Acid Reflux and Heartburn are a common condition which is quite irritating for the individuals that experience it. Heartburn and Acid Reflux are used interchangeably by most individuals, but they are actually a little different. Acid Reflux is the occurrence that people often refer to as Heartburn. This occurrence is as a result of acid backing up into the gut. This event results in the irritation of the tissue and an individual will experience a burning sensation. Thus, Heartburn is the symptom of this event, and this symptom is appropriately named because the area of the gut that gets irritated is just behind the heart. Despite the closeness of the irritation sensation to the heart, it does not impact the heart in any way.
Symptoms and Causes of Acid Reflux
The Acid Reflux takes place in the gut or the oesophagus. When you are done with swallowing food, there is a round muscle or valve at the end of the gut where food enters the stomach. Once the food enters the stomach, the valve closes, and the stomach releases acid to assist in the digestion of the food. The stomach is protected from the acid by a special lining on its walls. However, the valve closes tightly because the lining of the gut differs from that of the stomach. Acid Reflux occurs when a little bit of the acid splashes on the gut when the valve does not close tightly. Small amounts of these acid splashes are not dangerous, but the consistent splashing back of the acid is a different story. The Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the name given to the acid splashing onto the food pipe, thus irritating the lining of its walls. However, heartburn may be a common symptom of GERD, but it does not happen to everybody. Other symptoms of the condition include belching, dry cough, vomiting, hoarseness, bitter taste in the mouth, and wheezing.
The Risk Factors of Acid Reflux
Acid Reflux is the most common oesophagus problem that people present to the hospitals with at least 15 million Americans experiencing the problem on a daily basis. This condition is more common in Western countries and impacts almost 30% of the population. There are plenty of risk factors that contribute to the likelihood of the condition. Smoking, whether passively or actively, is a major risk factor. Others include obesity, some medications including depressants, poor exercise rates, and sometimes pregnancy, which cause GERD due to the increasing pressure on the organs. While these risks are manageable, a hernia is a cause that people have no power over. This risk factor allows the stomach to enter the chest cavity and may result in GERD.
Tips to Avoid Heartburn and Acid Reflux
While the treatment of the condition is easy, it is best to adopt practices that will decrease the chance of getting heartburns and reduce the discomfort caused by the condition.
Tip 1: Change Eating Habits
Eating habits contribute greatly to the occurrence of Acid Reflux. Thus, you should eat dinner and wait for at least 3 hrs before going to bed. Overeating is another culprit, and hence, you should eat smaller meals instead of one large meal. Ensuring that you chew your food by eating slowly can make a significant difference in whether you get heartburns.
Tip 2: Exercise More
Exercising consistently on a daily basis will allow you to feel better. Additionally, exercising allows you to shed off some extra weight, which is a trigger for the condition. While exercising, you may get heartburns which can be minimized by drinking adequate amounts of water. You should drink water before exercising and also during the workouts to reduce heartburns.
Tip 3: Nutritional Change
There are various foods that help to prevent the occurrence of the problem, but they will also depend on your experiences. Foods such as ginger, vegetables, healthy fats, and oatmeal are great. However, avoiding some other foods and drinks that contribute to the condition such as onions, citrus juices, peppermint, and caffeine can be helpful.
Tip 4: Other Lifestyle Changes
Avoiding unhealthy lifestyle changes such as smoking will be crucial in preventing Acid Reflux. Better sitting posture, as well as the sleeping position, will allow an individual to enjoy a healthy life. Wearing loose clothing allows for little pressure and is a great solution to combat the likelihood of Acid Reflux.
Tip 5: A Food Diary
This article has illustrated tips that will help you prevent the occurrence of heartburns. If you adopt all these changes, but you still continue to experience severe heartburns, it is necessary to see a medical professional.