Acid reflux disease affects 1 out of every 10 adults in their lifetime. It is a condition that most people ignore or treat as simple heartburn. Even as heartburn is a common symptom, it worsens overtime.
In most cases, this means that they have developed acid reflux. More over, people are unaware of how to treat acid reflux. If not treated in a timely manner, it can lead to extensive medical issues.
Acid reflux or GERD is a disease that causes damage to the lining of the esophagus. The liquid content of the stomach travels back into the esophagus, which inevitably builds-up. Acid reflux is developed when the food in the stomach is not digested and broke down properly by this liquid content (acid) and enzymes.
The stomach acid then causes inflammation and damage to the esophagus. At this point, you may experience heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, dysphagia, or even hoarseness.
Because of such risks and symptoms, it is imperative that you are aware of how to treat acid reflux. Treating GERD must begin as early as possible and it depends upon how sever your symptoms have erupted. The condition can last several months or longer if not treated.
More over, symptoms previously mentioned can worsen; causing the need for life-long drug maintenance or even surgery. Again, before this occurs, there are several effective tips you can implement into your daily life-style to avoid further complications.
1. Medications – The most common treatment for acid reflux is over-the-counter drugs. OTC medications such as antacids (Pepcid, Alka- Seltzer, Maalox, Rolaids, or Pepto Bismol) are generally the first drugs recommended to relieve mild acid- related symptoms.
Prescription drugs; to include acid suppressants, proton pump inhibitors, prokinetic agents, or H2 blockers may help control symptoms. Although drugs are somewhat effective, there is a lack of consistent symptom relief. Furthermore, side effects are common with drugs and they interfere with the effectiveness of other medications.
2. Diet – it is necessary to avoid specific foods when suffering with GERD. Some foods that you must avoid include tomato- based foods, onions, spicy, and fatty/fried foods. These foods enhance the production of acid in the stomach. Also, you must allow at least three hours for your food to digest prior to lying down.
3. Life-style modification – Lifestyle changes are important for not only reducing the risks of development, but also to cure the condition. You can completely eliminate acid reflux by avoiding unhealthy habits. First of all, exercise is significant option in the process.
Exercise assists in helping you feel better overall, but you are also able to lose weight. Obesity is a major contributor to the progression of GERD. Other habits you should avoid are smoking and drinking alcohol.
4. Surgery – In order to avoid surgery, one must learn how to treat acid reflux early on. Surgery can be effective as it s a reasonable alternative to a lifetime of drugs and discomfort. Yet, it is presumed costly and may have long- term effects. Types of acid reflux surgery include Fundoplication or Implant.