By Groshan Fabiola
The gastro esophageal reflux disease named GERD can be found
at the level of esophagus, which becomes irritated or inflamed because
of acid backing up from the stomach.The tube stretching from the
throat to the stomach is called esophagus which is traveled by the
food after we eat.
The hydrochloric acid is produced by the stomach and helps in
the food digestion. The stomach presents a lining which resists
to the corrosion of this acid. At the level of the stomach exists
cells which are protected by a mucus. Unfortunately, the lining
of the esophagus is not so resistant to fight with the acid of the
stomach. The sensation of acid burning the esophagus is associated
with the term heartburn, which is not accidental and it is given
by its position, because the esophagus lies just behind the heart.
The lower esophageal sphincter is composed by a ring of muscle at
the bottom. This one prevents the reflux of the acid.
The food can pas slower by the sphincter action which relaxes
during swallowing. The sphincter relaxation is made up by the GERD
presence, which allows stomach to relax between swallows. Many people
in the United States suffers by GERD, which is experienced weekly
or daily by 10% of the adult population. Children and infants are
also GERD. An unpleasant thing consists in the fact that the gastro
esophageal reflux is not well known yet. The reflux can be worse
by unusual lifestyle which may contribute to the appearance of several
damaging factors. So the lifestyle of a person is influenced in
worse by using alcohol or cigarettes, and by the obesity and poor
There are some medications which can relax the lower esophageal
sphincter like calcium blockers, theophylline (Tedral, Hydrophed,
Marax, Bronchial, Quibron), nitrates, antihistamines. Consuming
fatty and fried foods, chocolate, garlic and onions, drinking with
caffeine, acid foods such as citrus fruits and tomatoes, spicy food,
mint flavorings affects in a bad way the reflux. Disease like hiatal
hernia, pregnancy, diabetes, rapid weight gain make the upper part
of the stomach protrudes up above the diaphragm. This diaphragm
acts as an additional barrier keeping the acid from backing up into
A hiatal hernia helps the acid to back up. It can be caused by
persistent coughing, vomiting, straining, or sudden physical exertion.
Beneath these factors obesity and pregnancy can badly damage the
reflux. At people older than 50 year hiatal hernia is common. Usually
hiatal hernia doesn't need treatment, but in case when the hernia
is twisted surgery may be required.
The most common symptom of GERD is a persistent heartburn. The
burning pain can be localized in the center of the chest, just behind
the breastbone. In most cases the pain becomes in the upper abdomen
and goes up to the neck. The duration of a pain is about two hours.
The heartburn is worse after eating. Sometimes lying down may harm
worse. Heartburn can be associated with the acid indigestion, but
it is not necessary that everyone with GERD to get heartburn. GERD
includes other symptoms like: regurgitation of bitter acid up into
the throat while sleeping or bending over, bitter taste in the mouth,
persistent dry cough, feeling of tightness in the throat if a piece
of food is stack there, wheezing. For children the most common symptoms
are vomiting, coughing and respiratory problems.
So we must pay attention to what we eat and to keep ourselves
away from a disastrous lifestyle for avoiding such kind of problems.