Finding Relief from a Painful Condition: Acid Reflux Disease Treatment
Millions of people experience the intense pain of acid reflux on a regular basis. Acid reflux disease is thought to result from a problem with the esophageal sphincter muscle, which closes the opening between the stomach and the esophagus. When the muscle does not work correctly, stomach contents (including strong stomach acids necessary for digestion) escape the stomach and move into the esophagus. This results in burning and pain, and if left untreated can even cause tissue damage to the esophagus.
So what should those suffering from acid reflux do?
Medical Acid Reflux Disease Treatments
Perhaps the most important piece of advice for someone suffering from acid reflux symptoms is to visit a doctor. Doctors can pinpoint the cause of acid reflux and can also make sure the acid reflux disease treatment used is appropriate. A wide variety of over the counter and prescription drugs are available, but some doctors recommend lifestyle changes first. Only if these lifestyle changes are ineffective are drugs offered as an acid reflux disease treatment. The good news is that these drugs are highly effective for many people suffering from acid reflux. In a very slim minority of cases, when both medical treatments and lifestyle changes fail, surgery may be a last-ditch effort.
Many doctors attribute the increase in acid reflux to the modern diet filled with simple carbohydrates, high fat goods and relatively low levels of physical activity. Additionally, being overweight makes it more likely you will suffer from acid reflux; it’s likely that increase pressure on the stomach (caused by carrying excess weight in the midsection) make it difficult for the esophageal sphincter to function appropriately. Thus, one acid reflux disease treatment that is often suggested is to follow a low fat diet. Additionally, many doctors suggest completely eliminating things that can aggravate acid reflux disease including carbonated beverages, high acid fruits and vegetables and caffeine.
Many who suffer from acid reflux disease find the symptoms worsen at night. This likely occurs because lying flat makes it easier for stomach acid to escape the stomach, there is no force of gravity to keep contents inside the stomach when lying in the prone position. An additional acid reflux treatment that relates to ones lifestyle, then, is to sleep on an incline. Rising a bed just a few inches can be an effective acid reflux disease treatment. For those who sleep with someone who doesn’t want to incline, or whose bed prohibits rising only one end, wedge pillows, which simply elevate the head and shoulders can also be purchased.