Heartburn and Acid Reflux Disease

If you are experiencing heartburn several times a month, you probably don’t have acid reflux disease. A symptom of acid reflux disease is heartburn. If you are experiencing heartburn several times per week, you could have acid reflux disease. Acid reflux disease is caused by a malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter(LES). A valve that allows food to flow into your stomach and closes to keep acid from flowing back into your esophagus.

Acid reflux disease is when the LES in your stomach is relaxing at the wrong time, or it has weakened, causing stomach acid to flow back into your esophagus. Acid reflux meaning acid going back into the esophagus. When this acid touches the lining in your esophagus, it causes a burning feeling in your chest and throat known as heartburn. The frequency of this happening can help determine if it’s acid reflux disease instead. If you are struggling with acid reflux then you need to visit the best gastroenterologist in Fort Pierce.

Heartburn and Acid Reflux

Heartburn may signal a serious health problem and it’s important for you to speak with your doctor if you are experiencing heartburn. Acidic stomach fluids that back up into the esophagus, acid reflux, can cause damage. If you have long-term heartburn, your at a greater risk of developing esophageal ulcers or esophageal stricture. This is why it is important to take heartburn seriously. Talk to your doctor if you have it two or more days a week and you don’t get lasting relief from the medicines you are taking.

You should also talk to your physician if you’ve had heartburn or symptoms of acid reflux disease for several months, you have difficulty swallowing, or if it disrupts your sleep. If you have night time heartburn, don’t eat for three to four hours before going to bed. Try propping the end of your bed up or using a foam wedge between your mattress and box spring to lift your head up 6-8 inches. Using extra pillows can increase pressure on the abdominal area and bend the torso, perhaps encouraging acid reflux, so you will want to avoid using extra pillows.

Lifestyle Changes

A change in your diet can usually help prevent heartburn, because some foods are known to be more likely to cause it. Some of these foods are tomato based foods, chocolate, heavy seasonings, garlic, onions, alcohol, caffeinated or carbonated beverages, citrus fruits and juices, fried fatty meals, and mint flavorings. Other things you can do to help manage your heartburn are to avoid large fatty meals. Smaller meals reduces pressure put on the LES.

Smoking can cause your LES to weaken, and it causes your stomach to produce more acid, which may contribute to acid reflux disease. Wear loose pants because tight pants can cause pressure on your stomach and LES. Try to avoid activities that cause pressure on your stomach, and try dieting to trim down any extra fat that you might have in the abdominal area. Stress can also cause your heartburn to become worse.Keep a diary of foods and drinks you consume that cause your heartburn, or acid reflux, and then avoid consuming those foods. Check with your doctor to make sure you are not experiencing acid reflux disease.


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