What are the symptoms of Acid reflux?
Craving for your favourite spicy food, but afraid to have it?
Are you facing a heartburn when you are lying down?
If your answer to both the questions is Yes! Then my dear friend, you are having the issue of acid reflux.
Acid reflux is one of the digestive system disorders in which you can feel the acid and the stomach contents coming up to your chest area. You can feel it with a burp as well.
But why does it happen? Let me tell you.
We have a sphincter or a valve in between our food pipe and stomach, which is known as gastroesophageal sphincter. This acts as a barrier and restricts your food and your stomach acid (Hydrochloric acid) from coming back to your food pipe.
Now what happens is, your sphincter gets weak and it cannot shut that area strongly, therefore your stomach contents get a way back to your food pipe causing you acid reflux.
Do we have a solution apart from Antacids? Well let’s read this blog till the end to find out!
Suffering from acid reflux is not an easy ride. Acid reflux symptoms can affect your day to day life in a negative way.
Apart from your physical health, it also affects your mental and social health by lowering your confidence.
Not only this, acid reflux symptoms can force you to lower your appetite by quitting your meals.
Now the question arises, What are Acid Reflux Symptoms?
- Heartburn- Heartburn is the burning sensation in your chest area, especially near the area of your heart. This majorly happens after your meals, especially after consuming spicy foods, and gets worse during night or while lying down. Therefore, a person suffering from acid reflux should always avoid spicy and citrus foods.
- Regurgitation- It is the sensation of acid backing up in your food pipe and mouth. During regurgitation, you can feel a sour or a bitter taste with some wet or acidic burps or hiccups.
- Difficulty in swallowing- It is also known as dysphagia, in which it is difficult for the patients to swallow the food, by facing the coughing or choking of food while swallowing. One can also feel the pain in the throat.
If you are facing this, start taking small portions of meals and chew the food properly. This will help you to get some relief from dysphagia.
- Chest pain or Upper Abdominal pain- Burning sensations that have been caused due to the stomach contents and stomach acid, backing up in your food pipe can cause a mild to severe abdominal or chest pain. This can even upset your digestive system to the extreme level by causing you stomach ulcers.
- Vomiting Or Nausea- Acid reflux has another common symptom of vomiting or nausea. This vomiting contains your stomach acid making it worse than a normal one. These two can also lead to anxiety, stress and motion sickness.
All these symptoms if not treated on time can take the form of GERD which is Gastroesophageal reflux disease.
Let’s study about the GERD Symptoms:
There is a very thin line between GERD and acid reflux.
GERD is Gastroesophageal reflux disease which is the chronic condition of acid reflux.
When you start getting acid reflux once or twice a week and you have to take antacid to get some relief. This condition is GERD.
Now the question arises, “Is it a good choice to take antacids lifetime”? I will tell you this later in a blog, so keep reading to know more.
Person suffering from GERD also feels the same symptoms that I have mentioned above. Apart from those, GERD symptoms also include-
- Increased Salivation
- Inflammation or swelling in your vocal cord
- Feeling of lump in your throat
- Hoarse throat i.e. the change in voice
- Bad cough and sore throat
- Bad breath
Till now we have understood that the major symptom of both acid reflux and GERD is heartburn. So let us know more about heartburn.
Heartburn is the burning sensation under the breastbone, which leads upto the neck and the throat area. Heartburn is severe, when you start feeling the stomach acid coming up to your mouth, causing you vomiting or nausea and sore throat.
Heartburn generally occurs when you lie down, sleep towards your right side or bend yourself as this opens up your gastroesophageal sphincter which eventually allows your stomach acid containing food particles to enter into your food pipe. Hence, damaging your mucous layer (which is made up of water) of the stomach and food pipe.
So what can be done in this case?
There are a few lifestyle changes that can be done to reduce your heartburn symptoms.
- Avoid spicy and citrus foods- As spicy and citrus foods trigger the symptoms of heartburn, you should avoid taking such food items. Apart from this, you should also avoid taking onions, tomatoes, caffeine and carbonated drinks.
- Maintain a gap between your dinner and bedtime- You should never go to bed after taking your dinner, therefore it is always advisable to take your dinner by 6-7 PM in the evening. As this gives you the time for your food to pass through your stomach, reducing the chances of heartburn. This also helps in the good absorption of your food and maintaining your good health.
- Avoid sleeping on the right side- You should always lie towards your left side to avoid any heartburn symptoms. When we sleep towards our right side, the gastroesophageal sphincter which is responsible for acid reflux, relaxes and opens the pathway for the stomach acid to move to the oesophagus. Therefore, you should sleep towards your left side to avoid this condition of heartburn.
- Bed head elevation during sleep- As you know we are blessed with a force called gravity. So if you elevate your head to 5-7 inches, the chances of acid reflux decreases as now your sphincter will remain closed due to gravity, giving you relief from heartburn during sleep. 
These were a few lifestyle changes that I have discussed to get you some relief from your heartburn and acid reflux symptoms. Now let's discuss the Antacids that you usually opt to get relief from your heartburn.  
I have never supported the consumption of antacids in my life due to its function in our body. Do you ever wonder what antacids do to your body? No, right!
Antacids suppresses your production of HCl which is your stomach acid as I have discussed above. Which means directly interfering in your normal biological functioning. Do you know our stomach acid plays an important role in digesting our food and protecting us from foreign particles? Yes! You read it right.
Your stomach acid is responsible for killing the bacterias and viruses that enter with your food. Making you more prone to infections. Therefore, its reduction is directly linked with a low immune system.
Moreover, it is responsible for digesting your food, especially your proteins and also absorbing the nutrients from your food. Hence, its reduction means nutritional deficiency.
So, now I hope you will avoid taking antacids and start following the tips that I have shared and I am going to share now.
4 Tips to reduce Acid Reflux:
- Do Not drink while eating- When we eat food, the acid is released from our stomach to digest the food. Simultaneously drinking water will suppress its property and function. It is similar to putting water on the fire to extinguish it. Eventually, leading to indigestion and moving the food down to your intestine. Which then creates gas and acid reflux.
- Start taking acid with food- If you are on a high protein diet, you need pepsin enzyme to digest it. Which is present in Betaine HCl + Pepsin. Taking this will increase your stomach acid to get better digestion.
- 3. Chew food properly- The first phase of your digestion begins in the mouth. Your teeth act as a grinder. Apart from this, your mouth has the digestive enzymes to start the digestion process. Therefore, for the proper absorption of nutrients you should properly chew your food.Moreover, it also avoids the symptom of a throat lump, which I have mentioned above.
- 4. Avoid dairy and gluten- Wheat contains a protein called gluten, which our body doesn’t know how to digest, this happened after the wheat modification in 1950 by Norman Borlaug. Since then, our body doesn't know how to digest it. Similarly, now the cattles are injected with hormonal injections, whose milk is causing us hormonal imbalance.
Now I know you must be wondering what is the replacement of Roti and Dairy? You can follow my free diet plan available on my website to get clarity and good recipes.