If you think you suffer from acid reflux, then you might be a candidate for treatment. The problem occurs when the stomach acid rises up into the esophagus, causing pain and discomfort. It is also what causes heartburn symptoms to erupt. While the symptoms are quite commonly experienced, they can be very uncomfortable for the sufferer.
Acid reflux affects millions of people in the United States each year, and is the cause of about one in every person’s life. When it happens to you, however, it’s something you should really take note of, as it can have devastating consequences for the person suffering. Since so many people suffer from this condition, treatment options are usually available. This article is intended to help you understand what acid reflux is, and help you find the right treatment option for you.
The primary cause of this condition is actually a malfunction of the esophageal sphincter (or valve), which controls a person’s ability to stay in or leave the stomach. The valve can close up either too quickly or too slowly. When it closes too quickly, this can cause stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. It then becomes inflamed, and a burning sensation will be felt in the area.
When the valve closes too slowly, it causes the burning sensation in the person’s throat passages. This occurs because the valve is not closing all the way, and therefore, allowing stomach acid to flow in and out. However, too much acid will continue to flow in, causing the person to experience an upset stomach. When the valve is not working properly, it will open up too quickly and cause more inflammation and irritation.
There are several medications that can be prescribed to help stop the heartburn from occurring, including NSAIDs, which are non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications work by reducing the inflammation of the valve and often reduce the pain associated with acid reflux. There are also medicines that can be taken orally, known as proton pump inhibitors, which can help prevent acid reflux in both children and adults. When these types of drugs are taken, it will stop the production of stomach acid.
There are also preventative measures that can be taken to avoid having the condition in the first place. These include eating smaller meals, limiting the amount of fat you eat, taking regular breaks from eating, and taking regular exercise. Keeping the lower stomach clear of excess stomach acid will decrease the likelihood of someone developing the condition.
Unfortunately, not all people suffer from the problem. In fact, about 10% of Americans will suffer from the condition at some point in their lives. Most people only experience the problem once or twice during their lifetime, and a sufferer should not worry about the condition. However, the good news is that there are treatments available, so long as the condition is treated early.
In most cases, a doctor can prescribe medicine to help treat the condition, and there are also a number of over-the-counter antacids available that may help prevent the problem from coming on. There are two main kinds of antacids that are recommended by doctors: the proton pump inhibitors, and the NSAIDs. Both can be purchased without a prescription, so long as the doctor recommends them.
Proton pump inhibitors, also known as PPI’s, are the most commonly prescribed for the treatment of acid reflux. When used, the drug will dissolve into the stomach and work to keep the valve open, preventing the acid from rising up. The effectiveness of the drug will depend on how often it is taken. Doctors will also check to make sure the body’s pH level is not out of balance, and thus, preventing acid reflux from occurring.
As a prescription drug, the medications that are used to treat acid reflux will also aid in digestion, as well as help with heartburn. Most people will experience relief within four to six weeks of using the medication. If you find that you are having trouble swallowing the medication, try giving it to a friend or family member, since the drug is easy to administer.