- Diseases, Disorders & Conditions
Acid Reflux – Modern Day Bane
If you’ve suffered from acid reflux, you know how bad it can be. How it can ruin your day, your night, your relationships even. You don’t want to go out and party because you know what comes after that. Hours of suffering and lack of sleep, leaving you tired and grouchy the next day. Or you do go and can’t really enjoy the food because once acid reflux becomes a part of your life, you are constantly living on the edge, trying hard to escape an attack. What does happen is that it suddenly starts to assume huge proportions in your life.
What really brings it about? The actual medical term is Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. It is a very uncomfortable and trying condition because what happens is that the acid in the stomach together with the food you eat just comes back up and what you feel is a bitter, burning taste. Most GERD sufferers experience symptoms at least twice a week.
What is the solution and how can you treat this disease? The first thing you need to know is that antacids are to be avoided. What they do is only work in a very temporary fashion by easing the acid in the stomach. However, this is usually followed by a surge in the acid production a little later so it rather defeats the purpose. Very often, the side effects of these could be indigestion which could end up as chronic constipation or diarrhea.
The strange thing is that GERD is no respecter of persons or of age. Literally anyone can succumb to this disease. Infants can suffer from it before their digestive system is fully operational. This can be a bit of a problem till their digestive system matures at around a year. However, if it happens after that, they must be seen by a doctor. It can also affect women during pregnancy. The symptoms usually go away once the baby is born.
What also brings on attacks of GERD are smoking and a lot of caffeine. It can also be brought on by certain types of food. Fatty food or very oily food as well as foods with a lot of spice and sometimes even citrus fruits can bring on an attack.
Sometimes it’s what you do that brings it on. Eating late or lifting something heavy or eating and going to bed immediately could also be reasons.
Are they any simple ways to keep GERD or acid reflux at bay? Well, you could try to wait a couple of hours after eating to go to bed. You could also keep your head elevated by raising the head of the bed. Losing weight and cutting down on the cigarettes and caffeine should be obvious choices as well. If you don’t, GERD can be more than uncomfortable – it could result in bad teeth, esophagus scarring and maybe even cancer. So it pays to go to a specialist and keep acid reflux at bay.