Acid reflux is the common term for gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD, the condition of abnormal reflux that causes mucosal damages. This disease can affect both adults and children or infants but gives high vulnerability to pregnant women, smokers, and people who doze off right after eating without prior rest.
The symptoms of acid reflux are as follows: heartburn, which is characterized by chest pain; inflammation in the mucosa; difficulty in swallowing; cough, and hoarseness. These symptoms are felt by the infected person after eating a fatty meal or drinking liquor, when bending, and worse when constantly smoking.
Acid reflux is primarily caused by the malfunction of the esophageal sphincter. In other cases, it can also be brought about by the abnormal production of gastric acids. If there is an insufficient supply of stomach acid, the valve in the stomach responsible for churning up foods to the intestine does not open up. This irritates the esophagus and leads to inflammation.
Some factors that can trigger acid reflux are hiatus hernia, Zollinger-Ellison syndrome, hypercalcemia, scleroderma, and systemic sclerosis.
According to paradoxical beliefs, drinking alcohol, tea, and coffee can lead to gastroesophageal reflux. But recent studies show that although individuals already infected by this disease can be aggravated by alcohol, tea, and coffee, these elements do not cause the disease. Compared to smoking which amplifies the risks of getting the disease, alcohol, tea, and coffee had the least impact. But this doesn’t mean that GERD infected people are free to take the beverages stated above. Doctors still suggest avoiding drinking of alcohol in order to shun further aggravation.
Smoking is the chief culprit that causes acid reflux disease. Regular smokers for twenty years are 70% susceptible to acid reflux disease compared to non-smokers. And symptoms of those who already developed GERD are worsened day by day due to smoking.
The highlight of the research is that great amounts of salts are found to be equivalent to regular smoking in terms of the risk of developing GERD. It is not common knowledge that table salts can cause acid reflux disease but researchers found out in their studies that people who are constantly using extra salt are 70% at risk to have gastroesophageal reflux disease. Gastroenterologists of New York University Medical Center attested to this fact.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease can be diagnosed even by the infected person himself through the appearance of the symptoms. In the occurrence of these symptoms, it is advised to undergo the tests conducted by medical experts to clear doubts of having the disease or to carry out possible treatments. To treat this kind of disorder, there are varieties of ways possible. It can be cured by prescribed drugs such as antacids, by natural way such as change of diet system, elevation of the head when lying down, or to the utmost is surgery. And of course, it will be best to stop or avoid smoking and drinking alcohol especially for people who are vulnerable to acid reflux disease.
Gastroesophageal reflux disease causes a lot of discomfort that it can ruin even your lifestyle. To avoid its bad effects, precautionary measures should be considered. The cliché quote that prevention is better than cure applies always.