Acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) are used interchangeably. Are the two terms same? Most of us experienced acid reflux or Gastroesophageal Reflux in different stage of life. Acid reflux shows different symptoms like heartburn, sore throat and bad breath etc.
What is acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)?
Gastroesophageal reflux disease is the severe condition of acid reflux. The word reflux comes from the Medieval Latin word refluxus which comes from the Latin word refluere, means “to flow back, to recede”. Our mouth and stomach is joint by a tube called esophagus. The lower side of the esophagus is called esophageal sphincter (LES). That is a ring shaped muscle work like a valve. LES open when we take food and close right after eating to keep the food tight in stomach so that the stomach fluids can digest the food easily. If the LES does not or fails to close in time, some stomach acid leaks to the esophagus and we feel discomfort. That is usually know as acid reflux. As a result you may feel Heartburn or chest pain, sore throat etc. If your acid reflux is occasional then it is nothing to worry about. If the reflux happen twice or more in a week and you feel severe discomfort. Then there is possibility of acid reflux disease and it is known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GRED).
Causes of acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
There may be several causes of reflux. Most common cause is stomach abnormality or weak LES. The abnormality of stomach is known as Hiatal hernia, it is happen when upper part of the stomach and LES move above diaphragm (separator muscle of stomach and chest). If you have hiatal hernia then it is possible to show the symptoms of acid reflux disease. The common blamable causes of acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) are:
- Obesity: Being overweight or too much fat.
- Food Habit: Eating large meals or too much food at a time. Lying down after meal.
- Smoking: smoking and alcohol are great causes of acid reflux.
- Drinks: Some soft drinks, beverage and caffeine contained drinks are also blamable.
- Cooking: Cooking food with lots of oil and spicy
- Pregnancy: Most of the pregnant women complain about acid reflux during the pregnancy period.
- Medications: Some medicine of pain reduction, relaxing and blood pressure etc. medicine can cause acid reflux.
- Snacks: Snack which are deeply fried in oil, particularly taking snacks before sleep at night may be cause of night time reflux and it can wake you up for a long time.
Symptoms of acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Most of the patient complaint about the following symptoms:
- Heart burning or chest pain. Pain below the sternum (breast bone).
- Sour or bitter tested acid come back to your throat or mouth.
- Maybe breathing problem, particularly in infants.
- Wight loss for no reason in case of reflux disease.
- Sometimes burping.
- Nausea or vomiting.
- Dry cough or chronic sore throat.
- Bad breath.
This are the most common symptoms and some more severe symptoms can be shown in serious cases of disease. If the disease in primary level, doctor will suggest antacid and omeprazole types medication. Know more about diagnosis and treatment of acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), home remedies for acid reflux or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and GERD in infants.