Do you sometimes feel as if something is stuck in your throat or there is a sour taste in your mouth along with a burning sensation in your chest? These are three of the most common symptoms of acid reflux or heartburn, which is not a heart condition, but a gastrointestinal issue. One in three Americans suffers from it with some experiencing symptoms daily.
Acid reflux is unpleasant, bothersome, and usually has triggers. Find out what causes acid reflux and how to treat it.
What Acid Reflux is Like
With acid reflux, the symptoms usually start after eating a meal or doing something that triggers it. The symptoms can last for a few minutes to a few hours and are aggravated by lying flat on your back or bending over.
When you have acid reflux, it means your stomach acids are moving into your esophagus. Under normal circumstances, the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) seals itself, preventing stomach acids from going into the esophagus. However, due to a faulty LES, a structural issue in the stomach, or other type of issue, the stomach acid makes its way into the esophagus. When stomach acid enters the esophagus, it causes a burning sensation in your chest that can go up to your throat and mouth.
Acid Reflux Triggers
There are foods and lifestyle habits that can trigger or exacerbate acid reflux. For instance, eating spicy and citrus foods are often to blame for acid reflux because they cause excessive production of stomach acids. Acid reflux triggers include tomatoes, orange juice, pineapple juice, coffee, tea, peppermint, spicy ramen, and fried foods. However, eating spicy foods doesn’t always mean you will have acid reflux.
Other acid reflux triggers include lifestyle choices that weaken LES valve function, such as smoking cigarettes. Smoking also increases acid production. Certain medications such as blood pressure medication, antibiotics, antidepressants, and sedatives can also trigger acid reflux.
Pregnant women are prone to acid reflux due to added pressure on the abdomen. Symptoms should go away after giving birth. Eating large meals puts added pressure on the LES valve, which can also cause acid reflux. Therefore, it’s best to eat smaller meals in the day.
If you suffer from acid reflux symptoms, it helps to refrain from lying down or bending over after a meal to prevent stomach acid from backing into the esophagus. Wait at least two hours after eating a meal to go to bed.
Best Acid Reflux Treatment in Ohio
Acid reflux symptoms may be reduced by taking antacids. However, a faulty LES valve needs to be addressed. Something worth considering is that acid reflux may be a symptom of a disease such as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or esophageal cancer.
At North Shore Gastroenterology, our board-certified gastroenterologists are able to treat all digestive disorders, including acid reflux. Don’t ignore your symptoms – let us address the root cause before it gets worse. To schedule a consultation, call the North Shore Gastroenterology at (440) 808-1212 or request an appointment now. We are happy to welcome you to our Brooklyn and Westlake endoscopy centers.