What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux occurs when stomach acid leaks up into the oesophagus causing heartburn and other symptoms. If left untreated, acid reflux can lead to Barrett’s oesophagus, which is a precursor to cancer. Between 25% - 40% of the general population are reported to suffer from acid reflux. In terms of how to stop acid reflux, there is acid reflux medicine available.
What are the symptoms of acid reflux?
The three most common acid reflux symptoms are:
- An unpleasant, sour taste at the top of your throat or at the back of your mouth
- Difficulty swallowing - acid scarring leads to the oesophagus narrowing which makes it difficult to swallow
- Sensation of food being stuck in the oesophagus
What causes acid reflux?
Often, how you get acid reflux depends on a few factors. The most common cause is decreased muscle tone of the lower oesophageal sphincter allowing acid to travel up through the oesophagus.
Other causes of acid reflux include:
- Being overweight
- Consuming tobacco, alcohol, coffee or chocolate
How can you treat acid reflux?
When it comes to what to take for acid reflux, there are a number of options. Most people initially respond well treatment with medication, but symptoms can often return quite quickly (within days or weeks). People with recurrent gastro-oesophageal reflux may need to take medication on a long-term basis.
Typically, the course of treatment for acid reflux is proton pump inhibitors. This is an effective way of treating acid reflux. Proton pump inhibitors reduce the amount of acid made by your stomach. They are commonly used to treat acid reflux and ulcers of the stomach. You can take acid reflux tablets such as Nexium, Esomeprazole, Pantoprazole and Omeprazole.
What can you do to help prevent acid reflux?
You can reduce your symptoms of acid reflux by taking the following precautions:
- Eating smaller, more frequent meals
- Avoid alcohol, coffee, chocolate, tomatoes, and fatty or spicy foods
- Quit smoking
- Try losing weight - being overweight is directly linked to experiencing acid reflux