The Digestive System
The digestive system is a complex network of organs and pathways working together to complete the metabolic functions necessary for survival. Digestion involves the organs of the upper gastrointestinal tract such as, the throat, esophagus and stomach as well as the lower portion below the stomach, including the small and large intestine. The liver, pancreas and kidneys also play a role in digestion but as contributors, rather than direct organs. As a whole the digestive system and its contributors work together to deliver usable food nutrients to the body in a timely fashion. The process is unique and significant but can break down from time to time.
From the moment you swallow a food product, the digestive system begins breaking the food product down into a smaller, better absorbed molecule. Many complications can occur during the digestive processes that hinder the smooth flow and breakdown. One such complication, is that which commonly occurs between the esophagus and stomach.
In normal digestion, food travels through the esophagus, a tube-like structure that descends and connects to the stomach. From the esophagus food then passes a gateway, or the lower esophageal sphincter, into the stomach. Once in the stomach, food is lubricated by digestive juices secreted from glands in the mucosa of the stomach. These glands produce acid and enzymes that essentially serve to begin the process of dissolving food product before it is sent into the lower digestive tract, or small intestine, for final breakdown. Although the digestive juices in the stomach are acidic, the lining of the stomach is coated with a thick layer of mucus to protect the stomach from damage. However, these acidic juices can inadvertently travel upstream, escaping the stomach into the esophagus, causing damage. (http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/gerd/#7)
Identifying GERD Disease
Gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD, is a serious medical complication caused by the lower esophageal sphincter opening spontaneously, allowing stomach contents to rise into the esophagus. The lower esophageal sphincter is actually a ring of muscle acting as a valve, or gate, to prevent particles of the digestive system from traveling in the wrong direction. The occasional instance of reflux is common but persistent reflux and its accompanying symptoms, which happen twice a week or more is diagnosed as GERD.
Frequent heartburn, or the sensation of burning inside the upper portion of the chest or throat, is common with GERD. Burning pain of the lower mid-chest or middle abdomen, also referred to as acid indigestion, is also a common symptom. Burning sensations followed by sour taste in the mouth or regurgitation of food and liquids with a sour taste, a sore throat and difficulty swallowing can accompany GERD. Chest pain along with dry cough and shortness of breath that seems like a potential heart attack, are rare symptoms of GERD that warrant immediate medical attention.
Who is most Vulnerable to GERD?
Those most at risk for developing GERD include individuals with asthma, diabetes, connective tissue disorders or hiatal hernia. Obesity, pregnancy and smoking also increase the risk of gastroesophageal reflux. Experiencing the symptoms of GERD persistently can become serious if untreated. Managing existing disorders that place pressure on the digestive system is an important part of managing reflux. Often an individual is unaware of the potential existence of GERD and potential underlying disease. Symptoms can take a while to appear in the case of GERD but overtime it becomes clearer as different foods cause irritation that was not normally present.
Complications from poorly managed GERD can lead to chronic esophageal inflammation. Additionally, the inflammation increases damage to the cells of the lower esophagus, causing scar tissue formation. Eventually, scar tissue narrows the pathway for food to travel and increases swallowing difficulty. Ulcers can form in the esophagus due to acid erosion and eventually bleeding peptic ulcers develop. In rare but worse cases, cancer of the esophagus develops.
What Causes GERD?
The exact cause of GERD is not fully understood within the medical community. Research is ongoing to find different links between medical contributors, foods and lifestyle factors that could cause the lower esophageal sphincter to fail. The listed risk factors increase the chance of its occurrence but essentially, GERD happens because of a poorly functioning lower esophageal sphincter. Taking the time to minimize risk helps in controlling GERD once it becomes problematic enough to induce symptoms.
