Sore Throat and Cough- Acid Reflux in Disguise
Do you frequently having Sore Throat and Heart Burn, can’t sleep at night, don’t curse ice cream and cold drinks or cold weather…The fact is that It is entirely a different condition in disguise. Believe it or not, you may be suffering from acid reflux not even knowing it. More than 60 million population experience heartburn at least once a month, and 15 million suffer from it daily.
Acid Reflux, is a condition in which the stomach contents flow in reverse from the stomach into the esophagus, causing heartburn and inflammation of the throat. Acid Reflux, known as heartburn sometimes can also be fatal for a patient’s life if not cured on time. Over the last decade I have seen a considerable increase in number of patients complaining of Acid Reflux. This chronic condition is worse than just indigestion, as GERD can damage the throat, lungs and larynx.
It is apparent through various research in India and abroad that Acid Reflux patients are prone to be predisposed to carcinoma of esophagus. Hence it is advised to patients to undergo endoscopy on regular interval to diagnose the condition on time.
So, it is necessary for those who suffer from heartburn frequently, to understand what is Acid Reflux or heartburn and how to reduce it by making lifestyle changes. Lifestyle measure need to be taken to reduce the acid reflux :-
- Avoid late night eating habit and lying down just after having the dinner
- Allow a minimum of 30 minutes between bedtime and your last meal.
- Lose weight if overweight because individuals with excess weight and fat have two and a half times the chances of frequent GERD symptoms compared with those of normal weight. Because of increased body mass, obese patients tend to have a squeeze phenomenon that can force stomach juices upward into the esophagus. Hormonal influence contributing to GERD is also a reason in obese patients. Bariatric Surgery is the promising solution for those patients.
- Eat small and more frequent meals. Avoid eating large meals.
Watch your diet
There are certain foods which causes increased reflux and hence should be avoided. It includes fats, onions, tomatoes, chocolate etc. Alcohol is known to trigger heartburn by increasing stomach acid production. Common beverages such as coffee, tea, tomato juice, citrus juice, cola may also aggravate symptoms.
Tip: There might be certain foods which do not suit your body. It is very important to identify such foods and learn which food items works best for you. Start by reducing fatty foods, onions, and chocolate. Use lozenges or gum to keep producing saliva.
Medicines for GERD Treatment
If symptoms do not improve despite changes in diet, medication may be required such as antacid preparations which neutralize acid in stomach or certain medications which block acid secretion by the stomach.
For many patients, treatment with medicines will reduce heartburn and reflux symptoms. Patient must consultant doctor before taking any medicines. As it requires a proper evaluation.
Surgical Treatment Option
GERD treatment through surgical method aims at creating a new valve which acts a barrier to prevent acid reflux. The most common antireflux surgery that is being performed for the treatment of GERD is known as fundoplication (fundo means top of stomach and plication means to wrap). In this form of procedure, the upper portion of the stomach is wrapped around the lower end of the food pipe or esophagus and the wrap is stitched in place. This technique increases the antireflux barrier at the junction between the esophagus and the stomach.
In other words, it acts as a new valve and prevent back flow of acid into the pipe and restores the body’s natural response.