acid reflux disease is a burning pain felt around the chest region which occurs when the stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus. This acid is produced by the stomach to help with food digestion and to help fight against bacteria. Acid reflux is commonly known as heartburn and also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Causes of Acid Reflux Disease
Acid reflux can arise as a result of the following:
An abnormality in the stomach called hiatal hernia
- Eating too much food
- Lying down immediately after eating
- Lying on your back after eating
It can be triggered off by taking certain medications such as asthma drugs, medications for high blood pressure, ibuprofen or antidepressants.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
Heart burn: this is a burning pain in the chest which moves from the stomach to the chest or throat.
- Dry wheezing cough
- Bloody and black stool
- Difficulty in swallowing
- Pain in the throat
- Going to bed immediately after eating
Diagnoses of Acid Reflux Disease
When you experience some of the symptoms mentioned, you should see your doctor
who will carry out some tests to confirm the presence of acid reflux disease.
Tests to diagnose this include biopsy, endoscopy, ph monitoring, barium
swallowing and esophageal manometry.
Treatment for Acid Reflux Disease
acid reflux disease can be treated with the following medications:
- Proton pump inhibitors such as nexium and protonix
- H2 blockers such as Pepcid and Zantac
Some of these drugs are available over the counter while some are only available on doctors prescription.
In rare cases of severe acid reflux disease, surgery might be needed.
A change in lifestyle is also recommended for treating acid reflux disease. Eat at least fours hours before your bedtime, eat smaller meals, lose weight if you are fat and quit smoking if you do smoke.