What Is Acid Reflux?

If you find yourself in a fair amount of discomfort after eating, it is arguable that you suffer from acid reflux, commonly referred to as heartburn.

According to WebMD, the entrance of your stomach is guarded by a ring of muscle known as the lower esophageal sphincter and said ring typically closes after food passes through it and into the stomach. If this ring does not close, however, or if it opens too frequently, stomach acid can travel up through the opening and into the esophagus, resulting in heartburn. If you experience this discomfort more than twice in a single week, you may have acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).

Some examples of what causes acid reflux include a hiatal hernia, consuming large amount of food in one sitting, lying down after consuming food, being overweight, smoking cigarettes, being pregnant, taking certain medications (aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers, blood pressure medications), and consuming certain foods and beverages (citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onion, spicy foods, fatty foods, alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee and tea).

The most common symptoms include heartburn, which consists of a burning pain or discomfort that has the ability to travel from your stomach/abdomen to your chest and throat, and the regurgitation of consumed food, usually tasting sour and bitter because of acid rising in the back of the throat. Less common symptoms of acid reflux are bloating, bloody/black stool, bloody vomit, burping, consistent hiccups, nausea, weight loss, wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, sore throat, and dysphagia, which is when the esophagus narrows and creates the feeling of food stuck in the throat.

Acid reflux is treatable, and if you suspect you may be suffering from it, consult with your physician and determine how to proceed. Heartburn is not fun, therefore doing your research and visiting with your doctor is essential in order to move forward.


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