reflux – Acidity is a general cause of inflammation of pain in lower chest area known as heartburn. It is most likely to occur when food reflux back into the food pipe and causes sudden pain of burning.

Heartburn is actually a symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). When you intake a quantity of food, it goes through a food pipe called the esophagus that connects the mouth to the stomach. The esophagus is covered with muscles to push food towards the stomach in waves and prevent it from refluxing back to the food pipe. There is a flat muscle in a human’s body that separates the abdomen from the chest and keeps food stay in the stomach. 

A recent study of the American college showed that over 60 million Americans deal with heartburn monthly and an approx. 15 million people experience acidity daily. The initial stage of heartburn can simply be dealt with by changing your diet but if your heartburn lasts longer than a week then it’s high time you should see your doctor.

Causes of Acid Reflux Disease

With certain food and drink intake in the body, it causes stomach acid reflux back into the tube that connects the mouth with the stomach (esophagus). A bland of muscles, the gastroesophageal helps food and drink stay inside the stomach. After failing this valve, the stomach acid goes back into the esophagus and causes heartburn. It keeps getting worse if you lie down or bent over.

Food and Fluids that Causes Heartburn

High-fat consumption can be a major cause of inflammation pain in the chest. It relaxes the function of LES lower esophageal sphincter and lets stomach acid reflux back into the esophagus.

Pregnancy and obesity can be a reason for enlarged pressure within the abdominal cavity and disturb LES function and incline it to reflux. Whereas, other food/ingredients and beverages that cause heartburn are:

  • Alcohol (red wine particularly)
  • Caffeine
  • Carbonated fluids
  • Chocolate
  • Black pepper (excess intake)
  • Citrus food products
  • Raw onions and tomatoes
  • Spicy food
  • Acidic juices (citrus juice)
  • Naproxen
  • Aspirin

Symptoms of Acid Reflux

Common symptoms of acid reflux include:

  • Heartburn – An unusual inflammation of pain from abdominal to lower chest area and often in the throat also.
  • Pain that keeps worsening when you lie down or try to bend your body over.
  • Regurgitation – An uncomfortable feeling of disgust in your mouth and sore taste. 

These symptoms can be worse if you keep ignoring them. Further symptoms can be:

  • Sore burps
  • Blood vomiting
  • Black stool
  • A sensation of food being stuck in your throat (Dysphagia)
  • Sore & bitter hiccups
  • Nausea
  • Runny nose or unnecessary weight loss

When Should You Visit Your Doctor?

Make an immediate visit to the doctor if you start experiencing symptoms of heartburn and unusual pain in lower chest area for example when food becomes difficult to swallow, often heartburns, persistent nausea and, vomiting. Ask your doctor to prescribe you medicines and list down foods that you should avoid eating till your acid reflux gets cured.

Any Worries

If acid reflux occurs often or especially twice a week then it can become a major problem after some time. Heartburn can disturb your daily routine because of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Along with frequent care, it may require prescription and surgery. GERD can damage your food pipe (esophagus) that connects the mouth with the stomach for a long time.

Reference

MAYO CLINIC https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/heartburn/symptoms-causes/syc-20373223
WebMD https://www.webmd.com/heartburn-gerd/guide/what-is-acid-reflux-disease#2
MEDICAL NEWS TODAY https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/146619.php#causes