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Acid Reflux

The typical cause of heartburn or acid reflux is when acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. If your lower esophageal sphincter is not normal, stomach contents may flow back into your esophagus and cause heartburn. Stomach acid flows into the esophagus (called acid reflux), causing the burning sensation. Acid reflux is caused by stomach spasms which cause acid.

Many believe that acid reflux symptoms affect the heart or mistakenly diagnose acid reflux as a heart related problem. In fact acid reflux has nothing to do with the heart - it is a digestive problem. Indeed for most people, a proper eating habit may help fixing the heartburn problem. Eating high-fiber bread instead of white bread, and exercising for 30 minutes at least once a week, decreased the odds of getting heartburn. Keeping a daily diary for a week can help keep track of specific food items and circumstances related to episodes of heartburn.

One is solution to eliminate acid reflux is to stop smoking. After a meal, when the stomach is full, smoking increases the chances that you will suffer from acid reflux. Loss of weight can also reduce stomach acid reflux. Pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to heartburn in their third trimester as the growing uterus puts increasing pressure on the stomach.

Here are some easy things that doctors recommend:

Wait at least three hours before going to bed after eating.

Sleep with your head at least 8" higher than your stomach so that gravity can help keep stomach acids from coming up into your esophagus.

Avoid exercising or bending over right after eating.

Eat 5 or 6 small meals a day instead of the three, traditional, big ones.

Acid reflux tends to be more of a problem at night, while you are lying down or sleeping. Having the head and shoulders higher than the stomach lets gravity work to keep acid from refluxing.

If heartburn is a continual or severe problem, it's a good idea to see your doctor. In patients with acid reflux, the heart valve pressure is usually low, which is the root of the problem. Some people have only an occasional acid reflux symptom. For others, however, acid reflux and regurgitation are persistent, chronic symptoms that return several times a week, if not every day. Medical evaluation of heartburn is recommended for individuals who experience persistent symptoms several times a week. If acid reflux (heartburn) occurs on two or more days per week despite the measures discussed above, you should consult your family doctor. For chronic reflux and heartburn, the doctor may prescribe medications to reduce acid in the stomach.

Submitted by:

Susanne Garris

Susanne Garris is a stay at home mom. But that doesn't mean she isn't at work. Susanne works as a research assistant and freelance writer on a variety of subjects. Her private research is devoted to blogs you can find at: http://www.acid-reflux-disease-diet.blogspot.com


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