Acid Reflux

Introduction

Almost everyone has experienced acid reflux, or heartburn, at least once. If the acid reflux occurs more than twice a week, GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease) is usually diagnosed. Acid reflex affects all ages. The ease of treatment depends upon the cause. Acid reflux often lasts two hours or more, and is made worse by lying down or after eating a large meal. Although it is also known as heartburn, it does not have anything to do with the heart.

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux is a burning sensation felt around the lower chest or stomach area. The burning sensation can continue all the way up into the throat. Acid reflux symptoms are frequently noticed after eating a large or spicy meal. It occurs when acids of the stomach flow back into the esophagus. This results in indigestion, a burning sensation, and sometimes regurgitation. Usually acid reflux does not cause serious complications.

The Causes of Acid Reflux.

There are several causes of acid reflux, and a number of conditions which contribute to developing acid reflux. One of the most common causes of acid reflux is a Hiatal hernia. In this condition, a portion of the stomach normally located in the abdominal cavity pushes through the esophageal opening and remains lodged in the chest cavity. Another cause of acid reflux is pregnancy. Rapid weight gain, certain medications, and GERD all can cause acid reflux. Spices, chocolate, fried foods, tomato sauces, and carbonated beverages can trigger acid reflux. Abnormal curvature of the spine and weak back muscles can impact acid reflux.

The Symptoms of Acid Reflux

The symptoms of acid reflux may vary in severity. The main symptom of acid reflux is the burning sensation centering in the abdominal area, which can radiate all the way up to the throat. Burping and hiccuping, regurgitation, a sour taste in the mouth, sore throat, and even wheezing are all signs of acid reflux. It is important to not confuse the symptoms of a heart attack with those of acid reflux, since there are similarities.

The Treatment of Acid Reflux

Lifestyle changes are often suggested in combination with chiropractic intervention. Recommended modifications include eating several smaller meals each day instead of three large meals, avoiding carbonated drinks and spicy foods, and being aware of what foods trigger acid reflux. Treatment may focus on correction of spinal misalignment. Chiropractic management of Hiatal hernias is often highly effective in reducing or eliminating acid reflux. The stomach can be carefully manipulated back through the esophageal opening and below the diaphragm, where it belongs. Correct spinal alignment is also important for nerve supply to the stomach. If the smooth muscles of the stomach are too tight, with stress and anxiety also contributing, manipulation of the lower esophageal sphincter muscles also often reduces acid reflux. Your chiropractor may suggest a customized diet and weight loss plan in conjunction with the other treatments. Often, the chiropractic adjustments correct and eliminate acid reflux.

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