Food can irritate existing GERD but food itself does not cause the condition. Common foods to avoid with a GERD flare-up includes those high in acidity such as, oranges, lemons, grapefruit and citrus blends. Caffeine, alcohol and carbonated beverages are high in acidity as well and can trigger symptoms. Keep in mind that sometimes GERD is triggered by the amount of food consumed not just the type of food. High-fat and fried foods including fried chicken, fatty red meat or even dairy causes increased acid production in the stomach. The acid can creep into the esophagus during a GERD flare, furthering the irritating symptoms of heartburn and indigestion. Certain spices like pepper, cayenne, garlic and curry are known to induce GERD-type symptoms in those with the disease. Foods made with a heavy tomato base including pizza, pastas with a red sauce, chili and the like, increase stomach acid production in some and might require avoidance to determine if they trigger symptoms. Eliminating potential food triggers from the diet is the best way to determine if the food causes irritation. A slow reintroduction of each potentially irritating item back into the diet plus taking note of immediate or ongoing symptoms can help determine if the food is best to eliminate completely from the diet or should be consumed minimally.
How to Diagnose and Treat GERD
Proper diagnosis of GERD is important for accurate treatment. A medical physician can diagnose the condition through use of scans to glean an image of the upper digestive system. An endoscopy, which is a visual probe with a camera, that is inserted into the throat can collect tissue for testing but also reveal complications in the digestive tract. Additional testing involves an acidity test to measure the contents of the stomach or an esophageal motility test to determine the movement and pressure of items through the esophagus.
Conventional treatment for GERD includes over-the-counter medications to control heartburn or prescription-strength medication. Antacids, foaming agents and stronger medications like histamine-2 blockers or proton pump inhibitors are popularly prescribed for GERD but do come with side effects. In serious GERD sufferers, surgery might also be an option, particularly if medication fails to control symptoms. Once diagnosed with GERD the goal is to manage symptoms and prevent further complications of the disease.
In the early discovery of GERD, several lifestyle habit changes can help minimize the risk of symptoms, which is what makes early diagnosis so important to a favorable prognosis. Smoking is one of the biggest GERD irritants that cause the lower esophageal sphincter to perform abnormally. Food elimination can help and eating smaller meals frequently reduces symptoms. Sometimes eating a big meal causes the sphincter muscle to remain open for longer than necessary, allowing acids to reflux upward. Losing weight and maintaining a healthy weight can reduce the stress placed on the lower esophageal sphincter. After a meal, it is best to remain upright, particularly if GERD symptoms are troublesome, and avoid lying down for at least three hours after the meal. In the event of acid indigestion during the night, elevate the head of the bed to avoid lying in the prone position. Although using pillows to prop the head up is one way to elevate, it is best to secure the head of the bed from the underside with blocks so during sleep the body does not flatten completely.
Additional lifestyle considerations include the avoidance of tight-fitting clothes around the abdominal region, managing stress and implementing alternative therapeutic remedies. No specific alternative remedy is known to reverse lower esophageal damage but alternative therapies can help alleviate symptoms. Herbal remedies such as drinking teas with slippery elm, chamomile and marshmallow might ease the burning sensations of the upper and lower gastrointestinal tract.
Stress and GERD
Stress is an often overlooked trigger to reflux. When the body experiences stress, hormonal systems become imbalanced and the digestive system is vulnerable to increased acid production. Coping with stress involves identifying the stressors such as, conflict at work, grief over losses, tension in the home, or any myriad of normal life events that cause excessive worry. Once stressors are identified, taking the steps to deal with those stressors might involve seeking supportive counsel, attending a meditative program or engaging in progressive muscle relaxation, acupressure or other relaxation techniques.
Living with GERD
Living with GERD often involves periods of symptom absence but it also involves experiencing excruciating pain at times. No person wants to suffer from the symptoms of GERD or the eventual complications that can occur from prolonged suffering. Maintaining digestive health is imperative to normal daily functions and you can live pain free and virtually symptomless even with GERD if you have the right tools to achieve a healthy balance.
At times finding the right fit for alleviating GERD symptoms involves a trial and error process. Many promoters of natural means for coping with symptoms tout success but you have to be the judge. You can find a suitable source for reducing symptoms. Safe, natural, medication-free alternative healing remedies do exist and they work. Take the time to research GERD, consider the information your physician recommends and visit Reflux Remedy at www.refluxremedy.com to learn more about the safe and effective ways you can treat your GERD symptoms without invasive measures or adverse side effects. The more information you gather the better armed you can be in dealing with GERD and living a life free of discomforting symptoms.
