We all know that occasional heartburn is normal, but if you experience it often, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This disease occurs when acid moves up into your esophagus due to the fact that the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly, and as a result causes a burning sensation.
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In fact, about 20 percent of the US population suffers from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). This is an unpleasant and painful feeling that brings you discomfort and inability to eat well. That’s why, if you suffer from a similar feeling, you should consult a doctor to determine which treatment is right for you to get your body back on track.
What are the causes of GERD? In fact, the most common cause of acid reflux disease is a stomach abnormality called a hiatal hernia. This is when the upper part of your stomach – the lower esophageal sphincter, which normally keeps acid out of your throat, lets acid in and causes a burning sensation. However, you should know that there are other culprits of GERD, such as:
-Eating large meals
-Lying down after eating or bending over at the waist
-Excess weight or obesity
-Meals before bedtime
-Consumption of foods such as citrus, tomato, chocolate, mint, garlic, onions or spicy or fatty foods
-Drinking alcohol, carbonated drinks, coffee or tea
-Taking some medications, such as aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxers or blood pressure medications.
What are the symptoms of GERD? If you have acid reflux disease, you may experience heartburn and regurgitation, because these two are the most common symptoms of GERD. Heartburn is a burning sensation, uncomfortable feeling that moves from your stomach to your abdomen or chest, and even up to your throat. As for regurgitation, it is a bitter or sour-tasting acid that moves up into your throat or mouth. Both these sensations are uncomfortable and cause real discomfort.
In addition to these two sensations, you can also experience others, such as:
-Bloody or black stools
-Unexplainable weight loss
-Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness or constant sore throat
Is there any treatment for this disease? If you experience similar symptoms that we described above, this indicates that you may have acid reflux disease, and you should immediately visit your doctor to discuss all of your lifestyle habits and symptoms to determine which treatment is right for you. Also, there are simple rules for treating GERD that you can follow:
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-Do not lie down, sleep or bend over right after a meal.
-Raise your head when you sleep.
-Eat at least two to three hours before bedtime.
-Sleep in a chair for daytime naps.
-Try to lose weight if you’re overweight.
-Avoid tight belts.
-Avoid trigger foods, such as spicy foods, onions, citrus products, tomato products like pasta sauce or ketchup, fatty or fried foods, peppermint, chocolate, alcohol, carbonated beverages and coffee or other caffeinated beverages.
-Avoid large or fatty meals.
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