Almost twenty five million of the people in the US alone experience heartburn on a daily basis. In order to be able and help themselves, each one of them has to first identify the causes and realize what they are in fact experiencing. A survey taken by the “Departments of public health” showed that many were not aware of the actual illness and some chose to hide it from the doctor. As the people got older, they all seemed less likely to contact their physician and find out the causes and risks of what is ailing them.
The gastroesophageal reflux disease has numerous factors and causes which have to be taken into consideration. Those suffering from gerd should explore the diagnosis methods and take the required medical tests in order to find out the severity of their reflux. Current medical education and research is still learning this disease and one can find latest acid reflux news on a regular basis. If you look at the history of acid reflux it will become apparent that not so long ago no one realized what was leading to reflux. Gerd risk factors such as stomach acids, and dietary patterns as well as precautions and side effects were unknown.
Medical education and research on acid reflux
The american gastroenterological association works hard in order to provide a comprehensive overview which covers the treatment, symptoms, causes and risk factors of gerd. Innovative diagnosis methods are explored and studying what we eat as well as how that affects our stomachs provides a ton of information which can be used to combat this disease.
Acid reflux (gerd) risk factors
Obesity or being overweight is one of the most common risk factors. As the body fat pushes down on the stomach, this in turn increases the gastric pressure allowing the stomach acid to travel up to the throat and burn the esophagus.
Pregnancy increases the levels of hormones in the body which often softens the ligaments which usually keep the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) closed. Whenever the LES starts to relax, the risk of acid backing up into the throat increases tremendously. As the baby starts growing, this adds more pressure onto the stomach area as well.
Smoking increases the amount of acid which is produced by the stomach, and decrease the amount of saliva which is excreted. Saliva is actually one of the main bodily defenses against the damage caused by stomach acid as it coats the back of the throat to repair and protect from further injury. Many experts state that this is one of the most important defenses as it contains a byproduct which is able to also neutralize the acid.
Drinking alcohol is another risk factor similar to smoking. It increases the amount of acid produced by the stomach, relaxes the LES and causes the esophagus to become more sensitive. It can also lead to peptic ulcers which only worsens the condition.
Smoking and drinking at the same time not only puts you in the position of having gerd but also greatly increases the likelihood of developing esophageal cancer.
Eating specific foods also worsen the condition and increase the odds of developing heartburn. This encompasses fried foods, fatty foods, spicy foods, some citrus fruits, tomatoes, caffeine, chocolate and peppermint. Although all citrus fruits are acidic it is still widely believed that lemons and lime actually tend to alkaline the stomach and do not cause problems for many individuals.
Living with a hiatal hernia can weaken the esophageal region and also increase the odds of having reflux.
Peptic ulcers which are sores or lesions which form in the lining of the duodenum or stomach can cause a burning pain and stop the immune system from doing a proper job fighting acid reflux.
Gastroparesis is a stomach disorder which cause the stomach to delay emptying its contents. This in turn triggers more acid to be produced by the stomach, and additional pressure which may also lead to gerd. This disease is mostly seen in people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes.
A stagnant lifestyle prevents the immune and digestive system from working properly and can also cause these types of disorders. Start an exercise regiment and try do to cardio at least 30 minutes each day. Go over this with your doctor if you have any injuries or have not moved around much within the last few years.
Asthma suffers due to their respiratory disease, according to studies, are very likely to develop GERD sometime in their lifetime.
Users of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs also known as (NSAIDs) are shown to also be at risk. This is even more prevalent for those which share one or more of the previously mentioned gerd risk factors on top of the conventional drug use. New York Times mentioned, and this is interesting, that some of these NSAIDs are currently also tested for their ability to combat reflux and protect the Barrett’s esophagus.