Learn Exactly What GERD Is And The Importance Of Taking Control Of The Problem…Today
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Tailgating is a favorite pastime among sports aficionados. Stadium parking lots and back yards everywhere become populated by fans getting together to enjoy the game, celebrate and have a feast from the back of a truck. As great as this may sound, tailgating often brings with it terrible bouts of acid reflux. It’s a volatile recipe: Greasy food, snacks, drinks both cold and hard and plenty of them. Afterward, great numbers of partygoers go home and make a mad dash for the nearest antacid. Luckily, this fate isn’t written in stone. Here are some ways you can make sure that you enjoy yourself while avoiding its nasty side effects.
1. Ditch the alcohol. It irritates the stomach, relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and halts digestion so food and acid just sit there. If you really want to drink alcohol, choose beer or wine. Their lower alcohol content are easier on the stomach and won’t cause the LES to relax as much. Drink slowly to allow time to process the liquid and to prevent overfilling of your stomach.
2. Don’t combine cold with grease. Brats, pizza and cold things easily take the prize for the worst food combination ever for acid reflux. Leave the ice cream and soda at home, and drink your beer room temperature like they do in Europe. Fats tend to become solid when they get cold, and are therefore harder to digest. Cold temperatures also make the stomach tense, which slows down digestion and may push its contents up into the esophagus.
3. Make it spicy. Many common spices like ginger, cayenne pepper, cumin and cinnamon stimulate your digestive system to help food get through quickly and efficiently. Consuming these spices also aids your stomach acid in breaking down fats.
3. Go easy on the sweets. Sugar stimulates acid production, but doesn’t have any fiber or protein to act as a buffer. Soon after eating it, all that’s left is excess acid and an irritated stomach. Any sugary foods should only be eaten after some form of protein or fiber to reduce the chances of acid reflux, as well as lessening sugar’s negative impact on insulin levels.
4. Know when to quit. Overindulging is one of the biggest causes of acid reflux and a tailgating party provides a convenient opportunity to do so. It might be tempting to eat as much as you’re humanly capable of during celebrations where you’re surrounded by delicious food, especially when everyone else is doing it. After a while though, you won’t be having such a great time anymore. Do the smart thing and step away from that third burger!
5. Choose tortilla chips over potato ones. They’re far less greasy and contain a lot of fiber. Simple, whole grain snacks are helpful at discouraging acid reflux.
6. Go chocolate free. Chocolate relaxes the LES and is loaded with sugar. It also contains small amounts of caffeine, which is known to cause acid reflux in some people.
By following even a few of these simple suggestions, you can enjoy the day free of acid reflux. For more information, visit Reflux Remedy today.
Gastroesophageal disease or GERD is a condition that causes the acid from the stomach to flow back into the esophagus. Chest pain, dry cough, acid reflux, hoarseness and difficulty swallowing are some of the symptoms of this condition. Some people with GERD may experience a sensation of having a lump in the throat.
What causes GERD?
The esophageal sphincter is what allows food and liquid to flow into the stomach. GERD occurs when the sphincter fails to close and allows acid from the stomach to backflow into the esophagus. Anyone can develop this condition, but there are some people who are at a higher risk for it than others. Obesity, pregnancy, smoking and asthma all increase a person’s risk of developing GERD.
What happens if GERD is left untreated?
If GERD is left untreated, the esophagus will begin to erode. This can lead to other complications such as breathing problems and breathing. That is why people who have this condition need to be treated immediately.
Can GERD be treated naturally?
There are several things that a person can do to treat this condition at home. Excess weight puts extra pressure on the stomach, which can cause acid to flow into the esophagus. Losing as little as five pounds can help alleviate the symptoms of GERD.
Caffeine, alcohol, fried and fatty foods can trigger GERD. Reducing or eliminating those foods and eating more fruits and vegetables can help treat GERD. People should also make sure that they eat smaller meals throughout the day and avoid lying down right after eating.
There are a number of over-the-counter medications that have been shown to be effective at treating GERD. Mylanta, Tums and Maalox are some of the most popular antacids. These medications work
When to see a doctor
People who do not experience relief within a few weeks should set an appointment with their doctor. If a person is not experiencing relief, it is likely that the GERD is getting worse. Again, this condition can damage the esophagus and lead to other complications if it is left untreated.
