People of all ages may be afflicted by acid reflux symptoms. The most common acid reflux symptom is a burning pain in the chest, under the breastbone. This pain is known as heartburn, and this pain may worsen if you are in certain positions, such as bending or lying down.
Acid reflux happens when the contents of the stomach flow back up into the esophagus. Contents of the stomach may include bile, food, acid, and other secretions. Heartburn may occur and intensify after eating certain meals or it may occur for no reason at all. If you occasionally experience heartburn, you don’t need to worry.
For some people, the symptoms they experience may feel like abdominal pain, leading people to believe that they have indigestions or stomach ulcers. It is important to see your doctor to diagnose your symptoms if they are persistent. It is important to remember that children may have difficulties describing the symptoms that they are experiencing, making it difficult to diagnose the indicators.
People may experience more symptoms along with their heartburn, such as vomiting and nausea. When one vomits, they may feel as if some food is stuck in their upper chest. Less common acid reflux symptoms also include excess saliva and difficulties swallowing (dysphagia). If one notices that there is blood in their vomit, it is a sign that there could be serious internal damage in the stomach or the esophagus.
Acid reflux happens more commonly in people who are over the age of forty and those who are overweight. The extra weight can put excess pressure on the diaphragm and stomach, which forces the lower esophageal sphincter (the gate-like feature that opens and closes to prevent the stomach contents from re-entering into the esophagus) to open.
Women who are pregnant may also be more prone to acid reflux because of the excess pressure on the stomach. Pregnant women also produce more progesterone, a hormone which helps relax the esophageal sphincter.
Other factors that can increase the odds of getting acid reflux include drinking alcohol, smoking, drinking coffee after a meal, eating fatty foods, lying down soon after one finishes eating. Those who have chronic acid reflux may find that certain foods can trigger the symptoms and it is best to avoid them. You may find that eating smaller meals multiple times throughout the day may decrease the acid reflux symptoms. Generally, people can manage the distress of acid reflux by changing their lifestyle and taking over-the-counter medicine, such as antacids.
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