Mild symptoms of acid reflux often only include occasional heartburn or regurgitation, more often after indulging in an oily, heavy food or acidic beverages. If you experience heartburn frequently, even on occasion when you do not really need it, then the acid reflux disease is most likely to be the culprit. This disease has many causes, including diet. However, the most common cause is the regurgitation of acid from the stomach into the esophagus. The reflux is caused by the weak gastroesophageal sphincter – a band of muscle that seals off the esophagus to prevent acid reflux from happening.
For those people who suffer from acid reflux on occasion but do not want to take medications for the condition, there are a few natural remedies that they can try to help control the problem. Some of the most effective treatments include taking antacids and proton pump inhibitors to temporarily alleviate symptoms and reducing the acidity of the foods consumed. Other treatments include herbal remedies, drinking hot liquids like ginger ale, or taking prescription medicines prescribed by the doctor, like Prokineticin or Maxolon.
Acidic drinks, fried and spicy foods, coffee and tobacco are all known to trigger symptoms of acid reflux. For some people, lifestyle changes can help them control these symptoms and help avoid having frequent heartburn episodes. Lifestyle changes such as losing weight and avoiding spicy foods can help to reduce the acid production in the stomach. These lifestyle changes are also very helpful in preventing GERD, so it may be worth trying some of these lifestyle changes if you have been experiencing frequent heartburn symptoms without success.
One of the main causes of acid reflux is the proton pump inhibitors or PPIs. These drugs, which are taken for treating acid reflux, actually weaken the LES or lower esophageal sphincter, which is a muscle that prevents stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus. This weakens the LES and allows stomach acid to enter the esophagus causing pain and discomfort. Many people experience long term side effects from using these drugs such as heartburn, sleep problems, dizziness, constipation and nausea.
In more extreme cases, the doctor may recommend an antacids. Antacids help to temporarily alleviate symptoms but do nothing to address the underlying cause of acid reflux symptoms. If you experience acid reflux symptoms and no matter what your doctor does, you should consider changing your lifestyle and including a healthy diet and reduction of your stress levels. This will allow your body to deal with the excess stomach acid on its own.
If you continue to experience symptoms, you may want to seek medical attention. Once you see a doctor who can determine what is causing the acid reflux, he can prescribe medicines to treat it. These medications work to ease the symptoms by reducing the LES and allowing for more gastric acid to be able to flow into the stomach. Antacids work by neutralizing the acid in your stomach so that it does not irritate your throat and esophagus and cause further irritation. In more extreme cases, doctors may recommend surgical measures to help get rid of the problem. However, most people can avoid these procedures if they simply change their lifestyle and eat healthier foods.