Wondering if you have acid reflux disease? Check the list below, but remember that only your doctor can tell you if your acid reflux symptoms are signs of acid reflux disease.
The most common acid reflux symptoms are
Other acid reflux symptoms may include
*Note: If you have chest pain, call your doctor immediately. It may be a sign of a life-threatening condition.
The LES muscle
The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is the "valve" between the stomach and the esophagus. The LES opens to let food pass into the stomach and closes tightly after the food has passed through. When the LES does not stay closed after the food has passed through, acid and stomach contents may back up (reflux) into the esophagus.
Weight, stress, and other factors
There are lifestyle factors other than food that can make heartburn worse, including
Even if you take Nexium for your acid reflux disease, it's still a good idea to avoid trigger foods and to change habits that can worsen your acid reflux disease symptoms.
People who are overweight or obese may be more likely to develop acid reflux disease than people who are not. The reason for this is that the extra weight puts pressure on the abdomen, pushing up the stomach and causing acid to back up into the esophagus.
Losing excess weight is good for you on many levels—especially when it comes to your health. It's been shown that people who lose weight seem to have a reduction of their acid reflux disease symptoms.
Remember, if you are overweight or obese, be sure to talk to your doctor before starting any diet or exercise program.
The heartburn-stress connection
The more stressed you are, the more likely you are to suffer from heartburn associated with acid reflux disease. A study found significant relationships between the presence of severe, sustained life stress and increased severity of heartburn symptoms.
Fortunately, there are things you can do to manage stress and the acid reflux disease symptoms it can cause.
Stress management tips
These steps can help you manage stress—and stress-triggered heartburn, too.
Acid reflux is a chronic condition that occurs after eating and to which some people are unfortunately genetically pre-disposed. A properly functional digestive system starts with the food being swallowed. When we swallow, what we are really doing is closing a trap door in our throat called the epiglottis. The epiglottis stops this food from making its way back up the throat. Once past the epiglottis the food mixes with stomach acids that break down the food. These acids are fine down in the stomach area as it is lined with protective membranes, but here’s where we start to see the problem for sufferers of acid reflux. For sufferers, be it form baby reflux, infant reflux or adult reflux, the food is swallowed and the food mixes with the acids but is forced back through the epiglottis into the esophagus. The esophagus has no protection like that of the stomach and the acids eat into the soft tissue causing immediate discomfort and potential for long term damage.
That’s a brief summary of the problem so let’s look at this excerpt from an article written by Owen Jones that shows several areas where a reflux relief pillow would benefit a reflux sufferer.
"The body has invented a natural method of countering the mild acid reflux in healthy people and it is called saliva. Saliva is alkaline, so when you swallow hundreds of times a day, your saliva counteracts the acid. Most people experience reflux after eating, which is of course usually done during the day when we are usually in an upright position. Swallowing saliva also happens mostly in the daytime.
I am certain that you can see a pattern here: reflux is in the daytime when we can swallow saliva to neutralize it and while the force of gravity will impede the acid rising up from the stomach.
Most sufferers of acid reflux get difficulties at night, when gravity cannot help and the swallowing of saliva is at a minimum. Therefore, the acid, untreated by alkaline saliva, remains in the esophagus burning and irritating it.
The pregnant and the obese are most at risk of experiencing acid reflux because of the extra abdominal mass.
So, how do you treat this chronic condition? Well, you should naturally consult your doctor, who may recommend alkaline tablets, but if you want to help yourself too, you could lose weight if you are obese; not eat late at night or even late evening; reduce the fat you consume and sleep with more pillows to raise your head and torso . You will need to experiment with these home remedies to find out what suits you. We suggest the AR Pillow or Back Max to comfortably elevate yourself
You might find that not eating after eight is OK for you, or it might be six o’ clock. You might find that not eating meat or cheese after lunch will do it for you and you may find that lifting your head six or eight inches on extra pillows at night will help too."