Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GERD) refers to a health condition wherein the stomach acids tend to leak backwards from your stomach into the oesophagus, causing the latter to experience a good amount of irritation, thereby triggering a number of other problems. GERD has a way of affecting people irrespective of their age or gender. Patients who suffer from asthma are at greater risks of encountering the problem of GERD, and some asthma medicines tend to worsen reflux symptoms. However, the effects are indeed two-way in this regard. Acid reflux worsens asthma symptoms by deeply affecting the lungs and airways. Allergic reactions might also be brought about as a result of such a condition.
GERD is a condition that everyone has experienced at one point or the other in their lives. It generally happens when on burping you are left with a bit of an acid taste that lingers in your mouth, followed simultaneously by a case of heartburn. A sure way to ascertain this condition is to check for the following symptoms:
Sudden and excessive rise in saliva
Gums show inflammation
Sore throat that is chronic
Encountering pain or difficulty while swallowing
Hoarseness or laryngitis
How can it be treated?
The prime treatment measure for GERD is to adopt necessary lifestyle changes so that you may nurture better health. In case you happen to be overweight, it is important that you look into the matter of weight loss.
Medicines must be taken along with a lot of water, and doctors must ensure that prescribed medications do not actually worsen your heartburn.
Over-the-counter medications and antacids can be used every once in a while after meals, but it does one good to remember that the effects don’t last for long. Side effects of excessive dosage of antacids include constipation or diarrhoea.
Proton pump inhibitors might also be recommended in acute cases of GERD to reduce the total amount of acid that is manufactured in your stomach. H2 blocker is another antidote that aims at reducing the level of acid that is released in your stomach.
Anti-reflux surgery is also prescribed for those people whose symptoms persist despite a change in medications and lifestyle patterns. An endoscopic surgery is another important procedure that may be opted for in order to correct GERD.
- Caffeine: A cup of coffee or tea in a day is fine; however, more than that may lead to acid reflux, due to excess caffeine content in them. The consumption of caffeine leads to an increased secretion of gastric acid in the stomach causing acidity. Never drink tea or coffee on an empty stomach.
- Citrus Fruits (Only when eaten on an empty stomach): Fruits are undoubtedly healthy; however, some of the citrus fruits can cause acidity especially when eaten on an empty stomach. Citrus fruits like orange, lemon, tomato, berries, et al are highly acidic and may cause heartburn. Never consume these fruits on an empty stomach as it will only worsen the case.
- Soda: Soda and other carbonated drinks are responsible for causing acid in the stomach. The increased pressure of bubbles further contributes to reflux. In fact, soda has caffeine too, which can contribute in causing acidity.
- Alcohol: Various alcoholic beverages like beer and wine not only increase the gastric acid in the stomach, but also dehydrate the body causing major acid formation.
- Fatty Foods: They are highly acidic in nature plus they tend to stay for longer in the stomach, increasing the chances of acidity. Instead, switch to lean meats and baked foods for a healthier stomach.
- Spicy Foods: Excess consumption of spicy foods can wreak havoc on your health. Chilies, garam masala and pepper are all acidic in nature. Eating them frequently may cause acid reflux.
- Chocolate: They may taste heavenly, but it could prove to be quite a culprit when it comes to your tummy. It contains caffeine and other stimulants like theobromine that causes reflux. It is high in fat content, which also causes #acidity and its excess cocoa content which is also responsible for promoting reflux.