Acid reflux, also recognized as heartburn, is a root symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD is a condition in some patients whereby the ring muscle at the end of the gullet becomes loose.
This muscle is known as the lower esophageal sphincter, or LES. The LES is supposed to separate stomach acid from creeping up the gullet during digestion. When the LES loosens and does not close, you get a reflux and will feel its burning effects.
Occasional reflux usually isn’t something to worry about. Over more than 50 million Americans experience a heartburn once a month. However, if you get them way too often, you might have to check for a GERD condition.
Effects of Acid Reflux and Sore Throat
Typically, the burning sensation of a reflux can be felt in the chest area. Acid reflux and sore throat is a pretty common occurrence too. In rare occasions, the pain can radiate off to the back and other parts of the upper body.
Unmanaged GERD symptoms can cause some serious implications on the throat. Chronic reflux cases can lead to complications such as:
Acidic effects can take a toll on the throat and cause irritation of the tissues lining. This could get you a sore throat or have trouble swallowing. Untreated esophagitis can lead to ulcers and severe scarring.
People with GERD might feel extreme soreness and hoarseness on the throat. In attempts of clearing their throats frequently, they might experience a chain of coughs.
Dysphagia is mainly when you have trouble swallowing. This is due to the formation of scar tissues in the esophageal lining from frequent reflux. In such a situation, the esophagus might face a narrowing known as benign esophageal stricture.
This narrowing can trigger symptoms of:
- Painful swallowing
- Regurgitation of foods
- Frequent burping
Other than a sore throat, poor management of severe reflux can lead to a rare and serious condition known as Barrett’s esophagus. This is a case where the esophagus lining changes to tissue that resembles the lining of the intestine.
Barrett’s esophagus victims might develop a slight chance of contracting esophageal cancer.
How to get rid of acid reflux in throat?
When it comes to addressing such a sore throat, you should address the root cause of it. This means that you should focus on getting rid of a reflux and prevent any future attacks from happening.
Of course in your first line of defense, you should immediately change your eating habits and avoid foods that may aggravate your sore throat. Go for softer foods and eat in smaller portions. Stay away from spicy foods or carbonated drinks, which might make things worse.
More importantly, you should give a shot at treating a heartburn. There are 2 main ways on how to get rid of acid reflux in the throat:
Resolving it The Natural Way
Heartburn is usually caused by a lifestyle problem. It can be traced back to your diet choices or bad habits. Habits that can make stomach acid creep up to your gullet includes:
- Added pressure on the gut (Such as wearing tight clothing)
- Lying down right after a meal (Causing digestive juices to revert)
- Eating right before bedtime
When it comes to food, try avoiding foods that are highly fatty and acidic. Having plenty of fiber can also help ease digestion and prevent any complications. There are enough scenarios showing that some food choices can trigger a massive reflux.
Fatty foods are harder and take longer to be digested. In the process, acid in the stomach builds up and causes the LES to “pop” open. Smoking and drinking can also impose the same effect, as they are known to makes the LES relax and lose its pressure.
Treating with OTC Medications
Common types of medication to address gastrointestinal problems are antacid, H2 blocker and proton pump inhibitor (PPI):
This OTC medication works by neutralizing stomach acids. They contain ingredients that are alkaline and helps settle down acid levels. Common brands of antacids are Gaviscon and Eno. These are typically used to resolve stomach upset and indigestion.
Also available over the counter are H2 blockers. They work differently from antacids. H2 blockers impose ingredients that inhibit your body receptors from producing any more acid in the stomach.
Proton Pump Inhibitor
PPIs are the strongest drug that aims at reducing digestive acid production. These are usually prescribed and typical for GERD patients. PPI drugs act similarly to H2 blockers.
They too signal receptors to hold back from producing stomach fluids. However, PPI implies this over a 12-week period. This is why it is only used for extreme cases of reflux.
Before going for any of these medications, you should note that there are small cases of people getting side effects from taking H2 blockers and proton pump inhibitors.
These effects include headache, diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
As far as a standard acid reflux and sore throat scenarios goes, it is best to reverse them naturally. Unless you have a GERD condition, there is a multitude of ways at addressing gastrointestinal problems naturally – with no side effects.