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Acid Reflux: Symptoms and Treatments

Updated on November 24, 2015

Acid Reflux Diet

What Is Acid Reflux?

Acid Reflux is a condition where acid comes up from your stomach and into your esophagus.

The acid in your esophagus causes you to have heartburn, a hoarse voice, a cough and a feeling that something is stuck in your throat.

Acid Reflux could be mild and only need an antacid when you feel the symptoms or it could get very serious if the acid eats away at your esophagus and requires surgery.

I recently found out I had acid reflux.

The Doctors and I are still determining how severe the acid reflux is and how much damage it has done to my esophagus.

I have had Sinusitis and Asthma related symptoms due to my acid reflux.

I have done tons of research and have talked to many Specialists to learn more about acid reflux.

Burning In Your Chest Is One Symptom Of Acid Reflux

Burning In Your Chest Is One Symptom Of Acid Reflux.
Burning In Your Chest Is One Symptom Of Acid Reflux. | Source

Acid Reflux Causes

There are many different reasons a person could develop acid reflux: Here is a list:

  • Smoking
  • Pregnancy ( I was going through Tums like they were Tic-Tacs while I was pregnant!)
  • Stomach abnormalities (like hiatal hernias)
  • Spicy Foods
  • Citrus Foods
  • Chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Tomatoes
  • Onions
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Being overweight
  • Lying down after a meal. You should be upright at least 30 minutes after you finish eating anything.
  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen
  • Acidy foods
  • Chron's disease
  • Iron pills
  • Antibiotics
  • Some Asthma medicine

Acid Reflux Medications

  1. Prilosec - This is the Acid reflux medication I am on. It works very well, but I have noticed some weight gain with it. The Doctor's and nurses have told me that I need to stay on it for four full months to see the full benefits of the medication. My voice came back and I am coughing less when I lie down at night! I have been on Prilosec for 2.5 months so far.
  2. Prevacid - Prevacid is a lot like Prilosec. It helps to reduce acid in the stomach and to repair any damage that has been done to the esophagus.
  3. Nexium - Another Acid reflux medicine. It reduces acidity, repairs damage to the esophagus and prevents stomach ulcers.
  4. To see a longer list, click here.

Prevacid and Prilosec are the two most common acid reflux medications

Prevacid and Prilosec are the two most common acid reflux medications
Prevacid and Prilosec are the two most common acid reflux medications | Source

Acid Reflux Home Treatments

Here is a list of foods you could eat to get rid of heartburn:

  • Bananas
  • Peanut Butter
  • Celery
  • Apple Cider Vinegar "with Mother"
  • A teaspoon of baking soda in a cup of water
  • A teaspoon of grated ginger in a cup of water
  • Green Tea
  • A teaspoon of Pure aloe vera gel in a cup of water
  • 2 tablespoons of molasses in a warm cup of water
  • Pickles
  • Chew sugarless gum for 30 minutes after you finish a meal
  • Drink plenty of water
  • Place a 2x4 piece of wood under your mattress at the head of your bed. This will help elevate your head and upper body gradually. The acid will have a harder time moving up your esophagus.

Acid Reflux Treatments

Prescriptions
Home-Remedies
Doctors To See
Prevacid
Lemon
Ear, Nose & Throat
Prilosec
Apple Cider Vinegar
Gastrointestinal Specialist
Antacids
Milk
Speech-Language Pathologist

Is It Acid Reflux, Heartburn or GERD?

Acid Reflux Symptoms

One person with acid reflux could have completely different symptoms than another person with acid reflux. Here are a few of the symptoms you should watch out for:

  • Heartburn (the most common symptom, but I don't have it)
  • A feeling like something is stuck in the throat
  • Chronic coughing (especially when you lie down)
  • Asthma
  • Sinusitis
  • Chronic sore throat
  • Voice hoarseness
  • Chest pain
  • Bitter taste in the mouth
  • Nausea
  • Trouble Swallowing

Acid Reflux starts in the stomach and work its way up the esophagus.

Acid Reflux starts in the stomach and work its way up the esophagus.
Acid Reflux starts in the stomach and work its way up the esophagus. | Source

Acid Reflux Tests

There are several tests Doctors can do to determine if you have acid reflux:

  1. Barium Test - A Speech Pathologist or other Specialist will give you Barium to drink and Barium coated food to eat. They will watch with an X-ray as you swallow your food to see the whole process.
  2. Gastrointestinal Endoscopy - The Specialist will put a scope down your throat and into the gastrointestinal tract to see what is going on. They will check for any damage in your esophagus.
  3. Medication - The Doctor will give you Acid Reflux medicine and have you report back to them if it is working after a month or so. If the medication is working, then most likely, you have acid reflux.

Comments

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    • Sparklea profile image

      Sparklea 

      4 years ago from Upstate New York

      caseymel: EXCELLENT WRITE! I, too, have taken Prilosec for a LONG time because my Reflux has progressed to Barrett's Esophagus. Although I am not overweight, I DO have quite a time maintaining, which makes me wonder about your comment that Prilosec could cause weight gain. I never thought of that! You provided so much valuable information in this hub along with photos. Thank you for this! God bless, voted up, useful, interesting and awesome! Sparklea

    • caseymel profile imageAUTHOR

      Melanie Casey 

      5 years ago from Indiana

      Hi Sue! I take one probiotic a day. I will try upping the amount. I can tell a difference when I use them, but they are so expensive! My Pulmonologist referred me to a Speech Pathologist (who I met with yesterday) for my acid reflux. I am going to take the Barium test in a few weeks to get more answers. I'll have to try the at-home test too. It's so much cheaper! (-:

    • Sue Bailey profile image

      Susan Bailey 

      5 years ago from South Yorkshire, UK

      I found that a good probiotic taken two or three times a days helps. The remedies you list are great depending in whether you have excess acid or not enough. Sometimes low stomach acid results in acid reflux. I know that sounds weird but it is so. There are no cost tests you can do at home, instructions of which can be found on the Internet; they just involve drinking something acidic and monitoring your reaction.

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