LET’S GET HEALTHY
Get my FREE Superfoods Cookbook (Expanded Edition!) with dozens of recipes
using 12 of my favorite healthy, delicious and filling superfoods!
Have you ever been lying in bed, comfortable, warm, ready to fall asleep when all of a sudden, you felt the acidic burn of your stomach contents in your throat? If you have ever felt this, then you probably suffer from acid reflux, a condition that experts have described as stomach acid bubbling up into your esophagus and throat. It is a very common condition that most have probably felt at some point in their lives.
Acid reflux is caused by an imbalance between the acid present in your stomach and the protection from having that acid enter your esophagus. It is worsened when the valve between your stomach and esophagus that doesn’t close all the way when digesting food. This then allows stomach acid to escape and damage your esophagus. There are certain foods that can make it hard for this valve to close. Foods like, chocolate, peppermint, tomato-based foods, coffee, citrus, alcohol, and spicy foods are some examples.
While traditionally acid reflux or GERD is manifested as a burning sensation in the chest or throat, there are actually a handful of other surprising symptoms that can be caused by reflux. So while you may have thought you were suffering from something particular, it could possibly be another form of acid reflux, which is easily treatable.
We have been conditioned to think that intense chest pain is due a heart attack, but this is not always true. Acid reflux is also a cause of chest pain. If you have chest pain that is unexplained, call 911 or go to the hospital immediately. When in doubt, it is always better to err on the side of caution.
A bitter taste that appears in your mouth for no reason could be another sign of acid reflux. The taste could be bitter or sour and it is caused by the juices that are forced into your stomach. It can be a foul taste and can be hard to get rid of. If this is happening to you frequently, you may want to talk to your doctor about how to control your acid reflux.
When acid from your stomach gets in your lungs it can make it hard to breathe. These symptoms can imitate asthma. One sure way to tell the difference between the two is if it gets worse at night or when you lie down, it is probably due to acid reflux and not Asthma.
GERD or acid reflux can lead to irritation of your throat and can give you symptoms of an unexplained cough. You may also experience throat clearing, especially after meals.
Among all of the things that the acid can do to your body, one of the more damaging is scarring. Acid can scar parts of your body, like your throat. When your throat gets scarred and damaged,it is difficult to swallow food. What’s worse is that the food can feel like it has grown claws of its own and it’s pinching your throat all the way down to your stomach – a very painful situation.
Because acid reflux can burn, damage, and scar the throat, you may have a sore, red throat. However, sore or red throat could very well be a symptom for something else, even as simple as a common cold or the flu.
Acid reflux can affect people of all ages. It is often the result of lifestyle factors, but can also be the result of things that cannot be prevented. For example, those with a hiatal hernia have a hole in their diaphragm allowing the upper part of the stomach entering a chest cavity, may have acid reflux. In some cases, pregnancy may cause acid reflux due to the extra pressure on internal organs. This usually resolves after giving birth.
Common risk factors of acid reflux include:
What you eat can cause acid reflux. Food and drink choices linked to acid reflux include:
Lying down within the 2-3 hours of eating can also cause acid reflux for some people.
Diagnosis can include:
Treatment may include over-the-counter medication and prescription drugs, including H2 blockers, alginate drugs, and PPIs. Lifestyle and dietary changes can greatly reduce or eliminate symptoms of acid reflux as well, often without the use of medication.
There are some foods that are helpful for preventing and reducing acid reflux, including:
When you do have acid reflux, it is a condition that should be taken very seriously. If left untreated, it could cause some irreversible damage. If you are suffering or have been suffering from any of these symptoms, talk to your doctor. Your health is very important; don’t let GERD take over your life.