Toni Jordan

Acid Reflux: Gerd Symptoms

Causes

Acid reflux can occur when a person smokes, drinks too much weigh too much, has a hiatal hernia, is pregnant or eats certain foods. The foods that contribute to GERD are citrus foods, chocolates, caffeine, spicy foods, fried foods, fatty foods, pasta sauce, onions, and garlic.

The stomach acid is kept in the stomach by the lower esophageal sphincter. If the lower esophageal sphincter fails to stay closed as it should, the acid erupts into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation. This is only considered acid reflux when it occurs on a regular basis.

Symptoms

One of the main symptoms of GERD occurs in the chest. The individual will begin to suffer from the feeling of heartburn. This is a burning sensation that usually is experienced after a meal. The individual may start taking a lot of antacids, such as Tums or Rolaids.

If this occurs more than three a week, the individual has acid reflux. The individual could also feel pain or discomfort in the chest versus the feeling of heartburn. Also, another symptom associated with the chest is a chronic cough that cannot be explained by cold or other illness.

When the lower esophageal sphincter opens, and acid gets into the esophagus an individual will start to experience symptoms in their throat. The individual’s throat may become sore and red. They may feel like their throat is tightening up or that it has something in it. This can cause their voice to sound hoarse.

If the Acid Reflux is severe, the individual will begin to have trouble swallowing which can lead to episodes of choking. If an individual can’t eat, then their body is not getting the nutrition it needs to remain healthy. Other health issues are sure to follow.

Diagnosis

Your doctor may not decide to order any tests to confirm your acid reflux and sinusitis if he or she feels that you have all of the symptoms of the disease. If he is unsure, however, he may want to perform a Barium Swallow. The patient drinks a substance that shows up when X-Rays are taken.

This can reveal any ulcers or hernias. Another test is called an upper endoscopy. The doctor places a small tube with a camera at the end of it down to your esophagus.

The last test is similar to the upper endoscopy except for the fact that the tube and camera are left in place over a twenty-four hour period. This test is called a PH exam. The doctor will then review the test results with you and order a course of treatment.

Treatment

The first thing doctor is going to do suggest you make some lifestyle changes. He will want you to give up smoking and drinking, and limit your caffeine (this includes chocolates). You will also need to stay away from citrus fruits and pasta sauces.

You will need to make sure that you don’t lay down after meals and that when you go to bed at night that your bed is propped up. If these lifestyle changes don’t work, you will need to start taking a medication. Your doctor may opt to begin you on some mild medicines that are available over-the-counter.