A physician may prescribe a class of medications called H2 blockers. These medications work by reducing the amount of acid that is in the stomach. Tagamet and Pepcid are two of the most commonly prescribed H2 blockers.
Proton pump inhibitors are another class of medications that can treat GERD. These medications also work by reducing the amount of acid that is in the stomach. Nexium and Prevacid are examples of proton pump inhibitors. It is important to note that these medications may take a while to work.
If a patient does not respond to lifestyle changes or medication, the physician will have to perform surgery. Surgery is expensive and carries risk to the patient so doctors will only perform it as a last resort.
Where can I get more information about GERD?
For more information about GERD be sure to visit Reflux Remedy. Reflux Remedy information about GERD and how it can be treated and prevented.
There are few ailments more miserable than recurring heartburn. The burning feeling in the stomach and chest is unbearable, to some it almost feels like a heart attack. Persistent, chronic acid reflux, otherwise known as GERD or heartburn, is a painful condition that occurs when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus causing a burning sensation. As sufferers well know, heartburn can make normal daily activities a nightmare. What’s worse is that there is no escape from the pain and distress at night because lying down to sleep just worsens the symptoms. Simple activities such as bending over or mild aerobic exercise make the burning worse.
The human body is not designed to tolerate the upward movement of stomach acid. Over time, the stomach acid can destroy the esophagus. In addition, recurring heartburn can be an indicator of stomach problems that can worsen over time. People who suffer with this condition frequently self medicate with antacid pills rather than get the appropriate medical tests.
Doctors are encouraged by the pharmaceutical industry to promote the quick fix drug treatments for heartburn. The public is also unaware that many of these heartburn drugs are addicting. Heartburn sufferers become so dependent on drugs that even one day without a pill can cause a serious bout of acid reflux.
The epidemic of chronic heartburn has led to the over prescription of heartburn medication to the public. Pharmaceutical companies make billions on acid reflux drugs that relieve symptoms in the short term, but don’t eradicate the underlying cause. Many of these drugs are designed for short-term use. Drugs like Nexium help symptoms of GERD, but when they are used for many years can lead to bone fractures and vitamin deficiencies.
Since many acid reflux drugs have been around for less than twenty years, it’s impossible for the drug companies to ensure the safety of patients who ingest these drugs daily for decades. There is no way to know what kind of long-term damage these drugs are doing to the stomach. There are natural solutions, but most people are unsure of where to turn for help. Since doctors are not trained to offer natural, alternative remedies, many long time GERD sufferers have taken matters into their own hands by testing natural products and foods that not only eliminate the symptoms of chronic acid reflux, but eliminate the cause so the heartburn never returns.
Heartburn sufferers can save enormous amounts of money by trying out the natural healing program offered on Reflux Remedy. There is a way out of the endless cycle of heartburn and drugs that don’t work. A visit to www.refluxremedy.com is a lifeline to sufferers who want to free themselves of the constant pain, sleep deprivation and expensive medications. Acid reflux is curable for those who have the right information. No one should suffer from the agony of chronic heartburn. This devastating condition can be permanently eradicated with the solutions and tips offered at RefluxRemedy. There is hope for the nightmare of acid reflux disease.
A condition called acid reflux subjects an individual to a gurgling, burning feeling from an unwanted fluid making its way from your stomach up to the throat. Acid reflux often causes chest pain, or heartburn, due to the flaming sensation bubbling through the esophagus. LPR reflux is another acid producing condition. However, many of the symptoms are silent until the backup of acidic content causes the throat to burn.
Laryngopharyngeal reflux occurs when the sphincters are not properly functioning. This causes the stomach acid to accumulate in the back of the throat, voice box, and sometimes the nasal passages. LPR Reflux is a very common in babies and young children since their sphincters are not completely developed. Infants have a short esophagus and are in a sleeping position much of the time which adds to the potential of LPR reflux.
Symptoms for infants and children, and adults are somewhat different. When a baby is affected by LPR Reflux, he or she will experience a constant, chronic-like cough with a rough, throaty voice. Breathing will be noisy. Apnea, or brief pausing of breathing, may also occur. When an infant often spits up, or feeding time seems arduous, a parent may suspect that laryngopharyngeal reflux is actively causing the symptoms.
