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10 Incessantly Asked Questions on Heartburn and Reflux

Do you suffer from heartburn and acid reflux disease? Are you overwhelmed by the variety of questions you may have about it? We answer those that appear most frequently.

Top 10 frequently asked questions about heartburn and acid reflux

Last actualisation: January 09, 2023

Heartburn and reflux are two of essentially the most common reasons for in search of consultations on account of gastrointestinal complaints. Gastroesophageal reflux is one of the common diseases because it affects about 20% of the population. It manifests itself with symptoms that include a burning sensation within the lower stomach, regurgitation and a bitter feeling within the mouth.

Both heartburn and occasional acid reflux disease are harmless. However, when symptoms don’t improve with treatment or persist over time, they require medical consultation. If you may have questions on this, read on as we take a take a look at a number of the most typical questions on this condition and their answers.

1. What is heartburn?

Heartburn is a given term a stinging or burning sensation that happens within the “cavities of the stomach” (upper abdomen), consequently of gastric reflux.

The burning sensation is normally centered in the middle of the chest, either above or below the breastbone. It may be intermittent or constant, and sometimes looks like pressure as a substitute of burning.

2. What is acid reflux disease that happens with heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux?

Problems with the lower esophageal sphincter cause acid to back up into the esophagus.

Gastroesophageal reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease, occurs on account of a deficiency within the reflux barrier of the esophagus. To prevent stomach contents from flowing back up into the esophagus, there’s a valve called the “lower esophageal sphincter” that forestalls acid from flowing back up into the esophagus.

When this valve is broken, acid backs up into the esophagus, which irritates it, causing symptoms of burning, regurgitation, nausea, etc.

We think you may also like this text: Gastroesophageal reflux disease: the whole lot it’s worthwhile to know

3. What are the risks of acid reflux disease?

Heartburn and acid reflux disease could cause chronic irritation of the esophagus. This in turn can result in changes in the liner of the esophagus, the event of morphological changes that provoke Barrett’s esophagus. This disease can increase the chance of esophageal cancer.

In addition, heartburn could cause ulcers and strictures or strictures that may affect the respiratory system, leading to laryngitis, asthma, chronic cough, voice changes, or recurrent upper and lower respiratory infections.

4. What foods can aggravate heartburn?

Although heartburn and acid reflux disease are quite common, symptoms may be made worse by quite a lot of foods, resembling:

  • Spicy food
  • Onions
  • Citrus fruits
  • Tomatoes
  • Fried or fatty foods
  • Mint
  • Chocolate
  • sauces
  • Large meals
  • Consumption of alcoholic, carbonated, coffee or caffeine-containing beverages

5. What else besides food could make symptoms worse?

Acid reflux may be aggravated by other situations, resembling:

  • Excess belly fat
  • Pregnancy
  • Wearing tight clothing
  • Wearing belts

6. When should heartburn be a cause for concern?

If discomfort persists, see your doctor.

Occasional, intermittent heartburn and acid reflux disease may not matter. Except when it occurs continuously, interferes with each day activities, doesn’t improve with medication, or worsens over time. In all these situations, timely medical evaluation is required.

Other symptoms to observe out for include:

  • Blackish or tarry vomiting
  • Difficulty or pain when swallowing
  • Vomiting blood
  • Unexpected weight reduction

What is the treatment for heartburn and acid reflux disease?

treatment for gastroesophageal reflux includes:

  • Diet and lifestyle changes.
  • Avoiding caffeine, spicy foods, mint, chocolate and alcoholic beverages.
  • Sleeping along with your head barely elevated (at a 30-degree angle).
  • Do not lie down on a flat surface for the primary 60 minutes after eating.
  • Eating smaller meals and eating more often.
  • No eating 3 hours before bedtime.
  • Medical therapy to neutralize the acid.

Treatment of gastroesophageal reflux disease goals to neutralize or reduce gastric acid secretion.

Like this text? You also can read: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD): Symptoms and Treatment

8. What drugs could also be indicated in such cases?

In addition to antacids, proton pump inhibitors or histamine receptor blockers are used. The former neutralize excess stomach acid, improving the sensation of heartburn.

On the opposite hand, proton pump inhibitors directly inhibit the production of hydrochloric acid, while histamine receptor blockers achieve this not directly.

However, long-term use and high doses may end in an increased risk of osteoporosis, serious infections, or magnesium deficiency, which may affect heart rhythm.

9. Are there foods that help with heartburn and acid reflux disease?

In the case of heartburn, it might be helpful to eat foods wealthy in mucous and emollients that protect the liner of the stomach and reduce symptoms. These foods include bananas, pumpkin, zucchini, boiled carrots or potatoes, oatmeal, turmeric and almonds.

10. Are there medications that could make it worse?

Some medications, resembling progesterone and a few antidepressants, affect the lower esophageal sphincter. Thus, they favor the formation of gastroesophageal reflux

When heartburn and reflux aren’t intermittent, they require medical evaluation

The backflow of stomach acid from the stomach into the esophagus causes various symptoms: burning, discomfort, bitter taste, difficulty or pain when swallowing, abdominal distension. If symptoms persist or you may have any questions, you need to all the time contact your doctor.

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