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Facts About Acid Reflux — an article on the Smart Living Network
December 9, 2007 at 12:06 PMComments: 0 Faves: 0

Facts About Acid Reflux

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Acid reflux, heartburn, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease are all related conditions that occur when the stomach acid escapes the stomach and moves into the esophagus.

Fact: Over 60 million adults in America suffer from heartburn monthly.

Fact: If you suffer from heartburn or acid reflux more than twice a week, you may have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD. Fact: 25 million American adults suffer from heartburn daily. Fact: The symptoms of heartburn are pain and a burning sensation in the chest, behind or under the breastbone. Usually, heartburn symptoms get worse when you lie down, bend over, or eat. Fact: GERD, or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease can affect infants, children, and adolescents as well as adults. If your child is complaining of heartburn, do not ignore their symptoms! Fact: 8 out of 10 heartburn sufferers experience symptoms during the night. Almost as many report that heartburn wakes them up or keeps them from sleeping. Four out of 10 sufferers say that the lack of sleep due to heartburn adversely affects their work performance the next day. Fact: Acid Reflux and GERD may have biological causes, meaning that a special diet cannot always control symptoms. Usually, the problem rests with the esophageal sphincter becoming weakened or relaxed.

Fact: Heartburn is more common among pregnant women and elderly people.

Fact: Chronic heartburn can cause long term damage to the esophagus. This can result in dangerous conditions, including inflammation of the esophagus. Fact: Being overweight is a strong risk factor for acid reflux. Excess weight can press on the abdomen, causing the stomach to move upwards. This can in turn lead to stomach acid escaping into the esophagus. Fact: Eating large meals can exacerbate heartburn. If the stomach is too full, excess food can push acid back into the esophagus. Fact: Tight clothing, like tight belts for example, put extra pressure on your stomach and can exacerbate heartburn. Fact: Smoking can make acid reflux worse by relaxing the muscle between the stomach and the esophagus. This allows acid to enter the esophagus.

Fact: Sedatives, antidepressants, and certain medications called "calcium channel blockers" can all cause acid reflux.

Fact: Although acid reflux symptoms may be alleviated by drinking water and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda) mixed together, this ultimately adds to the problem by increasing the amount of gas and pressure in your stomach. Fact: Overuse of antacids can cause diarrhea or constipation. Fact: Alcohol often makes acid reflux worse. Fact: Herbal Supplements are a great, no risk option for Acid Reflux.

Sources:

http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/heartburn-gerd/DS00095/DSECTION=1

http://heartburn.about.com/od/understandingheartburn/a/hrtbrnfastfacts.htm

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