Acid Reflux The Basics
Acid reflux, also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a common digestive disorder that occurs when stomach acid flows back up into the esophagus. This can cause a range of unpleasant symptoms, including heartburn, a sour taste in the mouth, cough, and difficulty swallowing.
There are several factors that can contribute to acid reflux, including lifestyle habits such as eating large meals, lying down immediately after eating, and consuming certain foods and drinks (such as caffeine, alcohol, and spicy or fatty foods). Other causes may include obesity, pregnancy, and anatomical issues.
Treatment options for acid reflux include lifestyle changes, such as eating smaller, more frequent meals and avoiding trigger foods. Over-the-counter and prescription medications, such as antacids and proton pump inhibitors, can also help to reduce symptoms. In some cases, surgery may be necessary to repair structural problems in the esophagus or stomach.
Tips to preventing acid reflux:
- Maintain a healthy weight
- Eat a balanced diet
- Avoid tobacco and alcohol
- Avoid eating large meals, opt for smaller, more frequent meals
- Avoid lying down for at least a few hours after eating
It’s important to see a healthcare provider if you are experiencing frequent or severe symptoms of acid reflux, as untreated acid reflux can lead to more serious health problems, including esophagitis (inflammation of the esophagus), esophageal ulcers, and even esophageal cancer.
About The Author
Dr. Mea Ramos, Clinical Director at Eva Teleconsult, has finished her Doctor of Medicine and Master in Business Administration degrees from the Ateneo de Manila University. She is certified in Clinical Telemedicine from Harvard Medical School. As a life long learner, Dr. Ramos is also a graduate of SMIC Institute of Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture program. She is also a hands-on mentor to medical students and doctors-in-training. She champions health by advocating telemedicine, mental health, and holistic wellness among her patients.