The Causes and Treatment of Acid Reflux and Heartburn

Heartburn and acid reflux are common ailments that can be hard to differentiate. These issues can even occur at the same time. However, not everyone with acid reflux has heartburn. While treating heartburn is simple, you first need to know the difference between acid reflux and heartburn.

Difference between heartburn and acid reflux

The main difference between the two ailments is the cause. Acid reflux comes about due to relaxation or weakness of the lower esophageal sphincter near the stomach entrance. This weakness causes partially digested food or acid to go back into the esophagus.

Heartburn is a burning sensation in the chest. It is a symptom of acid reflux. However, many people can have acid reflux without heartburn. Heartburn is often made worse by eating certain foods. These include chocolates, tomatoes, or beans. It can also be due to drinking or eating while laying down, which causes acid reflux.

There are other symptoms of acid reflux. They are halitosis, sleeping difficulty, difficulty in breathing, sore throat, coughing, regurgitation, nausea, .and difficulty in swallowing. Chronic acid reflux happens more than two times weekly. In this case, it is referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Nearly 20% of Americans have this disease. If left untreated, GERD could cause further complications.

Experts recommend that people with heartburn avoid certain foods. These include tomatoes, dairy products, full fat, spearmint, peppermint, spices, citrus fruits, citrus juices, fatty foods, chocolate, carbonated drinks, caffeine, and alcohol. These foods can worsen or trigger heartburn.

Foods that reduce heartburn

Fortunately, experts have identified foods that could reduce heartburn and other gastrointestinal disorders. One of them is ginger which reduces inflammation and heartburn. Yogurt, on the other hand, is a probiotic food that reduces heartburn frequency and improves digestion.

Other foods that experts recommend for heartburns are bananas. These fruits have low acid content and high alkaline concentration. This balance optimizes the conditions in the digestive tract. Moreover, it prevents overproduction of acid, making it easier for food to move smoothly in the digestive system.

Green vegetables like celery, green beans, asparagus, and broccoli have low acidity. Even canned and frozen green vegetables could reduce heartburn.

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