Acid reflux is a condition where stomach acid goes back up into the esophagus that causes burning pain, which affects all age categories. The pain associated with the symptoms can greatly affect the quality of life and everyday activities of the patient if he does not seek .
The common symptoms of acid reflux are: heartburn, which is a burning feeling rising from the stomach or chest towards the neck; regurgitation, which is the pouring back of stomach contents into the mouth; and dyspepsia, which is a discomfort in the upper abdomen. If there is a presence of esophagitis, the lining of the esophagus is damaged and may become ulcerated and can result in narrowing, making swallowing of food and, sometimes, liquids, painful and difficult. Others may experience hoarseness, dental erosion and even asthma.
A person should always get acid reflux help because the long-term acid reflux can irritate the esophagus lining and serious complications can occur. He may encounter problems in his throat, teeth, and airways leading to the lungs. Some of the serious complications of acid reflux that may occur are Barrett’s esophagus, esophageal cancer, erosive esophagitis, esophageal strictures, and laryngeal cancer.
Even before you seek acid reflux help, the first medication you will probably take are antacids. They are the common over-the-counter medicines suggested to treat mild acid-related symptoms, which work by neutralizing acid in the stomach. Antacids, however, are not usually recommended to treat the frequent heartburn.
Acid suppressants, such as histamine-2 receptor antagonists (blockers) may be given to you after you seek acid reflux help. It is a medicine used to block the gastric effects of histamine in the body. Histamine is a chemical released in the body that functions as a neurotransmitter and an inflammatory mediator.
Proton pump inhibitors, on the other hand, can decrease the production of acid by acting on cells in the stomach wall that make acid and release it into the stomach. Prokinetic agents are medicines that promote emptying of the stomach to relieve bloating and belching. They work by boosting the pressure of the lower esophageal sphincter, which is the muscular valve between the lower end of the stomach and the small bowel.
Acid reflux can last several months or longer if it is not treated. Drug treatment is only needed for a short time because prolonged use can lead to cell and organ damage. Aside from lifestyle and dietary changes, you should get acid reflux help from gastroenterology physicians to find out what your real condition is.
Remember that it is best to seek help as early as possible and never wait for the time that it is already necessary for surgical method to treat your condition.