Monday, September 24

Signs of Acid Reflux

Millions of people suffer from acid reflux or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD) but not everyone knows all of the signs of acid reflux, as there are several. The most common one, which almost everyone knows about, is the extreme heartburn that happens after you eat, especially if you eat too much rich food. While this is sometimes just regular heartburn, in a lot of cases if you experience this often, it may actually be a sign of acid reflux.

The commonly seen heartburn or chest pain is sometimes mistaken for an actual heart attack, because it can be so severe and is in the same general region of the body. If you have such serious pains, don’t be too certain it’s a sign of acid reflux: go and see a doctor to be sure. Many people each year mistake the symptoms of actual heart attacks with acid reflux, as well as the other way around. But mistaking a real heart attack for acid reflux can be quite deadly. Don’t worry about being embarrassed in the emergency room – it’s better to be safe than sorry. As well, even acid reflux can be quite dangerous if left untreated, so it’s important to see a doctor either way.

Signs of a heart attack may include pain in the arm, and feeling worse after exercise. Signs of acid reflux most often come following eating certain things (like spicy or very fatty foods) and tend to get worse when you lie down after eating. If you know you have signs of acid reflux and have been diagnosed by a doctor, you may feel more able to tell the difference between them.

There are other signs of acid reflux, beyond the commonly known heartburn, and most of these are not mistaken for heart attacks but overlooked entirely or not known to be associated with acid reflux. These may include a bad taste in the mouth, sore throat, a feeling that food is coming up the throat, and tooth damage even when you are taking good care of your oral hygiene. All of these are due to stomach acids entering the throat or even the mouth, where they can do a lot of damage. It is important to deal with acid reflux, because if it goes on too long it can lead to scarring of the esophagus, bleeding ulcers, and even cancer of the throat. Luckily there are many treatment options available.

Tuesday, September 18

Sore Throats

If you have ever experienced acid reflux, you know that the symptoms can be very

uncomfortable. When the esophageal sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus is not

functioning properly, the stomach acids entering the esophagus from the stomach cause a

burning of the esophageal sphincter, and can also lead to irritation and pain of the rest

of the esophagus as well. The top of the esophagus is commonly known as the throat, which

is why acid reflux and sore throats often go hand in hand.

Some people do not realize they are suffering from acid reflux and sore throats seem like

they might just be a symptom of a cold or the flu, and so they drink tea to soothe their

throats, and perhaps take painkillers. Leaving acid reflux untreated can damage your

esophagus if it becomes more acute, however, causing scarring to the throat or even

bleeding ulcers in the stomach and digestive system. How can you tell if your sore throat

is caused by acid reflux? It may be worsened by lying down, and probably feels more

irritated after eating a meal, which is when acid reflux usually asserts itself. If you

think you are experiencing acid reflux and sore throats, see your doctor. There are several

solutions he or she may suggest.

Wednesday, September 12

Chest Pain

Almost every acid reflux sufferer experiences severe chest pains. It is so common to experience chest pain due to acid reflux that sometimes when people are actually having a heart attack they think it’s just acid reflux again and therefore don’t go to the hospital or get proper medical care.

Chest Pain or None in Acid Reflux – What’s the Difference?

In acid reflux sufferers who have chest pains, there doesn’t seem to be a difference in levels of acid, nor in the levels of aggravation of acid reflux when compared to acid reflux sufferers who don’t have chest pain. Right now it’s a mystery to doctors as to why some people experience acid reflux and chest pain while some only have the acid reflux. But dealing with the acid reflux is the same either way.

Acid reflux and chest pain can be dangerous if it’s not treated right, as well as being terrible uncomfortable. When acid leaves the stomach, is gathers in the esophagus or alimentary canal. The acid has to be neutralized, or eventually it will damage the esophagus and you’ll get bleeding ulcers – painful! So doctors are cautious to check the acid levels in the stomach and esophagus both before the treatment and during it, to make sure no damage is being done.

Dealing with Acid Reflux and Chest Pain Quickly and Easily

As soon as you are diagnosed with acid reflux and chest pain, you can get treatment that will relieve your symptoms and make you feel much better right away. Whether you are choosing traditional medications, or alternative treatments like herbal medicine, you’ll find the best first step is to stop smoking or drinking alcohol. It’s also important to eat small meals and snacks, more than three times a day. This will ensure that your stomach is never empty – an empty stomach will tend to produce more acid later when you do get to eat – and more acid is the last thing the acid reflux and chest pain sufferer wants! Try carrying small snacks with you at all times, because you never know when you might find yourself in a long meeting or heavy traffic.

In combination with your prescribed medications, if you eat smaller, more frequent meals, and stop drinking and smoking, you’ll find your acid reflux and chest pain much easier to manage.

Thursday, September 6

Surgery for Acid Reflux Disease or GERD

There are many medications today to help relieve Acid Reflux, perscription and over the counter. For people with chronic acid reflux disease, these medications are sometimes just not enough and surgery may be their best chance for relief. The surgery can be done laparoscopically, but many patients don't want such a drastic procedure performed. Fortunately, a new less invasive outpatient surgery is available for acid reflux sufferers called the Plicator procedure.

Acid Reflux happens when the stomach contents refluxes back up into the esophagus because of a weak valve connecting the esophagus to the stomach. Surgery can correct this problem by tightening the valve to prevent the backup from the stomach to the esophagus. Until now, this procedure has been performed laparoscopically, which means a tiny camera/scope is inserted through a small incision which transmits images to a video monitor for the surgeon to see in order to perform surgery. General anesthesia is required for this type of surgery. Many patients are uncomfortable with such an invasive procedure.

The new less invasive surgery involves an instrument called the Plicator. This device enters the body by a tube down the throat. The surgeon uses it to grab, fold to tighten, and suture the stomach tissue without any incisions. This outpatient procedure requires the patient to be under conscious sedation instead of general anesthesia, and takes less than 30 minutes. Recovery time is a day or so, and patients can then stop taking antacid medication. The success rate of the Plicator procedure is now about 80% but it may need to be performed again after a few years to retighten the valve.