Gastroesophageal reflux is a digestive problem that develops when the stomach acid returns to the esophagus and mouth, causing irritation. Usually occurs after eating too copious dishes, but also appears for certain diseases.
Its main symptom is a burning sensation in the chest, which is usually accompanied by chest pain and swallowing problems. In some people, it occurs sporadically, while others suffer it in a moderate or severe way, several times a week.
Although the consumption of antacids can control it, in general, it is essential to know its causes in order to fight it effectively. Therefore, next, we want to review in detail its symptoms and some habits related to its appearance.
Symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux
The clinical manifestations of gastroesophageal reflux can vary in each person, depending on its cause. It is often described as a burning sensation at the level of the sternum and the sensation of having a lump in the throat. However, it is also possible to experiment:
- Increased salivation
- Regurgitation of sour foods or liquids
- Chronic cough
- Difficulties breathing
- Snoring and sleep problems
- Abdominal inflammation and belching
Habits that can cause gastroesophageal reflux
The development of gastroesophageal reflux implies an imbalance between the aggressive and defensive factors of the esophageal mucosa. In addition, it indicates a weakening of the sphincters that regulate the passage of acidic juices.
Your possible triggers can be the following habits:
1. Eat irritating foods
The composition of some foods or their bad combination in the same dish can be the cause of episodes of gastroesophageal reflux. These produce an alteration in the production of acidic juices in the stomach, weakening the mucous membranes.
The most common are:
- Refined flour
- Embossed meats
- Fritters and packaged snacks
- Spicy condiments
- Bread and industrial pastries
- Canned meals
- Dressings and Sauces
- Cured cheeses
- Coffee and products with caffeine
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2. Use tight clothing
Although many ignore it, wearing too tight clothes influences the recurrence of this symptom. Clothing such as pants, belts or shirts can increase intra-abdominal pressure, favoring the release of acid content into the esophagus.
The daily consumption of cigarettes is one of the factors linked to this digestive problem. First, tobacco toxins alter the production of saliva, which helps neutralize the action of acids to prevent heartburn.
On the other hand, it produces a dehydration in the mouth and throat, facilitating irritation in the presence of acids. So, to control this problem, it is essential to stop smoking.
4. Adopt bad posture
Eating lying down or adopting a bad position after eating are factors related to reflux. This increases abdominal contractions and facilitates the return of acidic juices to the upper part of the body.
It is recommended to maintain good posture during and after meals.
5. Do not chew well
One of the main recommendations to avoid gastroesophageal reflux is to chew food well before swallowing. While it is easy to ignore, it is the first step to an optimal digestion process.
Taking very whole foods makes important enzymes waste and slows stomach functions. As a consequence, the segregation of acid juices and, consequently, the sourness increases.
6. Consume alcohol
The harmful compounds of alcoholic beverages overload the work of the liver and slow down the digestive process. On the other hand, they block the function of the unidirectional valve that is responsible for preventing the rise of the gastric content to the esophagus.
For this reason, drinking alcohol excessively worsens reflux and causes irritation in the lining of the stomach. The symptoms may be worse if there is a history of gastritis or ulcers.
7. Being exposed to stress
People who are constantly exposed to stressful situations have more difficulty controlling the gastroesophageal reflux crisis. This emotional state triggers reactions in the nervous system that alter several of the processes that are met in the digestive tract.
It also increases the segregation of stimulating substances such as adrenaline, which is linked to an increase in the production of acidic juices. Relaxation techniques, massage, and aromatherapy can help give this condition a good handle.
Did you just identify any of the habits mentioned? Try to avoid them now to facilitate the relief of this problem. If it still persists, consult your doctor to determine if it is due to a more careful disease.
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