Understanding the causes and consequences of acid reflux
Acid reflux is a known ailment that affects almost every individual. It is not akin to a medical emergency but can cause extreme uneasiness and shooting pain. However before delving into the treatment options available for combating acid reflux it is better to acquire a clear idea about the cause and effects of acid reflux
A brief delineation of acid reflux
In order to know What Is Acid Reflux one needs to understand the process of food digestion. The digestion of food starts in the mouth with the mechanical mastication of food particles and its combination with saliva. The prepared food bolus is then gulped and it travels through the esophagus into the stomach. Once the food enters the stomach the next phase of digestion is initiated and the sphincter muscles called LES close. In normal digestion the food is further simplified and pushed towards the small intestine. But if the stomach fails to churn the food appropriately due to high concentration of acid then the food is expelled through the LES towards the esophagus. The reverse action results in what is known as acid reflux. The expulsion of regurgitated food happens through the mouth but as the semi digested food is highly acidic it causes substantial pain when it flows back into the esophagus.
The signs which are indicative of food regurgitation
Symptoms of Acid Reflux includes many signs of discomfort that a person feels. The most common problems that are experienced by people who are suffering from acid reflux include the following:
- The primary symptom that is observed is stomach heaviness after having a normal meal. The heaviness is caused due to the formation of gas from acid.
- Coughing up semi digested food from the stomach that is sour to taste.
- Accumulation of sour liquid in the mouth when one burps.
- Pain in the chest that radiates from the middle part of the thoracic region.
- Vomiting food right after having a meal.
- Pain in stomach and also the throat.
- Heartburn or radiating pain is in the chest area.
Even though acid reflux is a very common ailment but it should not be taken lightly. Long term or consistent occurrence of acid reflux can cause irreparable damage to the internal organs, these include the following:
- Hoarseness in the natural voice due to constant irritation caused by throwing up regurgitated acidic food.
- Scarring of the inner epithelia of the esophagus due to the movement of acidic contents from the stomach.
- Weakness of the sphincter muscle that connect the esophagus with the stomach due to repeated regurgitation.
- Decreased functionality of the stomach due to excessive acid buildup.
- Loss of appetite due to indigestion.
Therefore the commonness of acid reflux should not be a reason to neglect severe and constant bouts of acidic reaction from the stomach. If antacids are not effective in controlling acid reflux then other modes of treatment should be discussed with the family physician for reducing regurgitation or acid reflux. A diet and exercise regime should be formulated keeping the problem of acid reflux in mind.