Adult signs of LPR reflux are sometimes similar like the hoarseness in the throat. One may find that he or she continuously needs to clear the throat of a bubbly and burning acidic fluid. Along with the rough feeling in the throat, the adult with this type of reflux will cough persistently due to the substance which never seems to disappear. Simply breathing or swallowing becomes more difficult.
Diagnosing LPR reflux is often difficult. Along with a patient’s history and physical, there are tests such as an endoscopic exam or pH monitoring which will be performed. An endoscopic exam is performed by using an instrument to view the vocal cords and throat. The other test which runs over 24 hours is pH monitoring. To do this, a catheter is inserted in the nose to the throat and into the esophagus to distinguish the amount of acidic activity.
If LPR reflux is untreated in the little ones, babies and children may develop ulcers, ear infections, excess fluid in the middle ears, and a narrowing beneath the vocal cords. For adults, continuous reflux will cause scarring in the throat as well as the voice box. Cancer becomes a possibility as the lungs are affected. Developing bronchitis, asthma, and emphysema greatly increases when LPR reflux remains untreated.
Much of the LPR reflux condition can be eliminated in infants and children by feeding the child more frequently, and with smaller amounts of food. The child should remain in an upright position for at least a half hour after eating. Medications or surgical procedures are used in extreme cases. As for the adult with LPR reflux, he or she should lose some weight, stay away from smoking and alcohol, and avoid various foods and drinks like chocolate. citrus, sodas, tomatoes, caffeine, or red wine. Food should not be consumed less than 3 hours before bedtime. Keep the upper body elevated a few inches while sleeping. To eliminate excess acid, try chewing on gum to boost saliva. For more information on LPR reflux be sure to visit Reflux Remedy at www.refluxremedy.com today!
Bile reflux is the name of a medical condition that is created when bile created from the liver gets trapped in the esophagus or the stomach. Unlike acid reflux, which occurs as the result of acid buildup in the stomach from the contents of various foods, bile reflux does not appear to be related to the foods that people eat. When bile from the liver goes into the stomach and esophagus, it results in pain and inflammation in the lining of the stomach and the esophagus itself.
Common Causes of Bile Reflux
People who have had previous surgery for unrelated conditions are more prone to developing bile reflux than the general population. Those who have had gastric bypass surgery to treat obesity and surgery to remove the gallbladder may sustain damage to the pyloric valve, the part of the stomach responsible for processing bile from the liver. When the pyloric valve is damaged, bile does not pass through it but instead collects in the stomach and esophagus. Stomach ulcers are another cause of bile reflux.
Symptoms of Bile Reflux
Both acid reflux and vile reflux cause similar symptoms in those who suffer from it, making it difficult initially for doctors to differentiate between the two. Patients may complain of hoarseness, a constant cough, abdominal pain, vomiting, unexplained weight loss and a sour taste in the mouth. To make the correct diagnosis, doctors usually order an endoscopy to view what is happening with the patient’s stomach and esophagus. The tests are also performed to determine the degree of damage to the esophagus and whether esophageal cancer is present.
How Bile Reflux is Treated
Doctors usually prescribe anti-reflux medication as a first response to both bile reflux and acid reflux. The drugs used to treat acid conditions are known as proton pump inhibitors. The drugs are H2 receptor antagonists and are typically prescribed in 14-day cycles. They are used to treat multiple conditions of reflux, ulcers and gastritis. If the proton pump inhibitors do not appear to be bringing the patient any relief, his or her doctor will recommend surgery to change the path the bile takes and lead it away from the stomach. This is accomplished by creating an artificial drain for the bile within the lining of the stomach.
When Bile Reflux is Not Treated
When the patient ignores symptoms of bile reflux, his or her esophagus can sustain significant damage from prolonged exposure to bile from the liver and stomach acid. This can lead to scarring and narrowing of the esophagus, which can in turn lead to difficulty breathing. Untreated bile reflux also increases the likelihood of developing esophageal cancer. Finally, bile reflux that is left untreated can eventually leading to internal bleeding in the stomach and the development of stomach ulcers. Both of these conditions can become life-threatening.
