What is Acid Reflux? Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Most patients do not really understand what acid reflux is. Research done recently demonstrates that in the developed world one in five people approximately endure symptoms related to acid reflux, also known as GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) once a week, while an additional one in five suffer from the discomfort, even pain of these symptoms at least every month. Up to 40 per cent of those people suffer every day from gastro esophageal reflux disease related symptoms. So what is Acid reflux? Acid reflux is the condition where stomach juices with acid flow back (reflux) from the stomach to the esophagus.

What are the local causes of acid reflux?

Gastro esophageal reflux disease happens when the lower esophageal sphincter (the name for the circle of muscle that is the valve between the stomach and the esophagus) does not shut correctly and lets stomach juices be thrown back up, or reflux, into the esophagus. When the esophagus lining is impacted by these juices, this produces the burning sensation in the chest and/or the throat, which is called heartburn.

Although it seems strange, heartburn may also be symptomatic of too little stomach acid. The level of stomach acid has to be enough for digestion to be effective, and prevent the stomach from being obliged to work much harder for the food to be digested. In time, the extra effort of the stomach can lead to acid reflux happening.

As well as the immediate factors leading to gastro esophageal reflux disease, there are also genetic factors (beyond our control) and several other internal factors and cofactors, that make for a context encouraging GERD. A long-term solution can only come from treating the internal factors primarily responsible for causing GERD.

What do symptoms of acid reflux look like?

Note that sometimes GERD can happen in the absence of any symptoms. Diagnosis of acid reflux is typically done according to a recurring (every three days or more) manifestation of heartburn. Healthy people get occasional heartburn as well, and this alone does not mean that you have an acid reflux condition. Yet others experience a sensation of food lodged in their throat or choking or stricture. Symptoms may differ for some GERD patients, such as chest pains, breakfast hoarseness or problems in swallowing. Recurrent dry coughs are also symptoms for this last group of patients.

What Are the Dangers of Acid Reflux?

Neglected GERD can have not only unpleasant, perhaps painful symptoms, but can also generate grave complications. Firstly, tissue damage scars can cause constriction of the esophagus and problems in swallowing. Secondly, gastric acid can inflame the esophagus over time to lead to ulcers or bleeding. Thirdly, some victims can develop a condition where cells in the lining of the esophagus take on abnormal shapes and colors, a condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. Protracted Barrett’s esophagus may result in cancer, notably for adults who are more than 60 years old.

Possible solutions for acid reflux

Treating gastro esophageal reflux disease can be done in one of three ways: a surgical operation; prescription or over-the-counter medicaments; and holistic therapy, using dietary and lifestyle changes, detox, and specific herbal supplements. In very many cases, gastro esophageal reflux disease can be resolved and stopped by natural solutions, avoiding the dangers of surgical treatment or prescribed medicaments. This holistic approach to GERD is also confirmed by a review of recent research that indicates that acid reflux is a medical condition provoked mostly by factors of diet, lifestyle and behavior.

So what is acid reflux? Seen in the context of conventional medicine that compares it to other similar recurring conditions, acid reflux is to be treated by constantly ingesting drugs, antacids and over the counter medicament that only bring temporary relief.

Seen from the holistic viewpoint, gastroesophageal reflux disease is the warning sign for a major lack of internal balance that must be resolved. Alternative treatments for acid reflux therefore (homeopathic programs, herbal remedies, diet and lifestyle modifications and detoxification), by treating the deep internal cause of GERD, are implicitly superior compared to conventional answers that only bring superficial relief.

Jeff Martin is a certified nutritionist and author of the #1 best-selling e-book, Heartburn No More . To Learn More About Jeff Martins Unique Holistic Acid Reflux Cure System Visit: What is Acid Reflux

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