The Cause(s) And Aggravators Of Acid Reflux Disease
Q: What are the cause(s) and aggravators of acid reflux disease? What are the best steps I can take to help prevent discomfort? I seriously can't eat ANYTHING, it seems.
A:Large meal especially within a few hours of bed time; the acid from your stomach comes back into the esophagus; On the suggestion of my doctor I have been taking Prilosec (over the counter) for a couple of years and it helps a good bit; I know the label says to only take it for 2 weeks at a time so make sure your Dr. says it's OK for you to take for an extended period; my doctor also told me that some people need to take 2 tablets at a time rather than the recommended 1; always check w/ your Dr. first! What causes acid reflux disease...and why should you care? Stomach acid, which helps you digest food, is usually not a problem when it stays where it belongs ?in your stomach. Acid reflux is a physical condition where the contents of the stomach ?including acid ?back up (or reflux) into the esophagus (the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach). That can lead to heartburn and other acid reflux disease symptoms ?which are your body's way of telling you something might be wrong. Why does stomach acid go where it doesn't belong? Between your esophagus and your stomach there is a natural barrier, or "valve," called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). For most people, the LES works just fine. But for some people with acid reflux disease, this valve does not always work the way it should, either because it relaxes too frequently, or because it's too weak. The result is stomach acid coming back up ?and into contact with your esophagus. But why does stomach acid damage my esophagus (and not my stomach)? The lining of your stomach is designed to handle stomach acid. The lining of your esophagus is not. It can protect itself for a while, but when acid comes in contact with this lining for an extended period of time, it can lead to damage. This is what you may experience as heartburn and other painful or uncomfortable symptoms. If left untreated, acid reflux disease may even cause damage (erosions) to the lining of the esophagus, a condition known as erosive esophagitis. If you have any concerns about your condition, please be sure to discuss them with your doctor. When stomach acid comes into contact with the lining of your esophagus, it can lead to acid reflux disease symptoms. The lower esophageal sphincter, or LES, normally creates a barrier between the stomach and esophagus. But it doesn't always work the way it should in some people with acid reflux disease. Nighttime Heartburn A nationwide survey reveals that nighttime heartburn is more common than previously thought. Nearly 8 in 10 people with acid reflux disease suffer from heartburn at night. Why? When you stand or sit, gravity helps keep stomach acid where it belongs ?in your stomach. But when you're sleeping, gravity doesn't help. Stomach acids can more easily back up into the esophagus. You swallow less while sleeping. Swallowing helps clear the esophagus. Less swallowing also means less saliva. Saliva helps neutralize the stomach acid that puts the burn in your esophagus. If you have nighttime heartburn, be sure to talk to your doctor about it. You can also find more information about avoiding nighttime heartburn in the Heartburn Relief section of this site.
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