Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms and Causes
What are some acid reflux disease symptoms and causes?
Acid reflux, or gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a disease in which stomach acid (used in the digestion of foods we consume) backs up into the esophagus (the tube between the throat and the stomach), and as such causes irritation or inflammation of the esophageal lining.
In turn, the reflux of acidic stomach contents up the esophagus can be caused by different factors.
One of the factors is the improper functioning of the esophageal sphincter muscle. Under normal circumstances, this value muscle shuts properly and prevents the back flow of stomach contents into the esophagus. However, this muscle can be weakened by lifestyle factors such as smoking, or relaxed (at the wrong time) when we consume foods like chocolate.
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A note about Acid Reflux Disease Symptoms and Causes
In natural health and healing, we believe in holistic health and healing, as we realize that different parts of the human body are highly interlinked, often beyond Man's understanding. We also believe that the body has the ability to heal itself of any disease, even supposedly incurable diseases.
In order to do so, the body needs the support of some basic dietary and lifestyle good health habits, such as a full body detox and a proper understanding and application of nutrition. No matter how remote or unrelated a health condition may seem, these fundamental health steps will greatly magnify the effects and benefits of any of our health-promoting efforts, including the use of specific natural health remedies.
Another less commonly known cause of acid reflux is actually the deficiency of digestive acids in the stomach. Common in those above 50 years old or have been using antacids for long periods, this deficiency interferes with the digestive process, as such leading to symptoms like nausea, bloating, belching and heartburn -- symptoms that are very similar to discomforts experience when one has too much acid in the stomach. .
Pressure in the abdomen caused by excessive abdominal fat or pregnancy can also increase the chances of back flow from the stomach. In fact, some women might not have any acid reflux disease symptoms until pregnancy. That is because when the hormones are elevated, the pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter is lowered, and this can lead to reflux. The developing fetus can also place an increased pressure within the stomach.
The primary signs and symptoms of acid reflux disease include heartburn, nausea, and vomiting, as well as overall stomach discomfort. There can also be other symptoms when the condition is considered more serious.
Heartburn is an intense burning painful sensation felt in the esophagus, as acidic contents from the stomach enters this tube and irritates its lining.
Sometimes heartburn is experienced as an intense pain in the chest, behind the chest-bone. As such, it might be mistaken for a heart attack. This differentiation is important. If what you are having is a heartburn, there is no need for you to panic, because heartburns caused by acid reflux can be easily addressed using natural remedies (e.g. dietary changes, lifestyle changes, herbs and supplements, help from holistic therapists). But if it is a heart attack, you will need immediate medication attention, as heart attacks can be fatal.
A distinction between the two is that heartburns usually occur after a meal, while heart attacks can occur anytime.
Also, according to James Balch, M.D., a physician in Trophy Club, Texas, if your heartburn symptoms are accompanied by chest pain (especially pain that radiates to the jaw, neck or arm) as well as symptoms like cold sweat, dizziness, nausea, or shortness of breath, you should see your doctor immediately, to eliminate the possibility that you might just had or are going to have a heart attack. [1, 2]
Regurgitation and nausea
Regurgitation is one of the common acid reflux disease symptoms. This occurs when contents from the stomach (stomach acid, and even food particles) goes all the way up to your mouth, leaving a sour or acidic taste in the mouth. Due to the acidic nature of the regurgitated contents, frequent regurgitation can cause damage done to the teeth.
Nausea can also occur in individuals who experience acid reflux disease. Individuals with sensitive stomachs might end up feeling nauseous due to the amount of bile and acid that is regurgitated.
Dyspepsia is also one of the acid reflux disease symptoms and signs. This is a broad term meant to encompass general stomach discomfort and can include upper abdominal pain and discomfort, belching, nausea after eating, and bloating.
Cough or asthma-like symptoms
When the acidic stomach contents make their way up to the lungs (instead of the mouth), it can lead to coughing or asthma-like symptoms.
While acid reflux disease generally does not cause long-term complications, it is a chronic condition. Once it starts, it usually sticks around. For that reason, it is important to get it treated.
Sometimes scarring of the esophagus can cause it to narrow and make swallowing difficult. Long term damage to the lining of the esophagus can also change the nature of cells forming the lining, increasing the risk of cancer.
In coping with acid reflux symptoms or GERD, many people may resort to antacids. However, antacids can create problems of their own -- they interfere with digestion and the absorption of nutrients from your food, and hence should not be taken on the long term basis. 
Since natural remedies for acid reflux can be very effective and are easy to adopt, you might wish to consider using these natural cures instead. In general, the natural acid reflux remedies include dietary changes, lifestyle changes, using herbs and natural supplements, seeking the help from holistic therapists (if your condition is more serious). Read more about these alternative therapies for acid reflux.
Need relief from acid reflux? Read the Reflux Remedy Report, where you can learn to overcome reflux using 3 common grocery items, or get a free acid reflux analysis by a medical doctor. You could also learn about a holistic system for helping you overcome acid reflux, heartburn, chest pain and discomfort, as well as other digestive disorders. You could also use natural, herbal and homeopathic remedies for acid reflux.
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 Gottlieb, Bill. Alternative Cures: The Most Effective Natural Home Remedies for 160 Health Problems. Rodale, 2000. Print.
 Balch, Phyllis A., CNC. Prescription for Nutritional Healing: A Practical A-to-Z Reference to Drug-Free Remedies Using Vitamins, Minerals, Herbs & Food Supplements. 5th ed. New York, NY: Avery, 2010. Print.
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