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Acid Reflux Symptoms: How to Get Relief From Your Symptoms Today

Aug 17, 2007
If you're experiencing acid reflux symptoms, you want relief...and you want it TODAY. No more sleepless nights, no more burning sensation.

Acid reflux symptoms can range from mild heartburn to pain that can feel like you're having a heart attack. Identifying the cause of these symptoms can help you get relief from your symptoms today.

What Is Acid Reflux?

The condition occurs when the contents of the stomach are pushed back up into the esophagus. In your stomach, you have acid and enzymes, which can damage the lining of the esophagus, and cause the symptoms of heartburn.

What causes It?

There is a small muscle between the esophagus and the stomach that forms a barrier between them. Normally, the muscle relaxes and opens the entry into the stomach when you swallow, so that food can pass into your stomach.

Once the travels into your stomach, the muscle contracts and closes off the entrance.

When acid reflux takes place, the muscle relaxes and allows your stomach contents to go backward, up into the esophagus.

Are there risk factors?

Yes. The risk factors include:

- Obesity
- Smoking
- Hiatal hernia
- Pregnancy
- Asthma (it's unclear if this is actually a risk factor, or if asthma and acid reflux are related in some other way, but they often go hand in hand)
- Diabetes
- Peptic Ulcer
- Delayed stomach emptying
- Connective tissue disorders
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome

What are the symptoms?

- A burning sensation in your chest or throat.
- Sour or bitter taste in your mouth.
- Belching.
- Wheezing.
- Hoarseness.
- Cough.

The symptoms of acid reflux also have a few special characteristics:

- They usually get worse when you lie down or bend over.
- Eating usually makes them worse.
- Certain foods can make them worse including citrus based fruits, coffee and greasy or fatty foods.
- Antacids usually help, but can sometimes only give you temporary relief.
- Exercise doesn't usually affect your symptoms at all.

Your symptoms may mimic the symptoms of a heart attack. If you experience pain or burning in your chest and/or throat, sweating and/or shortness of breath, call 911. DO NOT waste time trying to figure out if it's serious or not.

It's important to get treatment for a heart attack as soon as possible. DO NOT drive yourself to the doctor's office or hospital.

What can I do to get relief my symptoms?

1. Use antacids or over-the-counter medications for heartburn and acid indigestion. Sodium bicarbonate is not recommended because it contains too much sodium.

2. Eat smaller meals.

3. Don't lie down for at least 45 minutes after eating

4. Pay close attention to your diet. Fatty foods, spicy foods, onions, tomatoes, chocolate, caffeine-containing beverages, alcohol and carbonated beverages frequently cause acid reflux. Pay attention to the things that cause you to have indigestion, and eliminate them from your diet. Make a list of these foods and carry it with you at all times to serve as a reminder.

5. Raise the head of your bed. This may keep you from waking up at night with indigestion.

6. Lose weight.

7. Stop smoking.

8. Talk to your doctor about your medications, including prescriptions and any vitamins or minerals you take. Avoid taking aspirin or other over-the-counter anti-inflammatory medications, such as ibuprofen.

Identifying the source of your acid reflux symptoms can help you decide what changes you can make to get relief today.
About the Author
StopHeartburnToday offers simple tips to help you identify the source of your heartburn symptoms. In addition to medications, there are also natural cures for acid reflux that can help you get stop heartburn today.
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