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Acid Reflux Symptoms

written by: Travis • edited by: DaniellaNicole • updated: 9/29/2010

Many people experience heartburn at some point in their lives. However, if your symptoms are chronic or very painful you may have acid reflux disease (GERD).

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    No one is exempted from experiencing any of the acid reflux symptoms. From infants to adults to athletes, anyone can experience this painful condition. It is important to know when you are showing any signs so that you can treat it before it becomes a significant problem.

    Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease

    According to Jay W. Marks, MD of Medicinenet.com, the medical terms for acid reflux are gastroesophageal reflux disease, gastro-oesophageal disease, and gastric reflux disease. For acid reflux that is experienced in the throat area, the term for this condition is laryngopharyngeal reflux disease. The condition known as acid reflux happens when the gastric juices from the stomach goes up into the esophagus, which may also be referred to as the gullet or the swallowing tube. One of the acid reflux symptoms is heartburn. A person experiences heartburn when he or she feels a burning sensation starting from the stomach or lower chest area and rising to the neck.

    Another acid reflux symptom is regurgitation, which happens when the food is brought back into one's mouth. Other acid reflux symptoms include asthma, chest pain, dental erosion, dysphagia or the difficulty in swallowing food, and hoarseness. A person experiences any of these acid reflux symptoms when the partially digested food in the stomach goes back to the esophagus. This causes inflammation and serious damage to a person's digestive tract. According to Sharon Gillson of About.com, the acid reflux symptoms are usually caused by consumption of alcohol, caffeine, chocolate, citrus fruits, fatty foods, milk, peppermint, tomatoes, and Vitamin C supplements. Eating vegetables such as broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, onions, and spinach can cause acid reflux.

    Acid reflux may also be caused by not eating on time, obesity, and pregnancy. Lying down while the stomach is full or when a person has consumed a lot of food. In addition, having meals two to three hours before going to sleep and smoking can also cause acid reflux. This can also trigger any of the aforementioned acid reflux symptoms.

    Treatments

    Acid reflux is a serious condition. The pain and discomfort caused by the acid reflux symptoms can definitely affect one's actions. One of the acid reflux symptoms, heartburn, can be very troublesome.

    Acid reflux symptoms may be experienced for as short as an hour to as long as several months if the condition is left untreated. Medications may be prescribed by a doctor and they may be given for a short-term consumption. Some of the medicines that are given to people suffering from acid reflux include acid suppressants, alginic acid, antacids, H2 reception blockers, mosapride citrate, prokinetic agents, proton pump inhibitors, and sucralfate. Among all these medications, antacids are the most common as they do not require a doctor's prescription and may be purchased over the counter. Antacids are not advised to be taken as treatment for the frequent occurrence of heartburn associated with gastroesophageal reflux disease.

    Although acid reflux is a condition that can place a burden on the sufferer, it can be properly managed. As science advances, ailments like these will be more effectively treated. The best thing to do is to figure out what triggers your acid reflux and avoid doing that activity or eating that food.

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    Sources

    "GERD, Acid Reflux, Heartburn Medications." Healthcentral.com - Trusted, Reliable and Up To Date Health Information. HealthCentral.com. 20 Dec. 2008 <http://www.healthcentral.com/acid-reflux/introduction-000085_10-145.html>.

    Gillson, Sharon. "Causes of Heartburn - Causes of Acid Reflux - Heartburn Causes - Acid Reflux Causes." Heartburn - Heartburn Causes - Heartburn Prevention - Heartburn Treatment - GERD - GERD Causes - GERD Prevention - GERD Treatment. About.com. 20 Dec. 2008 <http://heartburn.about.com/cs/causes/a/heartburncauses.htm>.

    Marks, Jay W. "GERD Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis, and Treatment - MedicineNet.com." MedicineNet.com. 20 Dec. 2008.