Acid reflux, or Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is caused when the acid from stomach seeps back into the throat. It is one of the most common conditions affecting people all over the world. Most of the time, the terms heartburn and acid reflux are used interchangeably which is incorrect. Flow of acid back into the mouth is not a symptom of heartburn.
Causes and Symptoms of Acid Reflux
Abnormal functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter is the most prominent cause of acid reflux disease. In this case, the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes which in turn results in passing of the acid present in the stomach back into the esophagus.
Other causes include having improper food habits like erratic meal times, having very spicy and hot meals, having larger and fatty meals, etc. Smoking, consumption of alcohol, drugs and obesity are other major causes of acid reflux. Sometimes, you must have experienced that lying down or bending immediately after having meal can also trigger this condition.
Discomfort caused due to seeping of acid in the throat is one of the most common symptoms of acid reflux disease. A person also experiences burning sensation in the throat which may lead to difficulty in eating and swallowing.
Chest pain, hoarseness, heartburn, abdominal pain and irritation in throat are the other symptoms of acid reflux. This is not a severe disease and can be effectively cured thorough several different treatment methods.
Treatment Of Acid Reflux
Medications like antacids are considered as the most effective methods for treating acid reflux. Similarly, surgical methods are also adopted in some cases to improve the functioning of the lower esophageal sphincter.
Various drugs and other medications are useful in treating acid reflux in children as well as in adults. However, it has been observed that natural remedies are more efficient as there are no side effects associated with it. Among the herbal remedies, use of aloe vera for acid reflux treatment is more popular.
It creates a protective cover around the lower esophageal sphincter and strengthens it which in turn prevents acid reflux. It also helps in healing the digestive tract and also reducing the amount of harmful bacteria in it.
Aloe vera juice is very effective in treating all diseases and disorders related to the bowel and gastrointestinal tract. On the other hand, esophageal erosion, itchiness and irritation can be cured by having aloe juice.
Aloe vera juice is easily available in the market or one can even prepare it at home by cutting a fresh aloe leaf and extracting its juice. But, some people do not like its taste and flavor. They can mix it with honey, apple juice, grape juice or simply water and have it.
Aloe vera is also available in the form of powder, pills or even capsules. Some people may also experience side effects like diarrhea on taking aloe juice regularly. It is strongly recommended to consume aloe vera only on consultation of the doctor.
Acid reflux can be prevented by several methods. One should avoid eating spicy and fatty meals, specially at night. Similarly, smoking, alcohol and obesity should be controlled to overcome this discomfort and lead a healthy life.