Saturday, 26 May 2012

Getting to know Acid Reflux Disease

Getting to know Acid Reflux Diseasea

Acid reflux disease is a problem that arises when the liquid in the stomach goes back or refluxes to the esophagus.  This condition is also known as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).  These liquid which is composed of acid, pepsin, and bile are produced by the stomach to aid in digestion but can cause damage when it goes back to the esophagus.  Pepsin is responsible of digesting protein in the stomach while bile is from the duodenum part of small intestine which is vital for fat absorption.  Among the three components, acid has the biggest role of damaging the esophagus lining and eventually cause inflammation.

According to the study conducted by experts, any human being have a tendency to experience reflux of liquid from the stomach, the only difference is that, people suffering from GERD have more acid in the liquid and tend to reflux higher compared to normal beings.  Once you are suffering from this chronic disease, the treatment should be taken consistently because the problem seems to recur when you stop the designed treatment, though there are some who believes that the solution to this disease is by treating it symptomatically.  This means that you will only have to take medication or follow prescribed diet once any symptom occur.

Like in any untoward situation, the body always compensates to keep the normal function intact.  With Gastroesophageal reflux disease, most cases happen in day time when the position assumed is upright.  Because of this, the gravity allows the refluxed liquid to go back to the stomach.  Swallowing and the saliva produced by the salivary gland in the mouth plays an important role in neutralizing acid.  Every time you swallow, saliva becomes equipped with bicarbonate which travels through the esophagus and causes neutralization of acid.  This leaves the esophagus with less acid at the end of the day.

On the other hand, attacks of GERD happen most of the time at night, when the person is no longer on upright position thus impeding the gravity to work.  Another fact is that, the production of saliva is lower, which means there is no enough bicarbonate to neutralize the acid and swallowing is not happening as well.  This means more acid is stuck in the esophagus which can create chronic damage in it.

There are many causes of Acid Reflux Disease and sometimes it is only secondary to the existing problem or changes in the body.  Take for example during pregnancy, there are certain hormones that can lower the pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter thus causing regurgitation, the presence of the fetus is also putting more pressure, therefore can cause reflux of liquid to the esophagus as well.  Another disease is scleroderma; this is one condition of the connective tissues which causes weakening of the esophageal muscles thus aggravate GERD to develop.

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