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Esophageal reflux

Acid Reflux Disease or Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) afflicts millions worldwide and dietary restrictions can form the first line of treatment and in most mild cases a change in diet can bring significant relief. Certain food items can precipitate or aggravate Acid Reflex disease - like for instance - Whole Milk can trigger GERD for people who have lactose intolerance which affects most people of almost all ethnic origins except Caucasians.


You might feel an upper abdominal pain or discomfort on consumption of a heavy meal or when bending to lift an object. Acid reflux symptoms tend to make an appearance at night, when you are lying on your back. This may result in nausea after eating or stomach bloating and burping. Women tend to suffer more from acid reflux symptoms during pregnancy due to the pressure from the growing fetus and the increased hormone levels.


Tackling GERD - Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease


  • Eat frequent small meals during the day. Avoid big meals.
  • Include complex carbohydrates in each meal.
  • Limit the consumption of alcohol, chocolate and caffeinated drink.
  • Do not lie down on a full stomach. Instead sit in an upright position for about 45 minutes after each meal.
  • Stay clear of high-fat meals as they will trigger an acid attack on the stomach.
  • Smoking can weaken the lower esophageal muscles. Tobacco aggravates the condition of Acid Reflux disease.
  • Maintain healthy body weight. Shed excess weight to curb acid reflux symptoms.
  • Chewing gum or sucking on candy can cause swallowing of air, thereby worsening acid reflux and belching.
  • Avoid tight clothing, especially around the abdomen.
  • Do not drink water during mealtimes but instead drink a glass or two of water about half an hour before a meal.

Persons suffering from acid reflux disease would do well to maintain a diary of foods consumed daily. This can help identify any potential triggers so that you can eliminate them from your diet.

Esophageal stricture

Scar tissue built over time in the esophagus can lead to an esophageal stricture. The scarring can be due to acid irritation. Persons suffering from GERD might be more prone to chronic esophageal strictures. Gastric build-up in the stomach can reflux into the esophagus. Gradually it leads to esophagus stricture due to damaged lining. It can manifest as a ring around the esophagal opening. These are usually benign. In rare cases, injuries caused by an endoscope or nasogastric tube might cause scarring leading to a stricture in the esophagus. This might also result in those who have swallowed battery acid or household cleaners.

Symptoms of esophagal stricture


  • Difficulty and/or pain on swallowing
  • Food regurgitation

Barium meal test or endoscopy helps detect narrowing of the esophagus. Chronic esophageal stricture is often treated with dilation. In extreme cases, surgery is resorted to.


Laryngitis

Laryngitis is a condition where the larynx is swollen thereby resulting in hoarse voice. This happens when the vocal chords are inflamed or infected. Laryngitis can be caused by GERD, pneumonia, allergy or bacterial infection. Laryngitis is often accompanied by respiratory infection and swollen lymph nodes. Other symptoms are sore throat, difficulty in swallowing, fever and cough. Laryngitis can worsen into Croup or epiglottitis. Laryngitis is treated with antibiotics, decongestant and painkillers. Laryngoscopy is a medical procedure that is used to obtain a view of the vocal folds and the glottis.

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Collection of Pages - Last revised Date: November 21, 2017