Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), also called Acid Reflux, is a chronic condition in which liquid content of the stomach leak back (reflux) into the oesophagus. The abnormally refluxed gastric contents usually contain acid. When this refluxed gastric acid touches the lining of oesophagus, it causes heartburn, a burning sensation in the chest or throat.
The severity level of acid reflux is different for every person. Some people show no symptoms, while some show very severe acid reflux symptoms. Acid reflux can cause damage to the oesophagus lining and hence, it is necessary to treat it soon. Though there is no cure for acid reflux, the symptoms can be reduced with medication and by avoiding certain types of foods.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Women
Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Children
- After your child is done with his meals, he may vomit all the content out. In this manner, you may understand that your child is suffering from an acid reflux.
- Your child experiences pain near the breastbone or in the chest after vomiting, which is another sign of your child suffering from acid reflux.
- Your child may complain of constantly feeling bloated. He may feel full and may suffer from gas and acidity issues.
- Sometimes, children may refuse to acknowledge that they are hungry. They altogether ignore hunger pangs and refuse to consume food even during meal time.
- They might just be too petrified of enduring the pain that they experience when an acid reflux strikes.
- If you have observed an erratic sleeping pattern of your child, or if your child is not getting enough sleep, the primary reason could be an acid reflux. An acid reflux, if occurring at night, could disturb your child’s sleep as he feels uncomfortable with the pain.
- Acid reflux can also direct towards the child’s inability to swallow well. The child may be of the view that the food gets stuck in their throat.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux in Pregnant Women
The symptoms in expectant mothers are more or less similar to those experienced by other people. Pregnant women can more commonly experience the symptoms after eating a heavy meal
or while lying down on the back. Some can also experience the symptoms while bending. Here are the most common symptoms:
Acid Reflux symptoms in men
- Swallowing difficulty
- Abdominal pain
- Sore throat and frequent cough
Foods that lead to acid reflux
- Spicy Foods: It is natural that the consumption of foods rich in spices would start causing the symptoms of this condition, such as oesophageal irritation and heartburn. Thus, it is necessary to prevent such foods, to prevent this condition and to keep it at bay if one is already affected by it.
- Caffeine: Foods and drinks that contain caffeine are mainly chocolate, coffee, tea, and soda. Though they may be consumed in small amounts, regular and prolonged consumption is bound to aggravate the symptoms of this condition.
- Citrus Fruits: Citrus fruits and their juices such as lemons, oranges, grapefruits, pineapples, and even tomatoes, have citric acid, they are likely to worsen the condition.
- Garlic and Onions: Both garlic and onion, are known to contain compounds that cause foods to back up in the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn, and therefore, they should be avoided.
- Milk and other dairy products: Dairy products including whole milk, cream and cheese, are all foods that take very long to digest and thus, increase the production of acids in the stomach.
- Deep-Fried and Fatty Foods: Foods that have been deep-fried, and other fatty foods, are likely to initiate acid reflux, and further aggravate it, if not avoided. Thus, all types of pizzas, burgers, cheese, fries, and desserts, should be kept away.
Natural cures for acid reflux
- Apple Cider Vinegar: It is one of the well-known home remedies for acid reflux, and it has no side effects. Taking 2-3 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar with some water is one of the easiest ways to curb the condition.
- Aloe Vera: It is another soothing natural medicine for acid reflux. It acts immediately, but you should take it daily for 6-8 weeks. It helps in the digestion of food. It can be taken along with some non-acidic fruit juice.
- Glutamine: It is a natural element in the human body. Glutamine acts as an anti-inflammatory acid to cure acid reflux. It is also found in spinach, parsley, chicken, milk, and eggs.
- Ginger: It is another root, which is effective. Ginger can be consumed in many forms like ginger tea, candied ginger in tea, pickled ginger, and raw ginger. Ginger is a tasty stomach tonic. It cures many stomach ailments without any side effects. Ginger tea can be prepared easily.
- Lemon: Lemon contains citric acid and has alkaline characteristics. Citric acid flushes out harmful toxins and bacteria from your body. Lemon aids in weight loss, which helps to reduce the symptoms of acid reflux. Drinking lemon water empty stomach every morning provides relief from the painful gas.
- Carom seeds (ajwain): Ajwain is one of the most popular and effective home remedy for the treatment of acidity and acid reflux. The presence of thymol in the ajwain gives instant relief to the mucous membrane of the stomach from hyperacidity. Take one teaspoon of ajwain along with a pinch of black salt to get rid of stomach gas.
- Baking soda: Baking soda acts as a natural antiseptic, and counterbalances the effects of acid in your stomach and prevent the risk of mouth ulcers due to the acidity. Mix ½ tablespoon of baking soda in a glass of water and drink it sip by sip to get better results.
In general, acid reflux does not cause any serious health complications
. However, you should not neglect its symptoms and delay the treatment, as it can cause scarring in the oesophagus. You should neither start any self-treatment with over the counter medicines without consulting your gastroenterologist
. When you are undergoing treatment, you must follow a healthy lifestyle in order to get best results.