Acid Reflux - Basics


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Acid reflux is a term, which is commonly stated by someone suffering from heart burn or a burning sensation in the chest. Also known as Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) which simply means back flow of gastric (stomach) contents into the esophagus (food pipe).

I will like to highlight some basics of acid reflux.  

  1. All of us in a normal state have an acidic environment in our stomach. What that means is the gastric fluid has a low pH in the range of 1.5-3.5.
  2. Normal levels of acidic fluid are needed for digestion of food and also absorption of nutrients.
  3. Usually acidic fluid remains in the stomach, and only small amount of that acidic fluid flows back into the esophagus occasionally without causing any symptoms.
  4. Symptoms of acid reflux happen when either a) stomach produces excessive acidic fluid, which leads to, too much of the fluid flowing into the esophagus or b) the barrier between the stomach and esophagus is compromised, and even though body is producing normal amount of acidic fluid but excessive amounts of this fluid refluxes back. 
  5. Common symptoms of acid reflux are 

  • Burning sensation in chest, many times after meals
  • Sour taste or feeling of acidic fluid in the mouth
  • Feeling of chest tightness
  • Later symptoms can be difficulty to eat food
  • One common symptom is chronic cough, this happens because acidic fluid comes all the way up into the throat. This can cause cough and change in voice as the fluid can cause inflammation of vocal cords. 

More to follow on Acid Reflux. 

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