Heartburn, Acid Reflux (GERD) : How To Cure Heartburn and Acid Reflux (GERD)

when you swallow food it travels through a tube called the esophagus the esophagus lead into the stomach through a hole in a sheet of muscle called the diaphragm there's around muscle at the bottom of the esophagus that works like a valve the muscle relaxers when you swallow allowing food to pass into the stomach certain cells in your stomach called proton pumps release acid to help digest the food the lining of your stomach protected from the acid the esophagus has a different type of lining which looks like it's made of smooth tiles the valve is designed to close tightly after you swallow so nothing comes back into the esophagus your diaphragm is also meant to pinch securely around the esophagus closing of the opening to your stomach it's normal for a small amount of acid to occasionally splash into the esophagus this is called reflux that word means flowing back a small amount of reflux doesn't usually cause any harm but if acid splashes up into the esophagus over and over again for years the esophagus can be damaged there are several reasons this might happen it's not uncommon for the valve to become weaker so it doesn't close tightly that allows acid in partially digested food to come up into the esophagus sometimes the diaphragm weakens around the esophagus allowing the whole to become larger this hole is called the hiatus when it becomes larger part of the stomach may-bowles through it this is called a hiatal hernia the hernia may cause the esophagus and the valve to move up in that case the diaphragm is no longer reinforcing the valve that makes it more likely that asset will get into the esophagus when acid and food splash up into the esophagus repeatedly it's called gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD gastro for the stomach or gastric system is suffer jheel for the esophagus for many people gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD causes nothing more than occasional discomfort and other symptoms heartburn and acid regurgitation it's possible however for stomach acid to damage sum up the cells in a tissue at the esophagus this is called reflux esophagitis I dis means inflamed when this occurs certain foods and drinks may cause a burning sensation as they go down the esophagus sometimes the damaged cells turn into another typeof cell this process is called met a pleasure in the case of intestinal metaplasia the cells become more like a type of tissue found in the intestines the cells may do this to protect themselves and the esophagus from acid sometimes intestinal metaplasia occurs where the esophagus joins the stomach the cardia when you have intestinal metaplasia up the cardia tissue at the very top of the stomach has changed it might be the part of the stomach that has bowled through the hiatus intestinal metaplasia the cardia is not generally considered a problem if intestinal metaplasia the cardio is diagnosed typically no treatment or follow-up is required except for the usual treatments for GERD symptoms there are things you can do to help get some relief from the symptoms of reflux the problem is acid splashing from your stomach into your esophagus through a valve that is not working properly when you fill your stomach to fall you put pressure on that valve from below so it's helpful to eat smaller meals you also put pressure on the valve when you push in your waist wear clothes that are loose around your waist being overweight also puts pressure on the valve talk with your healthcare provider about how to be at a healthy weight for you exercise helps with weight control among many other benefits but vigorous exercise can cause heartburn or an episode of reflux especially if you do it soon after eating the solution is to exercise regularly but choose activities in which you stay upright such as right a bike gravity can cause acid in semi digested food to flow from your stomach toward your esophagus avoid bending over or lying down soon after eating don't eat in the last three to four hours before you go to bed you can make gravity work for you by raising the head of your bed don't just use pillows to raise your head you need to angle your entire body you only need to raise the head of your bed by a small amount too great an angle can put stress on the veins in the legs you might put small blocks under the head of your bed if you can do so safely certain foods and drinks relax the valve making it easier for acid to splash into the throat these include fatty foods fried foods alcohol and mint anything with caffeine relaxes the valve such as coffee tea soft drinks and some energy drinks chocolate also has caffeine avoid these things as well that doesn't mean you can never have them but have them in moderation try not to eat or drink any of these things four hours before lying down there are many reasons to stop smoking and even more if you have reflux smoking increases the production of stomach acid and your risk of esophageal cancer if you use tobacco ask your health care provider for help in quitting now certain medications may help reduce the symptoms of reflux over-the-counter antacids soak up acid in the stomach they may provide quick temporary relief from heartburn but if you need to take these more than twice a week you may need something stronger medications called h2 blockers prevent a chemical called histamine from causing stomach acids to be produced medications called proton pump inhibitors are stronger and longer lasting than h2 blockers proton pump inhibitors or PPI turn of the proton pumps that produce acid your stomach will still have enough acid to digest food but less acid to splash into your esophagus a proton pump inhibitor can be very effective but only if you take it correctly this medication must be taken on an empty stomach wait twenty to sixty minutes then eat something that turns on your proton pumps which allows the medication to turn them off for example you might take the medication when you first get up in the morning wait 20 minutes to an hour then eat breakfast it's important to take the PPI every day your body needs to build up and maintain a certain level at this medication for it to be fully effective talk with your healthcare provider about the most appropriate typeof medication for you


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