When you experience a burning sensation in your chest or just an uncomfortable sensation of acid from your stomach creeping up your mouth, then you may be experiencing acid reflux. This usually affects at least 40% of the American population. When this incident happens during the night, then you will wake up gasping for air because the acid has already reached your airway. These are common symptoms that affect a lot of people on a daily basis. Many people are not aware why they experience these symptoms. Here are some possible causes for your discomfort and maybe you could prevent further incidents of reflux.
·List the foods that you eat. Reflux of acid is usually caused by a variety of foods. It could range from citrus fruits, sour cream, juices, high fat desserts, alcoholic and caffeinated drinks. Two of the most infamous causes are peppermint and chocolate. The esophageal sphincter is relaxed when these foods are ingested so there is no closure of the passageway from the esophagus to the stomach leading to the reflux of food up in the digestive tract. When the esophageal sphincter, relaxes the result is a reflux.
·Ask the person that sleep beside you or have seen you sleep if you snore during the night. Snoring could be an indication that you are suffering from sleep apnea. This is one major cause of reflux. Snoring restricts the passage of your airway causing you to have labored breathing. This will result in the lungs expanding causing the esophagus to be filled more with acid. This concentrates the acid. While sleeping, the body reduces the amount of saliva it produces that would help neutralize the acid adverse reaction on the mucus membrane. With a decrease in saliva production and increase in acid concentration, the effect could be damaging on the lining of the mucus membrane.
·Too much abdominal pressure is also one of the major causes of reflux.
There are many ways this might occur:
1. Eating a large meal before going to bed is one way.
2. Wearing tight fitting clothes is also another way to increase abdominal pressure.
3. Stomach pressure will find a way to equalize it’s self, by going from high to low.
4. In this case, the stomach has higher pressure forcing the acid to go up the esophagus and into chest where there is lower pressure.
· Another cause of acid reflux is the presence of a hiatus hernia. Hiatus hernia is a medical condition that occurs when the upper part of the stomach, which is joined to the gullet (esophagus), moves up into the chest cavity through an hole in the diaphragm (called a hiatus). This can result in a painful burning sensation:
1. Behind the breast bone,
2. At the nipple level
3. The lower end of the breast bone.
4. Pain also occurs on the left side of the chest and this is often mistaken for angina.
5. Other areas of pain are the base of the throat,
6. Right lower ribs
7. Behind the right shoulder blade.
If you’re having any of the above symptoms, please make an appointment with your doctor, your health and fitness should always be your primary concern.