ACID REFLUX GENERAL INFO
Acid reflux (officially known as gastroesophageal reflux disease) is a chronic ailment characterized by symptoms or damage caused by the abnormal reflux of gastric contents into the esophagus. Frequently, the acid reflux condition is caused by changes in the barrier connecting the esophagus to the stomach.
Acid reflux can afflict adults and children, the symptoms differing in each case. In adults, expect burning discomfort in the sternum area (heart burn), coughing, hoarseness, earache, chest pains, nausea, etc. In children, however, acid reflux can be challenging to diagnose since the symptoms vary considerably, and kids can experience one or many of the following symptoms: vomiting, coughing, failure to gain weight, refusing food, bad breath, inconsolable crying, etc. Roughly 35% of all babies in North America have acid reflux issues, but typically outgrow them by their first birthday.
Treating acid reflux can be done, generally, in five ways. The first is diet. Certain foods are typically accepted to promote acid reflux (you’ve probably heard the list before); however, there is no particular list that can be generically applied to everyone. It’s up to the individual to decide which foods they can handle and which ones they cannot. Weight-loss is the only diet-related treatment that has supporting scientific evidence.
Positional therapy also has proven positive results. Essentially this means elevating the head of the bed. The recommended incline is 6-8 inches (15-20 cm). Subsequently, two medical procedures can also be performed to alleviate acid reflux: surgery and a non-invasive procedure called Endoluminal Fundoplication performed through the mouth.
Finally, the U.S. FDA has recently approved two endoscopic (within the body) devices that can treat acid reflux. One uses stitches to strengthen the lower espophageal sphincter, the other uses radio-frequency energy. Do you have an overactive bladder? Check out our clinical trial if you are within the Hamilton area.
Lasting several months, acid reflux can make daily life unbearable, but is not a fatal condition; however, with treatment, acid reflux is usually gone in a very short period of time. New treatments for acid reflux are in development across the world. To find clinical trials currently recruitment patients, visit Discover Clinical Trials, and discover an opportunity to participate in research that could benefit you, or someone you love! Click here to participate.