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Looking For Suggestions For Acid Reflux Treatment?

Anyone who has suffered through acid reflux knows just how painful a condition it can be. Also known as GERD (Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease), this annoying state occurs when acid in the stomach back up, or reflux, into your esophagus.  If left untreated over time, it can lead to damage of the esophagus.

The muscular tube that leads from your throat straight to your tummy is known as your esophagus. Usually during acid reflux, the materials from the stomach remain, which causes heartburn, and can cause nausea. If left untreated over time, it can lead to damage of the esophagus.

If you are experiencing acid reflux, you will find that the materials in your stomach will move back up your throat and into your mouth, with the acid causing a burning sensation in your throat. You may even find undigested pieces of food make its way back up.

What Causes Heartburn?Normally blamed on a defective lower esophageal sphincter, there is treatment for acid reflux once you establish the causes.  The esophageal sphincter can be found as a tough rim of muscle that surrounds the lower end of the esophagus. The sphincter contracts, which pushes your food into your stomach.

GERD occurs when the sphincter can not push the food into the stomach, either because it is not strong enough, or, it relaxes completely, resulting in allowing chemicals and food in the stomach to rush back into the esophagus.

Other potential reasons associated with acid reflux include a hiatal hernia and a "weak" or "slow"  esophagus that doesn't contract strongly enough to move the food to the stomach in a timely manner.

How Is Acid Reflux Treated?Before you speak to your doctor about what pills you can take to relieve acid reflux, you may want to consider a few lifestyle changes first.  Eat smaller meals, lose some weight, quit drinking alcohol, quit smoking and remain active and awake for at least a couple of hours after meals. These are all sound suggestions whether you have acid reflux or not.

There are some over the counter drugs that can ease symptoms of heartburn such as Pepcid and Zantac. These Histamine Receptor Antagonists work by decreasing the amount of acid in your stomach.  If you want to neutralize the acid, consider Mylanta and Tagamet.

A couple of quick points to consider:- acid reflux cannot be cured, but it can be treated and managed if you modify your lifestyle, and with some medications designed to help remedy heartburn- recent studies from the US Department of Health suggest that 7 million people in the US suffer from acid reflux- while not being the main cause for acid reflux disease, spicy foods can in fact worsen symptoms associated with acid reflux disease in some people

Finally, if there is still no relief from acid reflux symptoms, doctors may prescribe proton pump inhibitors such as Nexium and Prevacid. These medicines prevent the release of acid into the stomach and intestines. Finally, promotility agents, such as Reglan, may be used to force the esophagus to empty more quickly and to speed digestion.  If you are experiencing acid refluxArticle Search, talk to your doctor to determine which treatment options are best for you. 

Article Tags: Acid Reflux

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