The medical condition of acid reflux can be a very uncomfortable, painful and sometimes severe condition. The area of the body that is most affected by this condition is the esophagus. When an individual suffers from acid reflux they generally experience a backing up of acid from the stomach into the esophagus and possibly the mouth.
Acid reflux can be experienced due to a number of reasons. Some of those reasons include overeating and the eating of wrong foods. Some of those foods that may cause acid reflux include acidic foods and caffeine. Other lifestyle actions that may cause acid reflux can include smoking.
When considering the treatment of acid reflux there are many steps that the suffering individual can take. Some of those steps include abstaining from acidic foods, elevating the upper part of the body when sleeping and the use of acid reflux medications. There are basically two types of acid reflux medications that are available to an individual. Those medications include over-the-counter medicines and prescription medications.
There are many over-the-counter acid reflux medications that are available to the individual suffering from acid reflux. These acid reflux medications can be taken in liquid form or tablets and are called antacids.
Both forms of antacids are effective for minor episodes and work fairly quickly in reducing hyperacidity. Generally, these over-the-counter medications for acid reflux are beneficial in treating the symptoms, but not the cause of acid reflux. There are many brand names on the market, but generally each of these over-the-counter medications function in the same way.
It is important to remember that with the use of over-the-counter acid reflux medications, the intention of alleviating the symptoms is on a short-term basis. Generally, the directions for use state acid reflux medications should not be used successively for over two weeks at a time. Therefore, if the symptoms persist it is important to seek medical advice and help.
In addition, there may be side effects associated with taking these acid reflux medications. Some of those side effects may include constipation or diarrhea, stomach cramps, or an increased thirst.
There are many prescription medications on the market to help the individual who is suffering from acid reflux. Two common types of acid reflux medications are the acid suppressants and the proton pump inhibitors.
The acid suppressants help to block the production of acid in the stomach. This particular type of acid reflux medication sends a chemically induced signal to the body that helps to reduce the production of acid in the stomach. Examples of this type of medication include Zantac, Pepcid, Tagamet, and Axid.
The action of the proton pump inhibitor also helps to reduce the production of acid in the stomach. However, this particular medication deals directly with the cells found in the stomach wall. This interaction with these cells that produce acid helps to minimize the secretion of acid into the stomach. Examples of this type of medication are Nexium, Zoton, Protium and Paret.