Acid reflux disease can make a person’s life almost a living nightmare unless they take the time to sit down and idetify the symptoms associated with it.
Taking the first steps to control the incidence of reflux in your life is an important first step which many seem reluctant to take. Masking over the symptoms and telling yourself you’ll be a little more careful next time is doing nothing but delaying the inevitable.
What Is Acid Reflux Disease?
It occurs when stomach acid, which is used for digestion purposes, continually backs up into the esophagus. The role of the LES (lower esophageal sphincter), which is situated at the bottom of the esophagus, is there to produce a barrier and when food is allowed to pass by the LES from the mouth to the stomach, it will usually close tightly.
When the door isn’t shut tightly, stomach acid can then back up into the esophagus causing an unpleasant experience for those who experience it. The problem is, unchecked, and with the esophagus continually exposed, damage can occur which can lead to more serious complications. This is known as acid reflux disease and is also referred to as GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Symptoms Of Acid Reflux Disease
Heartburn is the most common symptom. Experiencing heartburn more than twice a week should be cause for some alarm. Other symptoms include persistent coughing, sour taste in the mouth, difficulty swallowing, chest pain and unnaturally high incidence of belching.
What Steps Can You Take Prevent Acid Reflux Disease?
First of all, you need to admit to yourself there is a problem. That’s obvious but too many times the warning signs are ignored. Try these simple steps:
1. Following another episode of reflux make a promise to yourself to sit down and identify the possible trigger.
2. Be honest in your assessment here. Identify the food you consumed before the attack or the liquid intake you had. Did you smoke? Do you wear tight fitting clothing especially around the stomach? Did the attack happen shortly after you went to bed? Write down everything you can think of.
3. Make an appointment to see your doctor. Your doctor will be your greatest ally in getting on top of reflux disease.
4. Go over your list and review your current lifestyle. Your doctor can then suggest a plan of action which may include diet and lifestyle changes and possibly medication.
The worst thing you can do concerning acid reflux is to attempt to self-medicate. Common antacids may be okay for mild heartburn sufferers but acid reflux needs more serious attention. You’ve got to realise with continued exposure to acid, your esophagus is at risk of serious damage and untreated, more serious complications such as Barrett’s esophagus could occur with an increased risk of esophagus cancer possible.