Acid Reflux & Heartburn

When the stomach acid moves upwards into the oesophagus due to malfunctioning of the Lower Esophageal Sphincter (LES), it causes heartburn. LES is a valve that closes upon passage of food into stomach from oesophagus. However several times this valve doesn’t close properly or opens up too often resulting in stomach acids moving upward the oesophagus. This upwards movement of acid is called acid reflux.

Heartburn is the burning sensation in the oesophagus due to stomach acid reflux. A burning discomfort is experienced below the breast bone. Despite the name, this has nothing to do with the heart.

Heartburn – burning sensation or discomfort in chest or even throat
Regurgitation – Sour/bitter taste in mouth/tongue due to acid moving back up into the mouth from the oesophagus
Bloating, burping, nausea, hiccups
Dysphagia — a narrowing of your esophagus, which creates the sensation of food being stuck in your throat
Blood in stools or vomit
Weight loss due to unknown reasons
Wheezing, dry cough, hoarseness, or chronic sore throat
Hiatal hernia
Obesity
Lying down after a large meal
Lying on the back or bending over the waist
Pregnancy
Beverages like tea, coffee, aerated drinks or alcohol
Certain foods like tomatoes, onion, garlic, chocolate, citric foods, spicy/fatty foods
Medications like muscle relaxers, ibuprofen, aspirin, blood pressure medications, etc
Upper endoscopy
Esophageal pH test
Esophageal pH test

Treatment of Acid Reflux & Heartburn

Over the counter (OTC) medicines
Lifestyle changes
Surgery
Antacids and other medications prescribed by the doctor

Long term acid reflux and heartburn can cause Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) which can cause serious issues such as:

Persistent cough
Laryngitis
Esophageal or stomach ulcers
Stomach or esophageal cancer

Comments are closed.