• Shruti GOCHHWAL

What Causes Acid Reflux: Reasons, Symptoms And Treatment

Gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD happens when the acid in your stomach flow back into your oesophagus. The oesophagus is the tube that functions as a medium of connection between your stomach and throat. GERD is also called acid reflux. It is a very discomforting condition in which you feel a sharp pain in your chest after some time of having your meal. Consistently experiencing it can signal an underlying health condition.

What causes acid reflux? It occurs because the valve which is present at the end of a person’s oesophagus (lower oesophagal sphincter) does not close as it should when food gets accumulated in your stomach. The acid from the food is directed up through the oesophagus and thus you feel a bitter taste in your mouth. Today, this condition is becoming increasingly common. People also suffer from acid reflux while sleeping which can be a source of significant disturbance to them. There is a need to know how to stop acid reflux so that you are able to take preventive steps.

What Are Acid Reflux Causes?

acid reflux causes

Man feeling uneasy, Credit: Canva


There are many factors that may cause the acids in your stomach to flow into your oesophagus. They are

  1. Excessive pressure on the stomach

  2. GERD happens due to the consumption of certain food items and unhealthy eating habits. What foods cause acid reflux? Certain dairy items, spicy and extra fried food items are known for causing heartburn.

  3. Certain medications for conditions like asthma, hypertension, and allergies can also cause acid reflux.

  4. You may also experience sudden acid reflux or heartburn if you suffer from hiatal hernia. It is a condition in which the upper abdomen pushes forward into the diaphragm. It comes in the way of normal food intake.

Why Do I Have Acid Reflux All of a Sudden?

acid reflux reasons

Girls with hands-on her throat, Credit: Canva


Many people wonder, what causes acid reflux so suddenly? GERD is a progressive disease. Its symptoms are rarely visible at first, but with time they become more pronounced. You may experience acid reflux all of a sudden even when you have not consumed any meal. You may find that you are bending down to pick something and suddenly you feel symptoms like bitter taste and heartburn. It is because of a significant weakening of the anti-reflux barrier. If you are continuously experiencing the symptoms it is time to get evaluated by a doctor. Also, you need to start improving your lifestyle and keep a check on your weight. Weight gain is one of the major reasons that make a person experience acid reflux.

What Are Acid Reflux Symptoms?

acid reflux symptoms

Woman feeling uneasy, Credit: Canva


Now that you know what causes acid reflux, it is time to gain a better awareness of its signs and symptoms. GERD affects people in varying ways. Not all people experience the same symptoms. But the most common ones are listed below.

  1. Heartburn or sharp pain in the upper chest region is the most common symptom.

  2. Food regurgitation or the food flowing back into your mouth from the oesophagus

  3. Coughing and difficulty swallowing food

  4. Nausea and vomiting

  5. Sore throat

  6. A hoarse throat

  7. Foul-smelling breath

  8. A sudden feeling of getting choked

  9. Difficulty in breathing

How Do You Stop Acid Reflux?

treatment

Tray of food, Credit: Canva


You can treat acid reflux in various ways. If you are repeatedly experiencing it, it is important to assess your lifestyle. Are you eating too much spicy or fried food and moving too little? Are you eating certain food items that trigger your reflux symptoms or are you drinking too many carbonated beverages? Make way for a healthy lifestyle, and if the problem persists, consult your doctor. Some of the easy ways by which you can ease the symptoms are given below.

  1. Instead of big meals, eat small meals. Sometimes, a big meal can cause instant acid reflux.

  2. Certain food items that can make you encounter reflux symptoms are tomatoes, garlic, onions, spicy food, alcohol, coffee, and tea. Stay away from them.

  3. Limit your intake of carbonated beverages

  4. Do not sleep immediately after having a meal. Wait for at least three hours.

  5. Do not indulge in high-intensity exercises immediately or one to two hours after you have consumed a meal. You can walk at a leisurely pace.

  6. When you are sleeping, remember to keep your head a few inches higher than your lower body.

  7. It is advised that you lose weight as it will help reduce the pressure on the oesophagus sphincter.

  8. Stop smoking as nicotine relaxes the sphincter.

Now that you know all about what causes acid reflux, it is time to take corrective steps. Determine what is it that is making the acids in your stomach come back into your throat. Also, consult a doctor if you find that you are not able to manage the symptoms well.

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