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exactly what is acid reflux
Heartburn or acid reflux, otherwise known as gastro-esophageal reflux disease, or Acid reflux,
occurs as a result of the coexistence of two health problems. The first reflux disease contributing
condition is a retrograde movement of stomach contents into the wind pipe. However, the reflux
itself doesn't necessarily cause gastro-esophageal reflux disease symptoms or histologic
changes, and can occur among healthy individuals as well. In cases like this, the process is
designated as "physiologic gastroesophageal reflux".
The second reflux disease predisposing condition is a lower esophageal sphincter (LES)
malfunction. The LES is a 3-cm to 4-cm ring of muscle, that is several times thicker than the
proximal throat and works like a valve between your esophagus and the stomach. In the case of
gerd, the LES won't close perfectly and stomach contents splashes up into the wind pipe. When
pathologic symptoms follow this process, the whole condition is called reflux disease.
Gastro-esophageal reflux disease is normally experienced as a persistent (at least twice a week)
heartburn. Heartburn is the burning sensation in your chest or throat, caused by refluxed the
contents of your stomach touching the lining of the throat. Since healthy individuals may also
experience light reflux - occasional heartburn is typical too, and doesn't necessarily serve as an
proof of Acid reflux.
Some GERD sufferers can experience pain in the chest, cough, morning hoarseness, voice
changes, difficulty swallowing (especially lumpy foods), chronic earache, burning chest pains,
nausea or sinusitis. Some sufferers report a sensation that reminds food stuck, choking or
tightness in the throat. This will happen due to continuous stomach contents acid flow that comes
into contact with the esophagus and causes inflammation of the esophagus leading to scars from
Untreated acid reflux disease can bring about serious health conditions. Those include stricture
formation, bleeding, ulcers and esophageal spasms. When the bile reaches the top of the
esophagus and trachea, the process may cause many severe conditions, namely asthma,
sinusitis and pneumonia. Finally, many people may develop Barrett's gullet, a condition that
manifest in an unnatural shape and color of cells inside the esophageal lining. This condition is a
precursor to esophageal cancer, especially in adults over 60 years old.
The management of gastro- esophageal reflux disease takes three forms: surgery, medical
therapy and holistic therapy, including dietary and changes in lifestyle together with the intake of
specific herbs. An undergoing surgery should be considered very carefully, since it can compound
some underlying conditions, like stricture and motility disorders. Medical treatment of Heartburn
includes PPIs and H2 blockers. While indigestion can be treated by taking prescription medicines
or acid blockers such as the above, bear in mind that the results could be temporary and that
some conventional medications may cause severe side effects.
From a holistic standpoint, gerd is considered a warning sign of a serious internal imbalance that
needs to be properly addressed. Therefore, alternative remedies, such as homeopathic
treatments, herbal remedies, change in lifestyle as part of a complete holistic regimen are strongly
recommended for gerd victims.