Why Do I Have Gerd And How Do I Make It Go Away?
Many people have experienced the irritating sensation of acid reflux. This occurs when stomach acid flows back into the esophagus— the tube connecting your mouth and stomach. This backwash can irritate the lining of your esophagus and may cause heartburn, indigestion, pain in the chest, coughing, hoarseness, and difficulty swallowing. People who suffer from acid reflux regularly are said to have gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.
The reason stomach acid flows back up the esophagus is usually due to a malfunctioning muscle at the entrance to the stomach called the cardiac sphincter. The malfunction can be caused by food sensitivities, microbial overgrowth in the stomach usually from too little stomach acid, or from overeating which creates pressure, weakening the muscle.
There are a number of ways you can alleviate discomfort and help prevent GERD.
Don’t Stuff Yourself
Eating smaller meals more frequently rather than one big meal will help avoid physical stress on the stomach and cardiac sphincter. Remember to stop eating before you feel full.
Avoid Common Aggravants
If you have a food sensitivity, be sure to stay clear of that food if you don’t want to experience reflux. There are also foods that are common aggravants to people with GERD which should be avoided, such as chocolate, tomatoes, milk, and stimulants such as caffeine.
A digestive enzyme that includes hydrochloric acid (HCl) can be taken with meals to ensure proper digestion of food. Too little stomach acid leads to an overgrowth of bad bacteria in the stomach, which give off acids and gases, leading to bloating and discomfort after meals. As gas escapes upwards, acids follow. Taking additional stomach acid at meals can help eliminate the bad bacteria and symptoms. However, if you experience any burning or discomfort from taking HCl, it could be that the cause of your acid reflux is actually too much stomach acid, though this is surprisingly less common than too little.