Acid Reflux Treatment
If we consider the phenomenon of acid reflux attack as the reverse flow of food products from the stomach to the esophagus, it may sound pretty harmless unless we realize that the reflux is of the highly corrosive acidic juices which can burn the esophageal lining in due course of time, may destroy it completely and lead to ulcers and cancers. A point to note is that this may be more common in people who love food. With this in mind, being aware of your medical history can be very beneficial in keeping this condition from developing into something more serious. At the same time, such safety measure can help you use your health or life insurance to its full coverage.
One of the most obvious signs of acid reflux attack is the burning sensation behind the ribcage caused due to the harm done by the acidic food from stomach to the lower esophagus. This condition commonly known as heartburn than may lead to stabbing chest pain, difficulty in swallowing, damage to the voice box or larynx causing hoarseness in the voice, cough. sinusitis etc.
Acid reflux attack requires medical intervention at the earliest. The doctors once sought for help will perform various tests to confirm the diagnosis of GERD. The procedures used may vary from taking X-Rays of your esophagus to endoscopy and other methods which may not require biopsies of esophageal tissues.
Once diagnosed with the disease the patient will be required to undergo lifestyle changes and proper treatment to control this disease. Few effective acid reflux treatments are;
1]Most important aspect of the GERD treatment is to recreate the patients dietary habits. Here the patient is advised to completely refrain from spicy food, alcohol, coffee, vitamin supplements, fats and even cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cauliflower. The number of meals taken should be more but the quantity of each meal has to be minimal to prevent overeating and filling up the stomach. Smokers need to quit smoking as nicotine and other toxins can increase the GERD condition.
2]Next in the agenda for treating GERD is to work on developing correct body postures so as to prevent contracting or squeezing the esophageal area resulting into GERD. Slouching and other bad postures are strictly no-no. To enhance correct body posture exercises should become a part of our routine.
3]Then there are few medicines or drugs that reduces the secretion of more than required acid in the stomach. these drugs which do have serious side effects, block the activities of cell surface molecules also called the proton-pumps in the stomach lining. Proton pumps function with the positively charged hydrogen ions to create the acid, thus the use of proton pump inhibitors for treatment.
4]Many a times doctors prescribe antacid for mild GERD cases as these reduces the acidity level in the stomach by increasing the PH level. However its important to check if the antacid taken has calcium as that can further aggravate the GERD condition.
5] In cases of moderate GERD doctors prescribe alginic acid which creates a protective cover over the stomach and lower esophageal mucosal lining, thereby the allowing the damaged cells to heal, repair and regenerate themselves. The alginic acid is also useful to check the occurrence of acid reflux later.
6]Few antihistamines like famotidine and ranitidine too can function as receptor blockers for secretion of acid in the stomach.
7]Lately another medicine by the name of prokinetics used to be recommended by the doctors acid reflux treatment. Here the prokinetic drug increases the strength of the lower esophageal muscle and enhances the speed with which food passes through the stomach thus reducing the chances of the food and gastric juices returning back to the esophageal lining to cause heartburn and GERD. However, as many of these drugs have been found to have serious side effects and are been removed from the market, it necessary to consult the doctor and verify whether a particular prokinetic can be used to treat GERD or not.
8]Few drugs are also taken along with anti GERD drug to protect the delicate mucosal lining of the esophagus, enables a faster healing of the damaged esophageal lining and also improves and maintains the proper functioning of the digestive muscles. one of these drugs is Sucralfate.
9]Though various methods of surgical acid reflux treatments for GERD in its worst case are still under study to determine the safety and effectiveness, some of the surgical procedures are already used as a last resort for treating GERD. One of them is called Nissen fundoplication where the stomach is wrapped around tightly near the lower esophageal sphincter. This helps in strengthening the lower esophageal muscle so as to keep away the reverse flow of food from the stomach to the esophagus causing GERD.Again, it will be important to emphasize that we need to consult a doctor before we go ahead and choose any of the type of treatment for acid reflux more so when you are also having any other type of ailment for which you are under medication ,because those medications may interfere with the GERD treatment.
So as we can see by now, we need to be very careful and check out with the doctor without being afraid to ask any question before taking any treatment for GERD.
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