Acid Reflux Treatments – An Overview

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid Reflux or Gastro esophageal reflux disease (GERD) is not a disease rather it is a condition. Over stuffing and under eating, excess use of spicy foods, regular drinking of alcohol and smoking accompanied with no exercise are considered as primary causes for acid reflux. In acid reflux the food in the stomach starts coming back to the esophagus. Food that is rising in the esophagus is not the simple food. It also contains strong acids and digestive enzymes. This acidified food burn the protective mucosal lining of the lower esophagus due to this burning mucosal lining becomes weak and even it is destroyed completely. This burning and destruction makes mucosal lining more sensitive to have ulcers and cancers. Most prominent sign and symptoms include burning sensation behind rib cage and stabbing pain in chest. Other symptoms include frequent coughing, difficulty in swallowing, sinusitis, voice changes due to damage of voice box and nausea. In case of improper treatments and ignorance acid reflux will be converted in to serious diseases like ulcers, strictures, inflammation of throat, larynx and lungs and even cancers.

Acid Reflux Treatments

Acid Reflux can be treated in two ways. One is proper medication and other is simple alteration in life style and eating habits. Whatever you use as acid reflux treatment it is highly recommended to consult with doctor. This is because of the fact that medicines used to treat other diseases can inhibit drugs used to treat Acid Reflux. Acid Reflux Treatments can be classified in to three broad categories.

– Changes and Alteration in Life Styles
– Medication
– Surgery or Laparoscopic Surgery

Changes and Alteration in Life Styles

In this treatment patients are advised to change their life style from eating habits to sleeping habits and even body postures during physical workouts. If we talk about eating habits patients will have to quit spicy foods, coffee, alcohol. It is also suggested to reduce the consumption of cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli and cauliflower. It is also recommended to have smaller meal but more than 3 times. Avoid having meal just before going to bed. This will reduce stomach expansion during digestion. Chewing gum just after having meal will increase the production of saliva that in turns neutralize the acid in esophagus and in turn give relief in acid reflux. Patients are advised to follow the following guidelines

– Give up smoking.
– Cut down caffeine intake.
– Bring down stress
– Try to maintain ideal body weight.
– Try to avoid wearing waist fitted clothes.
– Do not do physical workouts after having meal.

Bad body postures such as bending or slumping that causes contraction of stomach can increase the chances of GRED. Patients are recommended to try to keep their body in straight and comfortable posture. Don’t sleep without pillow. Keep your upper body Acidaburn elevated this will not let the fluid come in esophagus.

Medication

Proton Pump Inhibitor Drugs

Specific drugs are also designed to use as acid reflux treatments. Some drugs lower down the acid production by deactivating cell surface molecules (proton pumps) in gastric lining. Proton pumps work with positively charged Hydrogen ions and increase acid production. Proton pump inhibiting drugs have serious side effects.

Antacids

Mild cases are treated with Antacids. Aluminum hydroxide, Magnesium hydroxide, Calcium hydroxide and Sodium bicarbonate are common antacids used as acid reflux treatments. Antacids increase the pH of stomach and decrease acidity by neutralizing acid in stomach. Antacids must be taken after one hour of having meal. Because antacid can not stay longer in the empty stomach and leave the stomach with in the hour. Meal increases the retention time of antacid in stomach. Other than lowering pH antacids have certain undesirable side effects. Aluminum containing antacids can cause constipation while magnesium containing antacids can cause diarrhea. Liquid antacids are preferred over tablets. Strongest liquid antacids available are Maalox II, Mylanta II, Gelusil II and Extra Strength Riopan

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