If you feel a constant burning sensation in the upper part of the stomach and that is directed towards the mouth as well as pain in the same area, you can suffer from acid reflux: we tell you why it occurs and how we can solve it.
What is acid reflux?
Acid reflux, as the name implies, is the return of normal flow from the mouth to the stomach or in the upper part of the digestive system. Since the content of the stomach is acidic, it is called acid reflux.
The medical name is gastroesophageal reflux, since it is the passage of stomach contents into the esophagus , where there should be no acid liquids and therefore, this condition generates a lot of discomfort, burning sensation, pain and even other more serious consequences if the reflux it persists in time and is not controlled.
Even though the most frequent symptom is heartburn , it may not be present and manifest itself with other signs such as respiratory problems, cough or difficulty swallowing, given the irritation of the esophagus and upper part of the digestive tube that it shares with the respiratory tract in our body.
Why is it produced?
The esophagus is the portion of our digestive system that connects the pharynx (a short passage after the mouth) to the stomach. This tube has a sphincter or muscle that opens and closes before the passage of food both at its beginning and its end in contact with the stomach.
When this last muscle or sphincter does not close well, either because the muscle is not properly developed (especially in infants and children) or when it is herniated, the contents of the stomach do not stay there but easily return to the esophagus carrying juices very acidic gastric that irritate the upper part of the digestive system can cause severe consequences in addition to a very annoying and painful feeling.
Possible solutions for acid reflux
Although many times medicine is used and in extreme cases to surgeries of the muscle that does not work properly and allows the return of the flow of the stomach to the esophagus, the reality and experience indicates that many other measures that we can apply at home are very useful.
Since I was born, my baby has reflux and in them, as in adults, postural, hygienic and sanitary measures, as well as a good diet, are key to preventing the return of stomach contents to the esophagus, as well as to alleviate the discomfort that usually causes this sickness.
Thus, some possible solutions beyond medicines are:
- Avoid clothes that adjust the waist or compress the stomach , since physical forces will help the contents of this organ rise and pass easily to the stomach.
- Do not lie down or put yourself in a horizontal position just after drinking or eating , as the force of gravity will prevent the stomach from retaining the newcomer to this organ.
- Avoid foods or preparations very spicy or acidic , because they aggravate the sensation of burning, acidity and pain that causes reflux.
- Consume alkaline pH foods , such as fruits and vegetables, especially cooked to favor their digestion, cereals and derivatives and very well cooked legumes.
- Avoid alcoholic beverages and cigarettes , because they irritate the esophagus even more and, therefore, can cause greater discomfort.
- Prioritizing easily digested dishes such as those that are not very fatty or spicy and with fiber already modified by cooking, since they facilitate the passage from the stomach to the intestine and, therefore, reduce the chances of the content returning to the esophagus.
- Avoid carbonated or gas drinks that distend the stomach with air and this favors the return of the content to the esophagus by increasing the volume of the same.
- Reduce the portions of food and drinks , trying to drink more when not eating and vice versa, since in this way the stomach easily removes its content decreasing the chances of reflux.
- Avoid prolonged fasting , because the empty stomach also generates acid and if it is not used to digest food can pass as such to the esophagus producing even more damage.
- Maintain a healthy weight , because an overweight or obesity generates more pressure in the stomach given the greater abdominal volume and this, as we said earlier, favors reflux.
A diet without fried foods or foods with excessive amounts of fats and a variety of ingredients of vegetable origin can be of greater help to prevent and control reflux, as indicated in a study published in the journal JAMA .