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Acid-Reflux and Heartburn

If you suffer from chronic acid-reflux you surely know what it feels to have your bile and gastric-acid rise up your oesophagus. Heartburnlaryngitis or bronchitis can be the consequences and even more severe complications can be developed, if the barrier between oesophagus and stomach fails.

What cures are available? 

For most patients, affected by acid-reflux, a simple medication that usually includes proton-pump inhibitors, is usually sufficient to suppress their symptoms.

Obese patients tend to develop acid-reflux more often and also suffer from the following reflux oesophagitis (or heartburn).  A weight reduction is often sufficient to eliminate their symptoms, without the need for medication or surgery.

Others do require a form of surgery. There are quite a number of different procedures, such as established “classics” and a more sparing, recently developed technique called “LINX®️-Reflux-Management System“.

In the following we would like to inform you about the gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD) and possible cures in greater detail.

Please feel free to contact us anytime, if any of your questions remain unanswered.

What Exactly is Acid-Reflux?

Having your gastric-acid rise up your oesophagus from time to time is a normal process that also occurs in healthy persons. However, around 10% of the population in western industrial countries have a tendency towards developing a pathologically increased reflux.

Reflux comes from latin “to flow back” and refers to the reflow of gastric-acid from the stomach into the esophagus. This problem is not only an uncomfortable part of everyday life for most of those suffering from it, but it is also a serious risk for their health. Patients can develop an illness called reflux oesophagitis (GORD) that can even lead to oesophageal cancer. 

What Causes Acid-Reflux?

If the lower oesophageal sphincter does not completely protect the oesophagus, gastric-acid can flow back. In some cases there is another reason for this reflux called hiatal hernia that causes a breach in the diaphragm. As a consequence, parts of the stomach move into the chest area, which weakens the sealing between stomach and oesophagus and allows gastric-acid to rise upwards. 

Accompanying Symptoms and Complications

Some patients report nausea and regurgitation, as well as heartburn. There are rare cases of laryngitis and inflammation of the upper airways. If gastric-acid reaches the respiratory passages, the patient can develop a chronic bronchitis which causes symptoms similar to asthma. 

Should the inflammation endure for a longer period of time,  ulcers can form in the mucous membrane which can lead to cicatrization. The patient would then suffer from difficulties in swallowing.

In cases where the disease persists over several years, chronically inflamed cells might transform and in the worst case cause oesophagus cancer.   

How to diagnose Acid-Reflux (GORD)?

Especially with little children one has to exercise caution, when diagnosing acid-reflux. Infants and children tend to develop graver problems in terms of food consumption, such as insomnia and increased vomiting. However, the line between symptoms of acid-reflux and typical behavior or afflictions that usually occur in this age, is quite blurry. Accordingly, parents and paediatricians are especially challenged, when it comes to giving children a head start in life.

During pregnancy acid-reflux is quite common and can often be eased by a different diet.

Typical symptoms include ructus and halitosis that can not be coped with just with a thorough oral hygiene. When the gastric acid reaches the mouth, it corrodes the dental enamel especially around the tooth necks.

Acid-reflux is often accompanied by a feeling of pressure in the chest that can be confused with serious heart diseases. In this case a doctor should be counselled.

Coughing, hoarseness and a sore throat can also be the symptoms of a “silent reflux” that is not accompanied by heartburn.

People suffering from these symptoms often underestimate the consequences of this disease, as they do not know what causes it. Therefore it is recommended to get professional medical counselling at a clinic, if you have these symptoms, in order to be able to rule out grave diseases such as oesophageal cancer or pulmonary inflammation.

Patients with acid-reflux can usually avoid these consequences, if they change certain habits that have a negative impact on the development of acid reflux. This can be achieved by reducing stress levels, regular exercising, avoiding food that is a burden for the digestive system and most important – get professional medical advice by medical specialists.

What you can do on your own?

In fact, in some cases it is definitely possible to alleviate some of the symptoms of acid-reflux by yourself. For example: Try to avoid foods that stimulate the production of gastric acid such as coffee, citrus fruits, hot spices, peppermint, carbonated drinks, fatty meals and chocolate.

Related to your diet you should exercise more often in order to boost your digestion and carry the food into the small intestine faster. And as sports do reduce stress levels it accordingly mitigates the symptoms of acid-reflux.

For further information, a call-back or a personal counselling appointment – just fill out our form below.

The clinics will contact you as soon as possible and try to answer all of your questions and if necessary they will arrange an appointment with you right away.