Acid reflux/ GERD
Acid reflux/ GERDGastroesophageal reflux disease is a common medical condition in which patient features a burning pain, known as heartburn, in the lower chest area. It happens when stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe. Acid reflux is also called as heartburn, acid indigestion or pyrosis. Acid reflux creates a burning pain in the lower chest area.
- Acid reflux is when some of the acid content of the stomach flows up into the esophagus, into the gullet, which moves food down from the mouth.
- The stomach contains hydrochloric acid, that helps break down food and protect against pathogens such as bacteria.
- The lining of the stomach is specially adapted to protect it from the powerful acid, but the esophagus is not protected.
- The gastroesophageal sphincter normally acts as a valve that lets food into the stomach but not back up into the esophagus. When this valve fails, and stomach contents are regurgitated into the esophagus, the symptoms of acid reflux are felt, such as heartburn.
- smoking (active or passive)
- low levels of physical exercise
- medications, calcium-channel blockers, antihistamines, painkillers and sedatives.
- Pregnancy can also cause acid reflux due to extra pressure being placed on the internal organs.
Symptoms of acid reflux include are bitter taste in mouth, heartburn, chest pain, dry cough , feeling of heaviness and tightness in throat, wheezing and nausea.
Tests to diagnose acid reflux (GERD) include –
- X ray of the esophagus, stomach, and upper part of the intestine,GI endoscopy.
- high intake of caffeine
- a high intake of table salt
- a diet low in dietary fiber
- eating large meals