What is acid reflux? Acid reflux is a disease characterized by trouble in swallowing, heart burn and regurgitation of eaten foods. It is usually caused by poor muscle tone in the second sphincter. The sphincter is located at the bottom of the esophagus and at its junction with the stomach. This sphincter should remain closed when eating after allowing food to pass through. But sometimes because of the poor muscle tone, it remains open. This allows stomach contents to reflux back into the throat and esophagus.
Acid reflux can be categorized into two types: gastroesophagial reflux disease (GERD) and laryngeal reflux disease. Gastro esophageal reflux occurs when too much stomach acid contents reflux into the esophagus. In some cases, the throat is associated with heartburn and acid indigestion. Laryngeal reflux on the other hand, is not related with heartburn. It occurs when the reflux extends from the esophagus up to the upper portion of the throat.
Some causes of acid reflex are due to stomach abnormalities. But most of the time, it is caused by lifestyle habits like smoking, drinking alcohol, drinking carbonated beverages and eating fatty, spicy and even citrus foods.
Reflux is very common in children, especially in infants. This is because of the undeveloped and poor muscle tone that they have on their sphincters. Infant reflux can be determined if the child is experiencing the following symptoms:
- Constant or sudden crying associated with irritability and pain
- Poor sleeping habits
- Spitting or vomiting
- Frequent hiccups
The best way to treat and prevent reflux in infants is to provide them with small but more frequent feedings. Other ways of preventing reflux from happening is to keep the infant propped up during feeding and half an hour after feeding.
For an older person, there are several ways to treat and prevent acid reflux. This can be through medications, surgery or through lifestyle modification.
Physicians agree with medications and surgery. But as much as possible, they prefer using the natural treatment which is lifestyle modification. Natural cures for acid reflux are as follows.
- Reflux diet - Diet modification is one of the best treatments suggested by most physicians. Not only is it the safest way but it can also help prevent further progression of some diseases. Reflux diet contains foods that have low fat. It also has an ample amount of fruits, vegetables and lean cuts of meat. Drinking lots of water a day also helps in preventing acid reflux to occur.
- Regular exercise - Regular exercise helps prevent acid reflux because it helps boost your digestion. Vocal exercise will help strengthen your sphincter muscles. While some other forms of exercise also gives some relief on the pain caused by frequent heartburn.
- Proper eating habits - Standing up after eating helps prevent acid reflux. This is because it allows the food to go to the stomach smoothly and prevent regurgitation.
Nowadays, acid reflux has been very common and is becoming a concern to people. Knowing what causes acid reflux will help each individual prevent its occurrence. Knowing the best natural cures for acid reflux will allow people to personally manage reflux problems even without the use of medication.