Acid reflux is a problem that plagues many Americans, causing them pain and discomfort. Commonly referred to as GERD, acid reflux is the term used to describe gastroesophageal reflux disorder. An uncomfortable and often painful condition where a person's stomach liquid backs up or "refluxes" into his esophagus, acid reflux is the cause for pain, agitation, and discomfort in many Americans.
Although many people recognize that they suffer from this chronic condition, some people don't really take time to consider where the problem stems from. Perhaps you have already found an over-the-counter drug, a prescription medication, or even a natural remedy to ease your discomfort. The bottom line is that not everyone who suffers from this disorder is aware of the causes. One of the most common causes of acid reflux is abnormal levels of acid. It is important to know that everyone has reflux. It is common and normal. However, in patients with acid reflux, the reflux has a higher acidic content, making it painful and burning as it affects the lining of the esophagus.
Another cause for acid reflux is a weakening of LES pressure or lower esophageal sphincter pressure. This is especially common in pregnant women. Combine that with the fact that the growing baby is putting new pressure on the woman's abdomen, and it is not difficult to see why acid reflux is so common in pregnancy.
In some cases, acid reflux is caused by esophageal contractions. These contractions can actually cause reflux to back up into the esophagus. This causes pain, discomfort, and irritation for patients. Although this isn't something that can be magically cured, there are things your doctor can recommend to help you cope with the symptoms.
Another reason many people battle acid reflux is because of hiatal hernias. Hernias occur when the top part of your stomach juts through an opening in your diaphragm, lodging itself up into your chest. This can cause acid reflux in patients. Since the LES (the muscle connecting the esophagus with your stomach) usually keeps your stomach liquids from backing up into your esophagus, it is logical that the weakening of the LES caused by a hiatal hernia can contribute to acid reflux.
Another cause for acid reflux can be the speed at which your body empties your stomach. If this is not done at a normal rate, the result can be acid reflux. There have been a variety of tests and research compiled on this topic, with some interesting information revealed. Medications you are taking could actually contribute to your acid reflux.
Although there are various causes for acid reflux, the good news is that there are also various modes of treatment. You do not have to silently suffer with the uncomfortable, burning sensation that accompanies this chronic disorder. As in the case of any disorder, it is important to consult your doctor for an accurate diagnosis. After doing so, you might want to do a bit of exploring on your own to find natural remedies that can help you tame your acid reflux symptoms.
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