This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
Also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn, acid reflux is a medical condition where stomach acid finds its way to the lower chest area after flowing up through the esophagus. This results in a burning sensation caused by acid creeping through your windpipe.
Acid reflux is often treated with omeprazole, but pharmacies have a range of medicines to deal with the condition. However, there are many other home options to remedy your condition. It is not an acute condition, but if left untreated, it is capable of causing very serious health complications.
How acid reflux occurs
Heartburn occurs when stomach acid forces its way up through the gullet, the pipe responsible for pushing food down to your stomach. The stomach is responsible for releasing hydrochloric acid, vital in the process of breaking down food and protecting the food contents from such pathogens as bacteria. Although the stomach lining is created to withstand the corrosive nature of acids, the gullet is not. When the Gastroesophageal sphincter fails, food is regurgitated into the throat, causing symptoms of heartburn.
Discomfort associated with acid reflux
When food keeps regurgitating to your gullet, it might cause a series of discomforts. Symptoms vary from one person to another, depending on the body organs that are affected by the stomach acid. Here are some of the symptoms you might experience:
-Heartburn: The most typical discomfort people with acid reflux experience. It is caused by stomach acid creeping up the food pipe, resulting in a burning sensation around the chest area.
-Sour taste: if the stomach's contents rise through your throat to your mouth, you will suffer a bad taste. The stomach backwash may also cause a burning sensation in your throat.
-Regurgitation: This is a feeling you get when food forces its way up your gullet. In some cases, adults may even vomit. However, for infants, it is a common and normal activity under 18 months.
–Dyspepsia: Also known as indigestion, is a type of discomfort you feel around the upper middle part of your stomach. Some people with dyspepsia may feel nauseous, bloated, experience stomach upsets, burning and vomiting. Once you feel such symptoms, seek medical attention because these are symptoms sometimes associated with peptic ulcer disease.
-Sore throat: You may feel some irritation around your throat, accompanied with effects, like the sensation of a lump in your throat and a hoarse voice.
-Difficulty swallowing: Also known as dysphagia, around 1 in 25 adults experience this feeling every year.
6 easy home remedies to relieve symptoms of acid reflux
Acid reflux is a very uncomfortable and annoying experience and can happen anytime. Therefore, you should be in a position to combat heartburn whenever it strikes without having to run to the hospital. Here are some home remedies for acid reflux treatment :
-Wearing loose clothing: In some cases, acid reflux may strike because your clothing is too tight, compressing your stomach, forcing its contents to rise up your gullet.
-Standing up straight: when heartburn strikes when sitting or lying down, try standing at an upright position since it exerts minimal pressure around your sphincters.
-Elevation of your upper body: when it is time for bed or anytime you are lying down, use a pillow to elevate the upper part of your body, from the waist up. You may need to get yourself some extra pillows or an adjustable bed.
-A mixture of baking soda and water: Drink this mixture slowly when heartburn strikes. Baking soda is alkaline and is therefore capable of neutralizing acid, making it one of the best home treatments for acid reflux.
-Avoiding cigarette smoke, carbonated drinks and alcohol: All these are detrimental to your health if you get heartburn attacks. Therefore, you should ideally try to stop smoking as it has been shown to exacerbate acid reflux disease in studies. Cutting back on alcohol and fizzy drinks will also help.
-Chewing gum: Ensure that you chew gum for around 30 minutes after your meals. The saliva it stimulates is important for swallowing and will dilute stomach acids in your food pipe.