Heartburn, acid reflux, and GERD—these terms are inter-related, but are not similar. Heartburn is the symptom which you will feel when the acid in the stomach moves up to your esophagus.
Heartburn,Guest Posting acid reflux, and GERD—these terms are inter-related, but are not similar. Heartburn is the symptom which you will feel when the acid in the stomach moves up to your esophagus. This movement is known as acid reflux which happens when there is an over-secretion of gastric juices in the stomach and the valve or LES which blocks the food and acid from coming up is not functioning properly. Prolonged exposure to acid reflux leads to GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. To get help with heartburn it is imperative that you understand the what, why, and how of these symptom, condition and disease.
Almost everyone has experienced heartburn and acid reflux. The frequency may differ from one person to another, but the symptoms are the same. Help with heartburn is available if you know what triggers it. A full-size meal of fatty, spicy, and acidic foods prompt acid reflux and heartburn. If occurrences come far and in between, a tablet or two of antacid will relieve the pain.
Now, if you are experiencing acid reflux repeatedly, like twice in one week, chances are you are already suffering from GERD. At this stage, you need sophisticated help. You have to consult a physician because if GERD is not attended to immediately, serious consequences might happen.
Warning Signs of GERD
It is easy to get help with heartburn if you always experience acid reflux. However, heartburn is not the only symptom of GERD. A child under twelve years old can have GERD, but does not suffer from heartburn. So what signs should you watch for? If you always feel like there is food blocking your esophagus, it is likely that you have GERD. Other indications of GERD are difficulty in swallowing, unrelenting dry cough, chest pain, gruffiness of voice in the morning, and bad breath. These are some of the manifestations of GERD.
What causes GERD
Although there are a number of ways to deal with heartburn, the root cause of GERD is not clearly established. What is known is that acid reflux happens when the lower esophageal sphincter or LES is weakened and cannot function suitably in keeping food and acid inside the stomach. GERD can also occur when there are irregularities in the body like hiatal hernia. This is a medical condition where the upper portion of the stomach and LES shift over to the diaphragm. With this condition present, acid reflux will more than likely happen and can lead to GERD if left untreated.
Most susceptible to GERD are obese people, smokers and pregnant women. Inclination to fatty and fried foods, chocolates, spicy treats, garlic and onions, tomato-laden meals, mint flavorings and alcohol and caffeine-rich beverages also contribute to GERD development. Getting help with heartburn can only be effective if accompanied by dodging away from these acid reflux triggers.
The ill-effect of GERD
Getting help with heartburn is very important in thwarting the more serious effect of GERD. If not attended to immediately, GERD can lead to some acute complications. Constant acid reflux may cause the esophagus to swell and damage the linings, leading eventually to bleedings or ulcers known as esophagitis, conditions which may require serious treatment. Although the wound will heal, the scars left can result to the narrowing of the esophagus which will impede swallowing. If help for heartburn is not applied immediately, the esophageal lining may take an irregular form and discoloration. Eventually, these scars can lead to esophageal cancer. It is a known fact also that GERD can aggravate or play a part in the development of asthma, persistent coughing and pulmonary fibrosis.
What to do if GERD symptoms are unrelenting
If your acid reflux does not stop even after several simple remedies, then it is crucial that you seek medical attention. You may undergo a far more complicated treatment if your condition is critical. One treatment that can be conducted is upper endoscopy. This is done by inserting a plastic tube with light and lens into your mouth down to your esophagus to visually examine the damage caused by acid reflux. With this procedure, another treatment called biopsy can be performed also. Together with lens and light, minute tweezers are slipped through the endoscope to gather tissue samples for examination under a microscope. Other complex help for heartburn are barium swallow radiograph using x-ray to pinpoint abnormalities and pH monitoring testing to measure how much acid comes back up to your esophagus.
Help with heartburn tips to avoid GERD
You may take medicines to treat the symptoms of heartburn. However, help with heartburn is more than just popping a tablet into your mouth. The best help is bringing about positive changes in your life. Here are some help with heartburn tips which can turn your life around:
• Cut your nicotine addiction—in simple terms, stop smoking!
• Stay away from foods and drinks which set off acid reflux to make help with heartburn more effective!
• Shed off those unwanted pounds or kilos, whichever is your preference!
• Don’t overstuff yourself with food; eat small servings of food at least six times a day!
• Do not hit the sack after every meal, although it really feels good to lie down when your stomach is full. Resist the temptation to fall asleep for about three hours.
• And finally, a little do-it-yourself help: elevate your bed’s head part by six to eight inches so that you are a bit inclined when sleeping. This can be done by securely fastening woodblocks under the bedposts.
Simple help with heartburn remedies to avoid GERD situation, right? Help does not really need to be complicated. But, as the cliché says, if symptoms persist, consult your doctor!