Acid reflux

Acid reflux is a condition characterized by a backward flow of stomach acid into the esophagus. Acid reflux is commonly referred to as a gastroesophageal reflux. During the occurrence of Acid reflux, you may taste a regurgitated sour liquid or food at the back of the mouth. You may also feel a burning sensation in your chest.

Acid reflux Drugs

  • Maalox
  • Mylanta
  • Rolaids
  • Riopan
  • Alka-Seltzer Other drugs that are used to treat Acid reflux include foaming agents such as Gaviscon that work by coating the stomach to prevent influx. The condition is also treated using Prokinetics such as Reglan and Urecholine that help in strengthening of the LES, emptying the stomach, thus preventing Acid reflux.

Acid reflux Symptoms

Acid reflux is associated with side effects that differ in severity depending on the stage of the condition. The most common symptoms of Acid reflux include:

  • Heartburn which brings about a discomfort that may move from the stomach to the abdomen or chest
  • Regurgitation that brings a sour or bitter tasting acid at the back of your mouth

Other symptoms of Acid reflux include

  • Bloating
  • Bloody stools
  • Burping
  • Nausea
  • Unexplained loss of weight
  • Wheezing
  • Dysphagia which is the narrowing of the esophagus which generates the sensation of food getting stuck in the throat
  • Persistent hiccups
  • Dry coughs
  • Sore throats

Acid reflux Causes

The most common cause of Acid reflux is an abnormality that occurs in the stomach known as hiatal hernia. This happens when the uppermost part of the stomach and LES budge above the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle that is found between the stomach and the chest. Generally, the diaphragm helps in retention of acid in the body. However, if you are suffering from hiatal hernia, the acid may move up your stomach and into the esophagus. It is this action that triggers the onset of Acid reflux.

  • Hiatal Hernia

Acid reflux Diagnosis

It is important that you see your doctor if you have persistent Acid reflux symptoms for more than fourteen days if the medication does not work. Symptoms such as heartburn are important in the diagnosis of Acid reflux particularly if lifestyle changes and antacids, as well as acid blocking medications, don’t bring a lasting effect on the condition. If these steps do not help, the doctor may conduct the following tests to diagnose acid reflux.

  • Barium swallow (esophagus) test
  • Esophageal manometric test
  • Monitoring of Ph levels
  • Biopsy
  • Endoscopy

Acid reflux Treatment

In most cases, Acid reflux is treated through lifestyle changes combined with over the counter drugs. The most common drugs used to treat Acid reflux belong to a class of medicines known as antacids. If the antacids do not have positive effects on the condition, you may consult your doctor for more advice. This is because some medicines may require prescriptions. If the use of the medication does not treat Acid reflux, you may consider surgery as a treatment option. However, using surgery to control Acid reflux is only used when the condition is severe and is interfering with your life.