Published Date March 04, 2022
Last update date: February 23, 2023
How often do you feel a painful burning sensation in your oesophagus, stomach, or chest after eating a meal/snack? You’ve probably heard people talk about acid reflux, gastric reflux, GERD, or heartburn. These are all problems with acidity, and it’s estimated they affect up to 25% of adults at some time in their life. Are you popping antacids often or taking medicine for immediate heartburn relief? If yes then you might have acid reflux, which happens when the acid from the stomach moves up into the oesophagus. Acid reflux is also known as heartburn, acid indigestion, pyrosis, or gastroesophageal reflux (GER).
So, if acid from the stomach comes right up the oesophagus to the throat or mouth, it’s called acid reflux while heartburn occurs when stomach acid or acidic gases are lower down the oesophagus.
When we usually take our meals, the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES) closes to prevent food in the stomach from moving up into the oesophagus. But when this LES is damaged or weakened, the result is acid reflux or gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), a severe, chronic form of acid reflux.
Some signs and symptoms can include regurgitation of food or sour liquid, difficulty swallowing, coughing, uneasiness, wheezing, and chest pain — especially while lying down at night. Acid reflux brings up a sour and bitter taste in the throat while heartburn causes an uncomfortable burning sensation in the centre of the chest. GERD is a much more severe condition that shows symptoms of acid reflux and/or heartburn at least once a week over an extended period.
Foods and drinks that trigger acid reflux and heartburn symptoms should be eliminated or reduced from the diet to prevent the condition. Having smaller multiple meals than fewer larger meals and eating well before bedtime can certainly aid the condition. Changing other habits, such as resting for a short time after eating is often also beneficial.
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