Acid reflux, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or gastric reflux, is one of the most common conditions seen in men and women alike. Acid reflux is a condition that occurs when the acid in the stomach oozes back in the esophagus due to certain abnormal conditions.
In most of the cases, this occurs due to the improper functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter muscles. However, there are several other factors that can lead to acid reflux disease. Some of the common causes of acid reflux include diet and improper eating habits, smoking, alcoholism, diseases like hiatal hernia, obesity, etc. Although this is a temporary and non severe condition, it should be treated immediately before it turns chronic. Chronic acid reflux can place a person at a risk of suffering from stomach ulcer or esophageal cancer. Therefore, it is essential to identify the symptoms of acid reflux immediately.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux Disease
One should note that the terms heartburn and acid reflux are often used interchangeably, which is incorrect. Acid reflux is a disease and heartburn is a symptom of that disease. Heartburn, discomfort in stomach, sour taste in the mouth are the most common symptoms of acid reflux. Most of the symptoms in men, women and children are similar, however, everybody is different and may find slight differences in the symptoms they experience. The following are the acid reflux symptoms in children and adults:
Acid Reflux Symptoms in Children
Irritability and constant crying are the most common symptoms of acid reflux in toddlers. Infants and children may also experience pain in the chest and heartburn, however, they may not be able to explain these conditions. Apart from these, the following list are a few other symptoms of acid reflux that are common in babies and children:
- Upset stomach
- Loss of appetite
- Constant cough
Acid Reflux Symptoms in Adults
The following list are the most common symptoms of acid reflux in women and men. It is possible for adults to experience the same symptoms as children. Everybody is different:
- Chest pain
- Abdominal pain
- Sore throat
- Dyspepsia (Indigestion)
- Difficulty in swallowing
Acid Reflux & Pregnancy
Pregnancy is one of the most common reasons women suddenly start to experience acid reflux symptoms. During pregnancy, the size of the uterus increases which exerts pressure on the digestive organs and also the lower esophageal sphincter muscles. This can lead to acid reflux. The symptoms in pregnant women are similar to those mentioned above. As nausea and vomiting are common symptoms experienced during pregnancy, they may be ignored. But, women should be careful and also look out for other symptoms related to acid reflux, in order to diagnose and treat the condition quickly.
Acid Reflux Treatment Options
Acid reflux treatment options include the use of medications like antacids, HCL supplements, H2 blockers or PP inhibitors. However, before you immediately turn towards prescriptions, you should try treating the problem naturally. If you keep buttermilk or coconut water around the house, these are two great home remedies for acid reflux. Try out some of these remedies. If they don’t work, then try taking a prescription medication. All in all, these medications and remedies will help provide you with quick, and temporary relief from the symptoms of acid reflux.
For permanent relief, it is essential to follow certain preventive measures. Firstly, one should follow the acid reflux diet to prevent the occurrence of acid reflux in future. Secondly, one should change one’s eating habits and have meals on time, avoid eating excess spicy meals, especially at night. Also, reducing smoking and alcoholism can help prevent acid reflux, as it increases the acid in the stomach. Pregnant women should consult a doctor before going for any medications or making any dietary changes.
This was a brief information on the symptoms of acid reflux, as well as common causes and treatment methods. Remember, it is possible to keep this condition at bay by making simple changes in one’s diet and lifestyle. Take care!
Article written by: Madhura P