Reflux Remedy offers information that is proven to reduce the symptoms of bile and acid reflux. People suffering from either condition can learn more about treating it at home by going to www.refluxremedy.com for complete details today.
Heartburn causes much discomfort after meals, and the symptoms can become intolerable. Making adjustments to your diet and lifestyle is not enough sometimes. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of both over-the-counter and prescription medication available to relieve heartburn.
Antacids increase the pH in your stomach by neutralizing the acid in there, providing short-acting but immediate relief from symptoms. They are best used in acute cases of heartburn, such as after meals. Side effects are rare if the medication is taken according to directions but are much more likely to occur if taken in large doses or for periods longer than two weeks. People with kidney diseases should be cautious when using antacids because they are more prone to getting side effects. Side effects in antacids vary according to the active ingredient used. Side effects that can occur with antacid use include constipation, diarrhea, fatigue, muscle pain, mood changes, nausea, and loss of appetite.
Common brands of antacids include:
Milk of Magnesia
Histamine H2 antagonists
Histamine H2 antagonists reduce the amount of acid produced in your stomach. The relief is slow but steady, making it good for treating chronic heartburn. They are best taken half an hour before meals. Side effects may occur during the initial few times of taking the drug but will diminish as the body adjusts to it. These side effects include constipation, diarrhea, headaches, and drowsiness.
Common brands of H-2-receptor blockers include:
Proton-pump inhibitors are the strongest of the three types of heartburn medication. They work by blocking acid production altogether, allowing time for esophageal tissue to heal from the damage caused by constant exposure to acid. This makes them ideal for severe, chronic cases of heartburn. They are best taken an hour before meals. However, proton-pump inhibitors are to be used with caution. Too little acid in the stomach leads to malabsorption of certain nutrients, such as calcium and vitamin B12. Proton-pump inhibitors are known to bone density loss, particularly in people who are 50 or older. Other less serious side effects include general aches and pains, coughing, constipation, diarrhea, and drowsiness. Like with histamine h2 antagonists, these side effects occur in the initial phases of treatment and will go away with time.
Common brands of proton-pump inhibitors include:
If none of the above work, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription heartburn medication. Usually, these medications are h-2-receptor blockers and proton-pump inhibitors. Some are available exclusively as prescription medication while some are stronger versions of their OTC counterparts.
Heartburn medication should not be taken for more than two weeks. Still suffering from heartburn despite treatment? Or scared about the side effects that come with medication? Don’t despair! Did you know there’s a simple cure that you can make within two minutes at home? Using only three common ingredients you can find at any grocery store, you’ll save yourself lots of money as well. Visit Reflux Remedy for more information on this natural cure for heartburn and acid reflux that will give you immediate, long-lasting relief.
Esophagitis is an inflammation or swelling of the esophagus that causes the esophagus to narrow. A corrosive version of esophagitis is a narrowing caused by damage such as occurs with gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. This is when a sphincter at the bottom of the esophagus doesn’t close all the way and stomach contents, which are acidic, reflux back into the esophagus and irritate it. Other causes of esophagitis include swallowing lye or other corrosive agents, bulimia, or feeding tubes that have been left in place for too long. People with compromised immune systems and who are on medications like corticosteroids are at risk for infections that may cause esophagitis.
The symptoms of esophagitis are a decrease in the ability to swallow, which may be sudden or gradual. At first, it’s difficult to swallow solid foods, then it becomes difficult to swallow liquids. There’s also pain in the mouth and chest after eating a meal, an increase in salivation and a rapid breathing rate. Another symptom is vomiting mucous or blood.
The risk of esophagitis increases with alcohol, smoking, and persistent vomiting. The patient is also at higher risk if they’ve had radiation or surgery to the chest, and if they’ve taken oral medications like tetracycline without lots of water. A physician might perform an endoscopy or a barium swallow to determine whether the condition is esophagitis.
The complications of esophagitis are malnutrition due to the inability to eat properly, and in a worse case, perforation of the esophagus, which is a medical emergency.
