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Archive for August, 2008

What Are All The Possible Acid Reflux Symptoms?

Posted in Health & Fitness on August 8th, 2008

Have you been experiencing symptoms that you once thought could be indigestion, but are now thinking that perhaps the symptoms you are experiencing are related to acid reflux?  The only way you can determine if what you are suffering is acid reflux is to know the symptoms of the digestive condition and seek the advice of your health care provider.

To start you on your path of discovery, the following is a list of all the possible symptoms of acid reflux:

Common symptoms:

Heartburn – This is the most common acid reflux symptom and is characterized by a burning sensation that feels as though it is rising from the stomach or lower chest, and continues up towards the region of the neck.  In many cases, the burning sensation typically begins behind the breastbone, and it may travel up to the throat.   However, heartburn can be severe in some people and spread to the neck, jaw, arms and back.

Chest Pain – This may include chest pressure, dull chest discomfort, or severe burning pain that radiates across the mid chest. If you are suffering chest pain you should consult a physician immediately to rule out any heart problems.

Excessive salvation – An increase in saliva production after eating may be the body’s response to dealing with too much acid, as saliva helps to neutralize acid.  Sometimes the stomach produces excessive acid which increases the risk of reflux.

Burning sensation in the throat – This symptom generally causes a person to feel burning high in the neck close to the mouth, but it can happen in the lower region of the neck as well.  It is common for the painful burning sensation to worsen when the person swallows.   This particular symptom is often brought on by irritation that occurs when stomach contents have been refluxed up the esophagus into the throat. 

Painful swallowing – This symptom usually follows the burning sensation in the throat.

Acid taste in the mouth/regurgitation – With this symptom a person tastes a strong sour or bitter flavor in their mouth.   This usually occurs when acid has been refluxed up the esophagus into the back of the throat.  Sometimes, along with the bitter taste, a person may also have food contents refluxed back into their mouth, which is better known as regurgitation. 

Sore throat, bad breath, and dental erosion – These symptoms typically occur as a result of a person suffering from acid being refluxed up into the throat and mouth.

Trouble swallowing – Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) is a symptom that occurs when food cannot pass normally from the mouth to the esophagus and to the stomach.  Most people who experience dysphagia feel as if food is stuck in their throat, a choking sensation, pressure in their chest, or a burning sensation after eating.  If you are experiencing dysphagia, you should seek the attention of your health care provider as soon as possible to have your condition evaluated, as this symptom is often associated with more severe complications involving the esophagus.
Less common symptoms:

Nausea and/or vomiting – Very few gastroesophageal reflus disease (GERD) sufferers experience this symptom.  Nevertheless, nausea does occur, especially in those who don’t typically experience heartburn.  When unexplained nausea and/or vomiting occur, GERD is usually one of the first conditions doctors suspect.

Chronic coughing – A persistent dry cough can be a symptom of acid reflux that may occur if acid is irritating the windpipe or when acid is refluxed into the lungs, which is known as aspiration.  Persistent coughing can cause hoarseness or asthma-like symptoms such as wheezing.

Severe chest pain – sometimes severe chest pain can develop that feels like a heart attack.  Though severe chest pain related to acid reflux is non-life threatening, if you experience what you feel is a heart attack, do not just assume it is acid reflux and seek medical attention immediately!

Keep in mind that almost all symptoms of acid reflux occur, and are at their worst, shortly after eating.  However, it is also common for symptoms to be present when lying down or sleeping.  Symptoms of acid reflux tend to come and go and may last for minutes, but can also remain for several hours.  Symptoms usually go away when acid is neutralized by medication such as an antacid, or sometimes with a natural remedy.   

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, you are likely suffering from acid reflux.  If you are experiencing symptoms frequently, this could be an indication that you are suffering from GERD.  In either event, it is best to speak to your health care provider about your symptoms and your concerns, so you can receive a proper diagnosis and discuss your treatment options.

Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with information to help you recognise the various acid reflux symptoms and for information on following an acid reflux diet please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now.  

Will Treating Acid Reflux Cure Your Bad Breath?

Posted in Uncategorized, Health & Fitness on August 4th, 2008

The chances are that if you suffer from acid reflux, you may also be aware that your breath isn’t quite as fresh as those non-GERD sufferers around you.  The fact is that when acid refluxes into your esophagus, that horrible sensation and taste is also accompanied by a not-so-pleasant smell.  If you’re simply sitting at home alone watching television, it’s uncomfortable, but your breath doesn’t really bother anyone but you.  However, if there’s anyone around you, the chances are that they’ll soon be taking a step back, scrunching their noses, or handing you a mint. 

But how do you know when your breath is really that bad? You’ve tried breathing into the palm of your hand, but you simply can’t tell.  One technique recommended by experts on job interviews and social interaction is to give the inside of your wrist a quick lick (assuming you’re not wearing perfume there) and wait for it to dry.  Once it’s no longer wet, smell the spot – does it smell sour or unpleasant?  If so, you’ve got bad breath.

But what can a GERD sufferer do?  You’ve likely heard that peppermint and other forms of mint, such as that in chewing gums, breath mints, and other breath-improving products can actually aggravate your acid reflux and, in turn, make your breath even worse. 

Don’t panic. There are many things that you can do to ensure that your breath stays as pleasant as possible.  If you speak to your doctor, a nutritionist, or a naturopath, they will likely tell you that your first step is to change your diet.  You need to eat foods that help keep your acid reflux under control.  The more you experience acid reflux, the worse your breath will be. 

When you’re choosing your next meal (and all of those that follow), try to keep both your acid reflux and your breath in mind.  Onions, garlic, spicy foods, and fried foods tend to give most people bad breath.  But since these foods also aggravate acid reflux symptoms, then your reaction to them will be twice as unpleasant – to you and those around you. 

You can also start trying to lower your stress level through various activities such as exercise, relaxation, yoga, breathing techniques, and anything else that will calm you down.  Stress can contribute to bad breath, though many people are unaware of this fact, and can also encourage behaviors that worsen acid reflux.  So if your breath is already prone to being sour due to GERD symptoms, then you’ll want to work on your stress levels to stop the situation from getting any worse.

Once you start reducing stress levels and begin eating better, you’ll quickly discover that these changes not only make an enormous difference, but they’re not half as difficult as you’d through they’d be.  The trick is to make the changes slowly and ease them into your life while building the positive habits. 

You may also find that by taking certain medications or natural or herbal GERD remedies, you’ll give yourself just that much more of an advantage for keeping your bad breath under control.

Grab your free copy of Kathryn Whittaker’s brand new Acid Reflux & GERD Newsletter - Overflowing with easy to implement methods to help you find out about acid reflux bad breath and for information on GERD halitosis please visit Stop Acid Reflux Now