Acid Reflux is a disease commonly known as GERD, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease. This is described by the condition in which the stomach’s liquid content refluxes in the esophagus. This liquid can cause damage and inflammation in the lining of your esophagus. The liquid that is refluxed contains pepsin and acid which is produced by the stomach. Pepsin is the enzyme which starts the digestion of the proteins found in our stomach. The regurgitated liquid can also contain bile that backs-up from the duodenum which attaches the small intestines to the stomach. The most damaging ingredient in acid reflux is acid.
Acid Reflux is known as a chronic condition and takes a lifetime to deal with. A chronic condition is achieved when there is injury to the lining of the esophagus. If treatment is applied it must be continuous or the problems will return and so will GERD.
Our body has ways to protect itself from the destructive effects of acid reflux. Reflux usually occurs when a person is in a supine or laying down position because the refluxed liquid can freely flow back to the stomach.
If awake, a person swallows repeatedly whether there is reflux or not. When a person swallows, reflux liquid flows back into the stomach. The salivary glands produce saliva containing bicarbonate, and every time the person swallows, the saliva containing bicarbonate travels down to the esophagus. The bicarbonate acts as the neutralizer in the small amount of acid which is left in the esophagus.
In fact, the reflux of the stomach’s liquid contents into the esophagus occurs in most standard individuals. One study has found that reflux occurs as regularly in normal individuals as in patients who are diagnosed with GERD. In patients with GERD however, the refluxed liquid contains more acid, and the acid remains in the esophagus for longer periods of time.
Certain conditions make a person vulnerable to acid reflux. A person who has GERD can also have elevated hormone levels. If you feel you are suffering from GERD it is advisable to seek medical advice from your doctor.