Acid reflux is the most common type of gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD. It occurs when stomach acids irritate the esophagus. Often it is caused by eating a high-fat meal or drinking alcohol.

The risk of acid reflux disease is greater for those with a family history of it. You may also be at greater risk if you are overweight or suffer from heartburn. If you have taken drugs for depression or anti-depressants in the past, you may have a higher risk.

In the early stages of acid reflux, symptoms are usually a burning sensation in the chest. It can be accompanied by a sour taste in the mouth and sore throat. These symptoms are quite rare for most people. Acid reflux is more serious if they persist for more than a few hours or if they are accompanied by nausea and vomiting.

GERD affects everyone at some point in their lives but does seem to be more common in women than in men. The incidence of this disease seems to be increasing in younger people, with children, particularly infants, being more susceptible to it.

The food that is digested into stomach acid also damages the esophagus, and any food items that touch the upper esophageal sphincter, or lower esophageal sphincter, will also damage it. As a result, the acid in the stomach mixes with the food in the lower esophageal sphincter, causing pain.

Doctors often recommend a diet that is low in fat and consists mostly of fruits and vegetables to prevent a person from developing frequent reflux. An increase in dietary fiber will help reduce the incidence of reflux, as will drinking lots of water. Many natural remedies are available for the prevention and treatment of acid reflux.

For people who suffer from painful acid reflux, there are medications that can relieve the symptoms. These can include antacids that are taken orally or medications that are injected. These are generally only used when the problem is severe.

People who have severe acid reflux disease are often given medications that can help dissolve the acid. Unfortunately, these medications can also irritate the esophagus, and they may not even be effective in treating the underlying condition. In addition, because the stomach acid tends to travel to the esophagus, more medication is needed to treat the condition, which makes it harder to keep the symptoms under control.

The causes of acid reflux are not well understood, although some experts believe that stress is a factor. Acid reflux is also usually caused by unhealthy eating habits, such as eating a lot of fatty foods and alcohol before going to bed.

Other factors that are believed to cause acid reflux include gastric problems, such as ulcers, poor eating habits, and certain medicines. Hormonal changes that occur during pregnancy and menopause can also lead to acid reflux. In fact, the onset of puberty is thought to be a leading cause of acid reflux in boys.

With all the health problems and medications that can trigger the occurrence of acid reflux, the symptoms are common in people who have an underlying medical condition. Some people, however, can be irritable to each other because of obesity and food intake, so it may be necessary to avoid the foods that can exacerbate the condition.

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