Questions about acid reflux?
I have had acid reflux now for the past couple of years and I have a few questions about it.
1. What causes acid reflux?
2. What can be done to prevent it? (other than medication, eating less acidic food, eating earlier in the evening)
3. What, if any, are long term side effects of acid reflux if left untreated?
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
Acid reflux is caused when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly. Instead of using its mighty energy for digestion, the defective valve lets acid out of the stomach and allows it to reflux back up into the esophagus. This can cause heartburn, throat problems, chronic coughing, and, if untreated, can even lead to cancer of the esophagus.
Everything you've mentioned in number two will help. Also try to eat smaller, more frequent meals (grazing). If you lose weight, this also helps, as does wearing loose clothing. Basically, you want pressure off your stomach. You can also try sleeping with your upper body elevated. Get a special foam wedge for this (available at medical supply stores). Don't try to double up on the pillows. This only elevates the head and actually puts more pressure on the stomach.
Truthfully, the thing that helped me most was medication. I now take a daily dose of Prilosec, have no side effects, and feel 100% better.
Hope some of this helps!
- Anonymous1 decade ago
Lifestyle changes Preventing Acid Reflux 10 Tips Preventing Acid Reflux
Remember, diet does NOT cause GERD. Nevertheless, GERD and its most frequent symptom of heartburn can be aggravated by foods, certain medications and other factors. Here are some suggestions to improve your heartburn symptoms.
1. Eat smaller, more frequent meals.
A full stomach can put extra pressure on the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), which will increase the chance that some of this food will reflux into the esophagus.
2. Avoid foods and beverages that can trigger reflux of stomach contents.
Some foods and beverages increase the risk of reflux by relaxing the LES. These include alcohol; beverages containing caffeine, such as coffee, tea and cola drinks; carbonated beverages; citrus fruits and juices; tomatoes and tomato sauces; chocolate; spicy and fatty foods.
3. Don't eat within two to three hours before bedtime.
Lying down with a full stomach can cause stomach contents to press harder against the LES, increasing the chances of refluxed food.
4. If you're overweight, lose the extra pounds.
Obesity increases abdominal pressure, which can then push stomach contents up into the esophagus.
5. Elevate your head a few inches while you sleep.
Lying down flat presses the stomach's contents against the LES. With the head higher than the stomach, gravity helps reduce this pressure. You can elevate your head in a couple of ways. You can place bricks, blocks or anything that's sturdy securely under the legs at the head of your bed. You can also use an extra pillow, or a wedge-shaped pillow, to elevate your head.
6. Don't wear belts or clothes that are tight fitting around the waist.
Clothing that fits tightly around the abdomen will squeeze the stomach, forcing food up against the LES, and cause food to reflux into the exophagus. Clothing that can cause problems include tight-fitting belts and slenderizing undergarments.
7. Stop smoking.
The chemicals in cigarette smoke weaken the LES as they pass from the lungs into the blood.
8. Avoid alcohol.
Alcohol relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus. It also increases the production of stomach acid. If you want to consume alcohol, follow these tips: Dilute alcoholic beverages with water or club soda, drink moderate amounts of alcoholic beverages -- the suggested amounts are 1-2 mixed drinks, 12-16 ounces of wine, or 2-3 beers, drink white wine instead of red, choose non-alcoholic beer or wine whenever you can.
9. Keep a heartburn record.
Record what triggerd your acid reflux episodes, the severity of each episode, how your body reacts, and what gives you relief. The next step is to take this information to your doctor so the both of you can determine what lifestyle changes you will need to make and what treatments will give you maximum relief.
10 Take your medication at the same time every day.
It is very important to take your medication every day. If you are prone to forgetting, leave yourself a note to remind you or take your medication when you do another daily activity that you don't forget doing, such as brushing your teeth or washing your face.
- 1 decade ago
1. Acid reflux can be caused by a big number of things. Eating acidy foods, abnormalities in your stomach or your throat, asthma. Mine apparently was stress related.
2. Besides what you named, you can lose weight and cut down alcohol, or sleep with your head elevated. Sounds crazy, but apparently it works...My solution was to take prevacid.
3. Your esophagus will be in some horrible shape if you don't do something about it, since you're, you know, letting it be eaten by stomach acid. It'll wear down, and can get so bad that it can turn cancerous. Not that it 100% guaranteed will, but the possibility sure isn't something you would want to risk.
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- David (UK)Lv 51 decade ago
1. The valve from the esophagus which terminates at the stomach is weakened and sometimes remains open, allowing in stomach-acid.
2. Proton-pump inhibitors, such as omeprazole 10, 20 or 40 mg.
3. Duodenal ulcers amongst other complications.
See your doctor.
- Anonymous5 years ago
If you are a acid reflux (GERD) sufferer you can find useful information on this site http://www.goobypls.com/r/rd.asp?gid=568
They teach a natural method about how to get rid of your acid reflux. It worked for me.
I hope it helps
- angelLv 41 decade ago
Back up of stomach acid into your esophagus. Try elevating the head of your bed a couple of inches. Prop yourself up in bed at night. Yes, you can cause damage to your esophagus.