Acid reflux and heartburn

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Acid Reflux and Heartburn


     Acid reflux is a disorder that effects millions of people every year. The symptoms resemble that of heartburn but the after affects are much worse.
     Gastroesophageal reflux is a normal phenomenon. It typically occurs after eating. Gastro esophageaal reflux disease(GERD) is the condition where degree of exposure of esophageal mucosa to gastric contents is greater than normal. The most common symptom is heartburn but patients may have other symptoms.
     You may not realize the danger this disease has but there are a large number of people that are effected by it. There are 61 million or 44% of adult Americans suffer at least once a month. As many as 13% of adult Americans admit to taking antacids at least twice a week. And that 7% of adult Americans have a daily occurrence of heartburn.
     Although this is a terrible thing to live with, there are some things that you can do to help with the effects. Diet is a very important part of preventing acid reflux. There are several foods that should be avoided, such as citrus, coffee, and tomato. Other foods that should be avoided are garlic, onions, fatty foods, and alcohol. Overeating is another thing that you should try not to do. You should also try and wait two or three hours before going to bed after supper.
     Reflux can also be helped by simply elevating the head end of the bed or by using a wedge under the upper body. The esophageal acid exposure time is reduced by gravity.
     There are several drugs that are designed to help with acid reflux. However if the drugs do not ease the reflux, there is another option, surgery. Surgery is only used on patients with the worst cases of reflux.
     Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease is extremely common disorder and is primarily treated with changes in lifestyle as well as acid suppression. Changes in lifestyle like diet changes, elevating the head of the bed, and cessation of smoking are important. GERD is a life long problem and may need years of treatment to prevent relapses. Surgery should be considered only in extreme cases. Even though it is difficult to live with acid reflux, there are options and things that you can do to ease the pain.



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