As mentioned, gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the stomach contents return back to the esophagus. We tell you how to avoid it.
Have you ever felt that annoying burning sensation going up and down your throat? Well, that annoying sensation is known as reflux .
For some reason the stomach content rises to the throat and is what generates a burning and sometimes terrible pain in the esophagus that reaches the throat.
As you know, when you eat the food, it passes through a tube called the esophagus until it reaches the stomach, but for some reason it goes back up the esophagus. In this case, if it is recurrent, there would be a lesion in the esophagus and the mucosa that covers it.
This unpleasant sensation occurs because the esophagus is not prepared to receive acid , it is not normal to receive stomach acid for a long time or constantly, this is what generates a burning or that strange sensation that the chest is burning.
It is also possible that what has been ingested increases the inter-esophageal pressure and gastric pressure will cause the mouth of the stomach to be covered, then from there a little food and acid will return, in such a way that the esophagus will be damaged little by little .
What is reflux?
As mentioned, gastroesophageal reflux occurs when the contents of the stomach return back to the esophagus , this happens when the lower sphincter does not perform its function properly.
The stomach has 2 sphincters, one lower and one upper, the lower one is in charge of relaxing once the food passes into the stomach, but it can dilate and when this happens it causes part of the food and gastric acid to be returned, generating irritation of the stomach and in turn causing the symptoms of reflux .
It is likely that the person has perceived various symptoms, but it is seldom known that he is presenting reflux, that is why it is important to know the symptoms, in addition to that it can be treated better.
- Acid regurgitation or heartburn: It is a burning sensation that is felt behind the sternum, it usually appears when the gastric content irritates the lining of the esophagus, so it feels that the fluids rise through the chest to the throat.
- Chest pain for no apparent reason.
- Sore throat.
- Bitter mouth.
- Constant belching
- The sensation of heat or fire in the chest.
- Teething, teeth are decalcified.
In case of presenting these symptoms, it is important that you go to the doctor immediately for treatment, since you would be presenting a more serious picture in terms of reflux and it is likely that it will be necessary to perform different tests such as an endoscopy.
- Upper digestive bleeding.
- Drastically weight loss.
Reasons or causes of reflux
Reflux is usually related to excessive intake of certain foods, but lifestyle also influences , as well as other factors, among the causes of reflux are the following:
- Having a hiatal hernia.
- Excessive alcohol consumption.
- The consumption of tobacco.
- The insomnia.
- The Depression.
- The neglect of food.
- Excessive intake of spicy.
What to do to avoid reflux?
Regardless of the reason why you have reflux, take into account that the essential thing is to change your lifestyle , eliminating excesses in the diet. Eating food in small and dry portions , that is to say avoiding sauces and soups.
- Avoid going to bed after eating , especially in the case of dinner you must wait about two hours after eating to be able to sleep.
- Avoid wearing clothes that are too tight on you.
- Try as much as possible to have a correct posture when sitting , especially after eating, as by bending the spine you put pressure on the stomach.
- If you have a few extra pounds, you should counteract this by losing weight as much as possible, because the rolls can put pressure on the stomach in the same way and cause the gastric content to return.
- In case you want to lie down after eating, try to do it with a lean back position.
What Foods Cause Reflux?
There are certain foods or habits that increase reflux when consumed, therefore, it is good that you recognize what they are so that you avoid their consumption and stop perceiving this annoying discomfort.
So to avoid reflux you should improve your diet by eliminating or reducing the intake of the following foods:
- Foods that contain fat, chorizo, bacon, sausages.
- The fried foods should be removed.
- Meals must be dry, without sauce, that is to say steamed.
- Do not consume soda or soda, coffee and tea.
- Avoid the consumption of chocolate.
- Do not ingest peppermint, this increases the inter-esophageal pressure and opens the esophageal sphincter.
- Avoid the consumption of liquor.
- Do not use tobacco.
- Avoid milk.
In case the person has esophagitis due to reflux, they should also avoid citrus foods such as lemon, pineapple and orange.
- Meals cannot be very spicy.
- Avoid onion, garlic and pepper, these foods can hurt your stomach when you have reflux.
When sausages and carbonated beverages are consumed, these take longer to be metabolized, so it can again generate an increase in intragastric pressure.
Exercises to prevent and prevent reflux from progressing
Because the mouth of the stomach is below the diaphragm, these exercises are to work this area, so that stomach acids do not come out, that is, the sphincter remains closed once the food has entered.
When performing diaphragmatic relaxation can be prevented, try the following exercises :
- Strengthens the diaphragm: For this you must use your fist and bring it to the level of the mouth, with the inside next to your lips.
Then proceed to inhale and exhale through the mouth without opening the fist or detaching it from the lips, the exhalation must be done strongly for at least 3 times.
- Stretching the diaphragm: You will need two towels, these must be folded in half and rolled one inside the other, progressively it is due to lie on the floor (the bed does not work because it is very soft)
The towel roll is placed on the back at the height of what would be the diaphragm, then the arms are stretched back and 6 breaths are executed.
- Diaphragmatic pressure: Maintaining the previous posture, one must have the diaphragm and the ribs located at the level of the stomach.
Using the four fingers of each hand and on each side, the ribs should be grasped, exerting some pressure while inhaling and exhaling without inflating the stomach.
These exercises are to prevent and avoid reflux, they are recommended to use them at night before sleeping, so you can also get a better rest.
Type of exam
If necessary, people with reflux should be examined through endoscopy. This is to see how the lining of the esophagus is, how damaged it is.
At the same time, a tissue biopsy can be performed using forceps, don’t worry, these tests are performed under anesthesia, so there is no pain or discomfort. And depending on what this shows, the person may require other types of tests to measure the acid content in the esophagus and its function.
Remember to avoid stress , the stomach perceives emotional changes and stress causes a greater amount of gastric acid to be reproduced , therefore, it will be more irritating and will produce more damage.
Omeprazole is usually prescribed for reflux, which is very effective, it works by blocking the passage of acid production in the stomach. But its intake is better that it is under medical supervision , since the abuse of its consumption or inappropriate can be harmful to health.
It should also be borne in mind that you have to be careful with reflux, no patient is the same as another, this means that treatments may vary depending on the case of the patient.