What Is Acid Reflux Disease ? GERD
Questions You Should Ask About Acid Reflux Disease
If your doctor tells you that you have acid reflux disease you either know exactly what he’s talking about or you suddenly have a bunch of questions popping up. While you are in the doctor’s office, you might want to ask some relevant questions.
What is acid reflux disease?
Acid reflux disease is a gastrointestinal condition in which acid from the stomach escapes and moves up to the esophagus. Since this is not what normally happens during the process of digestion, you may understandably experience some discomfort.
Is this the same as GERD?
GERD stands for gastroesophageal reflux disease. It is a common term that usually occurs together with acid reflux. Some doctors and health care providers interchange the terms. GERD may, therefore, be alternately called acid reflux. There are some however who may still prefer to differentiate the two terms. Strictly speaking acid reflux and sometimes bile reflux may cause GERD. Acid reflux therefore specifically refers to a condition caused by stomach acid and not bile.
What else should I expect to feel with acid reflux disease?
If you have been told that you have the disease you would naturally know that the symptoms you have experienced are because of acid reflux. You may, for example, have already experienced frequent burping, stomach fullness, and the sour taste in your mouth. You should know though that your condition could get worse in which case you may experience other symptoms. A severe case of acid reflux could lead to hoarseness and long term heartburn.
What causes this disease?
There are a lot of theories about the possible cause of this disease. For some time people have believed that some foods could cause acid reflux. Some of these foods include chocolate, coffee, spicy foods, and alcohol. Not all experts, however, have the same opinion about the food theory. It is possible that acid reflux could also be caused by overeating, the relaxation of the sphincter muscle, or an inherent defect in the muscles in the stomach or esophagus.
Are there risk factors?
It is believed that pregnancy and being overweight could increase a person’s risk of developing acid reflux disease. This is because the extra mass could push against the stomach and increase the chances of regurgitation.
Are there complications?
If your condition gets worse, you may have to worry over more than just heartburn and hoarseness. Your esophagus could become damaged. Severe cases of acid reflux could lead to the narrowing of the esophagus, esophageal ulcers, and inflammation of the esophagus.
What should be done?
Of course, you would have to follow your doctor’s advice. Just make sure that you have a reputable doctor who only has your best interests in mind. You may however also consider some diet and lifestyle changes. Do not overeat, avoid smoking, and drink only in moderation. If you have observed that some foods contribute to your condition, then talk to your doctor about the possibility of eliminating them from your diet.
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