Acid reflux 101: Common causes, symptoms and treatments

Acid reflux 101: Common causes, symptoms and treatments

Some doctors may recommend taking both H2 blockers and antacids to control symptoms. Another benefit of H2 blockers is that they help heal the esophagus, reversing damage done by stomach acid.

In addition, scars from tissue damage can narrow the esophagus and make swallowing difficult. Some people develop Barretts esophagus, where cells in the esophageal lining take on an abnormal shape and color, which over time can lead to cancer. Also, studies have shown that asthma, chronic cough, and pulmonary fibrosis may be aggravated or even caused by GERD.

This leads to the usual acidic sensation and taste that characterizes heartburn. If GERD is the problem, treating the condition can help manage laryngospasm.

People with GERD experience chronic, persistent reflux that occurs at least twice a week. Tilting the head of your bed upward will raise your head, which can help reduce the chance that your stomach acid will reflux into your throat during the night. The Cleveland Clinic recommends using bed risers. These are small, column-like platforms placed under the legs of your bed. People often use them to make room for storage.

What Causes Acid Reflux?

GERD and heartburn cause the same symptoms, though GERD may have additional symptoms. GERD is diagnosed when you have constant, frequent, chronic heartburn.

By practicing healthy drinking habits and taking note of how your symptoms respond to specific foods and drinks, you can reduce your reflux symptoms and improve your quality of life. Heavy consumption of alcohol may be a risk factor for developing GERD, and it could cause mucosal damage in the stomach and esophagus. Alcohol can negatively affect acid reflux, regardless of whether you’re drinking a glass of wine or downing a margarita. Hard liquor is more likely to aggravate reflux conditions quickly, though a glass of wine with a large or acidic meal can cause discomfort, too.

Experiencing acid reflux during the day is bad enough, but at night it’s even worse. The feeling of choking on acid while you’re trying to sleep is horrible. It can make it difficult to fall asleep, and you’re more likely to wake up suddenly during the night.

waking up coughing acid reflux

People who get heartburn after eating may take both antacids and H2 blockers. The antacids work first to neutralize the acid in the stomach, while the H2 blockers act on acid production. By the time the antacid stops working, the H2 blocker will have stopped acid production. Your doctor is the best source of information on how to use medications for GERD. Normally, a ring of muscle at the bottom of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES), prevents acid reflux.

What Are GERD Symptoms?

Poor quality of sleep and a variety of sleep disturbances have been recently added to the growing list of extraesophageal symptoms of GERD such as hoarseness, throat-clearing, sore throat, wheezing, and chronic cough. Most importantly, the overall quality of life of those with nighttime heartburn appears to be significantly worse than the quality of life of those with daytime heartburn only.

This is why you can’t feel acid in your stomach, but it burns when it’s in your gullet. Acid reflux is what it’s called when acid from your stomach flows back into the esophagus.

They are one type of over-the-counter treatment to alleviate the burning feeling. Rolaids, Maalox, and Mylanta are a few kinds of OTC antacids. Antacids are a good option if you have occasional heartburn and mild symptoms and discomfort. Take these medications as directed and do not exceed the recommended dose.

Other possible causes of a sore throat

Also, avoid exercising or exerting yourself before your stomach has the chance to digest your food. You may find that stretching, running or bending over brings acid reflux on. In the case of a hiatal hernia, it’s your stomach pushing up through a small opening in the diaphragm. Having a hiatal hernia makes acid reflux far more common.

Three-quarters of nighttime heartburn sufferers said heartburn affected their sleep, while 63% said they believed heartburn negatively impacted their ability to sleep well, and 40% said they believed it made it harder to function the next day. Per the National Sleep Foundation, if you have acid reflux, you could very well wake up in the middle of the night with heartburn-and you might even experience middle-of-the-night choking or coughing, depending on how far up your esophagus the acid travels. So what’s the connection between acid reflux and sleep? As I can attest, heartburn is usually worse at night, and that can make falling (and staying) asleep more difficult. “Most people are prone to acid reflux when they lie down,” says Scott Huber, MD, gastroenterologist at the Institute for Digestive Health and Liver Disease at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore.

waking up coughing acid reflux

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