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Acid Reflux: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

Acid Reflux: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments
26 Sep 2014

What is Acid Reflux?

Acid reflux, also popular as acid indigestion, happens when the muscle which acts as the valve between stomach and esophagus does not function in the right way. This malfunction enables the stomach acid and food to back up into esophagus resulting in heartburn, which is a burning sensation felt behind breastbone and mid-chest. The other signs of acid reflux include a sour taste in back of mouth or burning in throat. When acid reflux occurs often (may be twice a week or even more), it is called GERD or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Severe symptoms of GERD include asthma, trouble swallowing or dry cough which may take place with or without heartburn. If left untreated, GERD may result in damage to esophageal lining.

What Causes It?

Pregnancy
Constipation
Alcohol
Asthma
Smoking
Hiatus hernia
Some food triggers
Overeating and large meals
Peptic ulcers
Bending forward
Inadequate amounts digestive enzymes in stomach

Treatments for Acid Reflux

  • Changing lifestyle is the best way to treat chronic acid reflux. To change your lifestyle all you need to do is quit smoking, lose weight and eat in smaller amounts.
  • Avoid consuming citrus fruits, alcohol, carbonated and caffeinated beverages, spicy foods and fatty or fried foods.
  • Many people use medication to get relief from the symptoms of acid reflux. They take antacids, proton pump inhibitors or H2 receptor blockers.
  • In case of GERD, surgery is sometimes done.
  • Acupuncture has also proved to benefit patients suffering from acid reflux. There are several acupuncture points like Ren 12, Pc 6 point and St 36 point that are used by specialized acupuncturists for treating acid reflux. As an acupuncturist I often deal with patients suffering from reflux and have had good results using acupuncture combined with Chinese herbal formulas for treating the reflux symptoms.

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