Acid Reflux Facts

The more information you have about a disease, the more manageable its effects on your health. Acid reflux is present in at least thirty five percent of all overweight people and is also a problem for a wider demographic. In this article, well go over some tidbits of information that we find pertinent to discuss regarding acid reflux.

Widespread Condition

More than sixty million Americans experience heartburn due to acid reflux at least once per month. This represents approximately one fifth of the entire American population. Also, approximately twenty five million Americans, or one twelfth of the total American population experience the harmful effects of heartburn/acid reflux on an every day basis.

Impact on Sleep

Acid reflux can be more harmful to your mental health then you may know. Roughly eighty percent of all acid reflux sufferers experience symptoms of the disease at night, with about seventy five percent of all acid reflux cases waking the afflicted person up due to the heartburn. This can cause many problems during the day, including increased irritability, lack of proper concentration, and an increased risk of being in an accident involving an automobile.

Prevention

While heartburn is technically un-curable, there are things that you can do to help offset the chance of you getting this disease. If you worry that you are at risk for an acid reflux condition, it is important to review the types of foods that you are eating and change your habits to lessen the number of acid-creating foods you ingest.

Dont Smoke or Drink

Smoking and alcohol usage can really contribute to an acid reflux problem. When you have a smoking habit, the acidity in your stomach is increased, which can cause any reflux that is already occurring to be more damaging to the esophagus.

Also, nicotine is known to relax the lower esophageal sphincter muscle, which, when operating incorrectly, is one of the leading causes of an acid reflux condition. Alcohol performs much of the same process on the lower esophageal sphincter, causing it to relax and allowing reflux to creep into the esophagus.

Risk Factors

While acid reflux is a disease that can affect anybody, there are some demographics which face a higher risk of developing it. Overweight people put pressure on their stomach while sleeping due to the weight of the abdomen, and this can weaken the lower esophageal sphincter to a point where acid reflux occurs. This same risk also occurs in pregnant women; the additional weight of the baby can put a lot of added pressure on the stomach. The elderly also need to watch their lifestyle habits to ensure that they do not become afflicted with acid reflux.

Complications

When acid reflux is left untreated, it can lead to many serious consequences. Due to the fact that acid is continuously in the throat, many problems can arise, including Barretts esophagus, erosive esophagitis, esophageal strictures, and in the most extreme cases, esophageal cancer.

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