Acid Reflux And An Enzyme Deficiency
The signs and symptoms of acid reflux are apparent and can be difficult to ignore. Occasional episodes of heartburn are normal. However, the presence of frequent heartburn is not normal and can lead to further complications if not addressed.
Acid Reflux: Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of acid reflux is primarily the presence of heartburn. Heartburn is described as a burning pain, particularly isolated to areas of the chest and beneath the breastbone. Heartburn is commonly noted to worsen with certain activities, including lying down, eating, and bending over. Heartburn is also commonly noted to worsen and become more frequent at night.
Acid Reflux: The Causes
Acid reflux is caused when the esophageal sphincter becomes weakened and is unable to keep stomach acid located within the stomach. When this sphincter is weakened, it is possible for stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. This is known as heartburn. While it is unknown the exact causes, there are certain factors that are commonly associated with the development of acid reflux. These factors include:
- Tobacco use
- Alcohol use
- Consuming large meals
- Certain medications
- Certain foods
The foods that are most commonly associated with the worsening of heartburn are spicy foods, fatty foods, caffeine, onions, chocolate, carbonated beverages, and tomato sauce. The worsening of heartburn is also noted to occur more frequently due to certain medications including antidepressants, calcium channel blockers, and sedatives.
Acid Reflux: Risk Factors
In addition to the causes of acid reflux, there are certain risk factors that have been associated with increasing the overall chances of developing acid reflux. These risk factors are associated with the presence of certain conditions.
- Connective tissue disorders
- Gastric outlet obstruction
- Hiatal hernia
- Stomach emptying delays
- Zollinger-Ellison syndrome
Acid Reflux: When is it a Problem?
Heartburn is a problem when it occurs frequently, causing discomfort. It is recommended that if you are having heartburn several times per week or it is waking you from sleep, that you seek medical attention for its treatment. Treatment for acid reflux is necessary. If heartburn is not treated, it can lead to further complications.
Enzymes are responsible for the catalysis of reactions. This catalysis (acceleration) is possible not because the enzymes change the reaction itself, but it lowers the overall energy necessary to complete the reaction. This energy is known as the activation energy. An enzyme deficiency is noted to be present when there are not adequate amounts of enzyme available to complete the necessary reactions.
Enzymes and the Digestive System
Enzymes of the digestive system are necessary for the proper digestion of food. When there is specifically an enzyme deficiency within the gastrointestinal system, the food is not adequately digested. It is correlated that this indigestion of food only serves as an additional reason for the development of acid reflux. It is important that you discuss your concerns with your physician to determine the best treatment or combination of treatments for acid reflux.