A person who suffers from esophagitis should seek a doctor’s care. If necessary, they might be hospitalized and receive intravenous feeding if the condition is severe, or even surgery to remove scar tissue from the esophagus. The esophagus can also be dilated from time to time. The prognosis for esophagitis is good with treatment, which may include treatment that stretches the scar tissue, or stricture. This is done with heavy dilators about once a month under a doctor’s care. The treatment should be performed regularly to keep the stricture from returning.
A doctor might also prescribe cortisone drugs to reduce inflammation and scarring, as well as antibiotics. In the meantime the patient should eat a soft or liquid diet until they can swallow normally. In a soft diet all liquids but alcohol are allowed, as are most cold breads and cereals. Salt, pepper and cinnamon are allowed, as are plain desserts like pudding, sherbets and ice cream, though any desert that has dates, nuts, raisins or coconut are omitted. Butter, cream and margarine are allowed in moderation, though lard and pork fat are omitted. Cooked, but not raw fruits are allowed as well. Broiled, roasted, baked or stewed meat are allowed, as well are cottage and other mild cheeses, and soft cooked eggs. Milk, potatoes and pasta can be taken as can broth or creamed soups. Low fiber vegetables and vegetable juices are also allowed, but gas forming vegetables like Brussels sprouts, onions, legumes and cabbage should be avoided.
For more information on the causes and cures of esophagitis be sure to visit Reflux Remedy today!
Heartburn. Indigestion. Upset stomach. Many people have experienced some sort of stomach pain due to acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Symptoms of this problem can range from minor heartburn and irritation to difficulty swallowing, moderate to severe stomach discomfort, and lots of bloating. More uncommonly, nausea and vomiting may accompany GERD along with chest pain and backwash. If GERD is uncontrolled, it can lead to serious medical problems such as Barret’s esophagus and rarely esophageal/stomach cancer, but this is not common nowadays. The more common medical consequence is dyspepsia, a feeling of indigestion and upset stomach in the upper epigastric/stomach area from impaired digestion due to reflux.
GERD and dyspepsia typically need to be diagnosed by a physician in order for treatment to begin, but the symptoms are fairly recognizable due to its commonness among the public and its typical symptoms. Non-medical treatment is largely dietary and lifestyle modification. For diet, smaller and more frequent meals are suggested compared to the typical three meals a day routine. Larger meals can dilate the stomach and the lower esophageal sphincter, allowing more acid to reflux up the esophagus. Some health care providers suggest avoiding coffee, chocolate, and spicy foods, but recently this suggestion has been questioned due to a lack of evidence supporting this claim. However, eating less fatty foods has also been shown to help with GERD. After meals, light activity such as walking or standing may help with symptoms. Sitting down, especially hunched over, may worsen GERD after eating. Last, alcohol and chronic NSAID usage cessation is recommended, because the two have been shown to upset the mucosa lining of the stomach and even cause ulcers. For lifestyle changes, exercise and weight loss have been shown to decrease the symptoms and stomach pain from GERD. In addition, sleeping with the head of the bed elevated (the whole bed, not just your head) also helps with the discomfort GERD causes.
Medical intervention of GERD involves the usage of antacids, H2 inhibitors, and proton pump inhibitors (PPI). Antacids are your typical over the counter drugs, such as Tums and Maalox. They work decently, but only work for a short period of time. The H2 blockers, such as ranitidine and famotidine, work by blocking the histamine receptors in the cells that produce acid, blocking some acid production. These medications work best at night, but are not the most effective drug for reflux. However, their redeeming quality is their cheapness; you can obtain a month’s supply for only $4. The best medication for reflux is the PPI. It works by blocking the creation of the pump that actually brings acid into the stomach, reducing the amount of acid available. This medication works much better than H2 blockers. Unfortunately, it is also more expensive. The over the counter PPI, omeprazole, is not too expensive, but stronger PPIs such as Nexium require a prescription and generally have a higher price tag. Nonetheless, if reflex is bad enough to cause constant symptoms, and lifestyle and dietary changes are not enough, medications may be necessary to help alleviate stomach pains and discomfort that come from GERD and dyspepsia. To find out more about stomach pain and cures visit Reflux Remedy today!