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What Is Acid Reflux? Symptoms, Causes And Treatments

Apr 17, 2008
What is Acid reflux? Acid reflux means RISK. Find out about the crucial facts on how to diagnose and treat Acid reflux.

Most patients do not really understand what acid reflux is. Research done recently demonstrates that in the developed world one in five people approximately endure symptoms related to acid reflux, also known as GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) once a week, while an additional one in five suffer from the discomfort, even pain of these symptoms at least every month. Up to 40 per cent of those people suffer every day from gastro esophageal reflux disease related symptoms. So what is Acid reflux? Acid reflux is the condition where stomach juices with acid flow back (reflux) from the stomach to the esophagus.

What is the cause of local and immediate Acid reflux?

When the esophagus lining comes into contact with these juices, a burning sensation in the chest and/or the throat is produced. This is called acid reflux. Gastro esophageal reflux disease happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (the name for the valve or circle of muscle between the stomach and the esophagus) does not close correctly, failing to prevent stomach juices from traveling back up, or refluxing, into the esophagus.

Over time, any extra effort of the stomach can result in gastro esophageal reflux disease occurring. The level of stomach acid has to be concentrated high enough for effective digestion, so that the stomach is not obliged to work much harder for the food to be digested. So although it seems strange, acid reflux may also be a symptom of too little gastric acid.

A long-term solution can only come from fixing the internal factors fundamentally responsible for bringing on gastro esophageal reflux disease. Rather than just the immediate factors leading to acid reflux, there are also uncontrollable genetic factors and several other internal factors and cofactors, that make for a context that encourages GERD.

What do Symptoms of Acid reflux look like?

Note that sometimes GERD can happen in the absence of any symptoms. Diagnosis of acid reflux is typically done according to a recurring (every three days or more) manifestation of heartburn. Healthy people get occasional heartburn as well, and this alone does not mean that you have an acid reflux condition. Yet others experience a sensation of food lodged in their throat or choking or stricture. Symptoms may differ for some GERD patients, such as chest pains, breakfast hoarseness or problems in swallowing. Recurrent dry coughs are also symptoms for this last group of patients.

What are the Dangers associated with Acid reflux?

Gastric acid can lead to inflammation of the esophagus over time, and ulcers or bleeding. Tissue damage scars can result in narrowing of the esophagus and problems in swallowing. Some victims develop a condition where cells in the esophageal lining adopt abnormal shapes and colors, a condition known as Barrett's esophagus. Protracted Barrett's esophagus may result in cancer, in particular for adults over 60. Neglecting GERD can have not only disagreeable, perhaps painful symptoms, but can also generate other grave complications.

Possible Solutions for Acid reflux

Treating gastro esophageal reflux disease can be handled in one of three ways: a surgical operation; medicaments available by prescription or over-the-counter; and holistic therapy, using dietary and lifestyle alterations, detox, and specific herbal supplements. This holistic approach to GERD is also backed up by a review of recent research that demonstrates that this medical condition is provoked mostly by factors of diet, lifestyle and behavior. In most instances, gastro esophageal reflux disease can be tackled and stopped using natural solutions, without the risks or secondary effects of surgical treatment or prescribed medicaments.

Considered in the context of conventional medicine that compares it to other similar recurring conditions, GERD is to be treated by constantly swallowing drugs, antacids and over the counter medicament that only bring temporary relief. But this is not the real answer to gastro esophageal reflux disease.

Alternative treatments for acid reflux therefore (homeopathic programs, herbal remedies, diet and lifestyle modifications and detoxification), by treating the underlying internal cause of acid reflux, are implicitly superior compared to conventional answers that only bring superficial relief. The holistic viewpoint indicates that acid reflux is the warning sign for a major lack of internal balance that must be restored.
About the Author
Jeff Martin is a medical researcher, health consultant and author of the #1 best-selling e-book Heartburn No More- Open The Door To an Acid Reflux Free Life. To Learn More About Jeff Martin's Unique 5-Step Holistic Heartburn Cure System Visit: Acid Reflux Cure
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