Probably safe to say that everyone has or will experience an episode or two of acid reflux at some point in their life. Acid reflux, aka gastroesophageal reflux, means that some stomach acid back flowed into your esophagus. When this happens you might notice symptoms of a sour taste and a burning feeling in your chest, what’s commonly referred to as heartburn.
An occasional occurrence of these gastoesophageal reflux symptoms is not a health concern. However, if your acid reflux symptoms occur regularly, then you may have gastroesophageal reflux disease, aka GERD.
GERD causes frequent heartburn and sour taste. So essentially, gastoesophageal reflux is a symptom of GERD. When this disease is left untreated, other symptoms will likely come into play as well, like:
Although you may hear acid reflux and GERD being used interchangeably, they are not the same. GERD is chronic and gastroesophageal reflux is an isolated health event.
Certain conditions related to health and diet can trigger an acid reflux incident, such as:
- coffee, tea
- garlic & onions
- fatty, fried food
- overweight, obese
- carbonated drinks
- excessive alcohol use
- consuming a large meal
- lying down right after eating
- citrus fruit ~ oranges, lemons
- spicy food ~ containing chilli, curry, mint
- exercise that increase abdominal cavity pressure
- acidic foods ~ tomato sauce, spaghetti sauce, salsa, pizza
- drug side effect ~ aspirin, ibuprofen, muscle relaxants, blood pressure lowering drugs
Be mindful of these triggers because treatment cures for gastroesophageal reflux symptoms often involves making a lifestyle change. So, some of these lifestyle treatment cures are:
- eat smaller meals
- lose excess weight
- stop smoking, alcohol in excess
- avoid those foods that trigger symptoms
For occasional acid reflux symptoms, an antacid may offer up a quick treatment cure.
If you suspect GERD, then a visit with your health care provider is prudent for proper diagnosis and treatment. In this case, something stronger like H2 antagonist (Zantac, Tagamet) and Prilosec) may be necessary.