Category: | Remedies

Understanding Acid Reflux And The Causes

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Acid reflux is a condition where the stomach acid rises up from the stomach to the esophagus. The esophagus is the part of the alimentary canal which connects the throat to the stomach. The reason the acid is able to rise up is due to the fact that the lower esophageal sphincter is not functioning properly.

The esophageal sphincter is located at the point where the stomach and esophagus connects. The main job of this valve is to prevent the gastric juices in the stomach from rising up the esophagus. While the stomach has an inner lining to protect itself from the strong stomach acids, the esophagus does not. So, when the acids rise up, they literally burn the esophagus and cause the burning sensation in the chest that is known as heartburn.

When the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weakened gastric juices can seep upwards into the esophagus.

The rate of acid reflux cases has steadily risen over the years. Our modern day diet plays a large role in this. We eat foods that have been genetically modified, contain harmful additives and preservatives, etc.

Most of these foods are not beneficial to the human body and exacerbate pre-existing acid reflux conditions that are lying dormant in most people.
The consumption of these foods causes acid reflux symptoms such as heartburn, coughing, nausea and other symptoms to occur. The best thing a person suffering from acid reflux can do is to watch their diet closely.

Have a food journal to record exactly what you’re having with each meal so that you can narrow down the foods that are causing you discomfort.
While doctors have narrowed down the cause of acid reflux to a faulty lower esophageal sphincter, they do not really know why or how the valve gets faulty. They have listed a few causes that could be responsible for acid reflux. Remember these causes and you can take necessary precautions to prevent acid reflux symptoms from occurring.

Consuming large meals is a common cause of heartburn. The large amounts of food going into the stomach will cause the stomach acids to rise. It’s always good to eat small meals at regular intervals rather than large meals.

Do not consume too much water or liquid beverages with your meals either. The aim here is to keep your stomach acids relatively level.

Pregnancy also causes acid reflux in about 50 percent of women. This is due to the fact that the fetus is placing pressure on the stomach. Eating smaller meals will help. The good thing is that after childbirth, the acid reflux goes away.

Vigorous exercise also causes heartburn. Acid reflux sufferers should avoid high intensity exercises that cause their stomach acids to spill out of their stomach into the esophagus. Moderate weight training and light cardio is sufficient.

Alcohol and smoking are culprits too. Both should be avoided if you have acid reflux.

Bending over or lying flat when you sleep may also cause heartburn. Gravity is your friend. Use it to your benefit. Always keep your stomach lower than your throat. Even when you sleep, use an elevated headrest. This will ensure that the acid always stays in the stomach instead of sliding up the esophagus.

These are some of the causes. There are many more. If you are in constant pain, do see a doctor and explore your treatment options. For most people, acid reflux can be controlled using natural methods. Do give those a try.

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