What Is Acid Reflux?

It is nothing but the backward flow of stomach acid into the tube that connects your throat to your stomach. It is also known as gastroesophageal reflux. It causes a burning sensation that happens when some of the stomach acid content flows into the esophagus (food pipe). But do you know how to get rid of acid reflux? Come, let us know about it!!

What Causes Acid Reflux? 

Acid reflux

The common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality that is called a hiatal hernia. his mostly occurs when the top part of your stomach bulges through the diaphragm. Mostly, the diaphragm helps keep the acid in your stomach. But if you have a hiatal hernia, the acid will move up into your esophagus and cause the symptoms of acid reflux.

Acid reflux can affect people of all ages, sometimes for unknown reasons. It may happen due to lifestyle changes too.  Some of the other factors that can cause acid reflux are given below:

  • Taking a heavy meal and lying down immediately after the meal.
  • Overweight or obesity
  • Intake of snacks at bedtime 
  • Eating certain foods, like citrus, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions, or spicy fatty foods 
  • Smoking
  • Consuming certain beverages, such as alcohol, carbonated drinks, and sometimes even coffee or tea
  • Low level of physical exercise
  • Intake of medications, including drugs for asthma, painkillers, or antidepressants
  • Pregnancy 

Acid Reflux Symptoms 

Vomiting due to acid reflux

These are the most common symptoms of acid reflux: 

  • A feeling of discomfort or pain in the chest or stomach, which is usually called “heartburn”
  • Sour or bitter-tasting particles that rise through the throat into the mouth
  • Bloating 
  • Blood vomiting 
  • Weight loss for no reason
  • Wheezing, dry cough, or throat pain
  • Asthma 
  • The sensation of food that is stuck in your throat
  • Bad taste in the mouth

Why Does Acid Reflux Happen? 

Acid reflux pain

Hydrochloric acid in the stomach breaks down the food we eat. However, the stomach has a mucus layer that protects it from the acid.

A ring of muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter is located at the entrance to your stomach. It normally acts as a valve that lets the food we intake, but when this valve fails, stomach content and acid regurgitate back into the esophagus. This is what acid reflux is. The person experiencing acid reflux will feel a burning sensation in their esophagus as the acid rises. If acid reflux symptoms happen more than twice a week, then it is acid reflux disease, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease. 

How to Get Rid of Acid Reflux? 

There are several ways for a person to get rid of acid reflux, and they include the following: 

H2 Blockers and PPls

The main treatment options for people who are suffering from acid reflux are PPls or H2 blockers. These medications help decrease acid production and reduce the potential for the damage that is caused by acid reflux. 

They are generally safe and effective to use, but like any prescription drug, they are not appropriate for all people with reflux disease. In addition, they can also cause side effects. For instance, they can cause problems during the absorption of nutrients, and this may lead to malnutrition. 

Antacids

Antacids are used to treat people suffering from heartburn or indigestion. However, they don’t directly eliminate the underlying condition that causes heartburn.

Antacids may not work for everyone, and those considering regular use of antacids

 should discuss it with a doctor. Because they usually contain chemical compounds like calcium carbonate, sodium bicarbonate, aluminum, and magnesium hydroxide. In addition, these compounds provide rapid relief but only for a short while. 

Alginate Antacids

Alginate antacids

Alginates are compounds normally found in seaweed. Alginate antacids interact with your stomach acid, thus forming a gel-like substance right at the entrance to the stomach. This layer of gel prevents food or stomach acid from entering the esophagus, thereby preventing acid reflux.

Other possible treatment methods involve sucralfate acid supplements, potassium-competitive acid blockers, prokinetic agents, and pain modulators.

How to Get Rid of Acid Reflux at Home? 

No smoking

The most effective way to get rid of acid reflux is to avoid food and beverages that cause it. Here are the steps you can take at home. 

  • Better eat smaller meals more often throughout the day, and modify the types of food you normally eat
  • Give up smoking
  • Eat food at least 2 to 3 hours before sleep 
  • Try to sleep in a chair for daytime naps
  • Don’t wear tight clothes
  • If you are overweight, exercise regularly and follow a healthy diet plan.
  • Also, ask your doctor if any medication could trigger your heartburn or other symptoms of acid reflux

Complications of Acid Reflux

Without any proper treatment acid reflux can lead to very serious complications in the long term. This involves, 

Esophagitis 

The lining of the stomach is inflamed and causes irritation, bleeding, and even ulceration in some cases. 

Strictures 

Strictures in the esophagus can prevent the proper following of food. In other words, food particles passing through the esophagus can get stuck.