Natural Remedies & Treatments For Acid Reflux | Natural Remedy For GERD

Acid Reflux Damage To The Esophagus: HOW To Avoid It

Can acid reflux cause damage to the oesophagus? Like many other acid reflux sufferers, you may wonder, whether acid reflux can damage the oesophagus. Prior to discussing this topic, let's briefly go over the immediate physiological causes of GERD.

Mild and occasional heartburn is fairly common, but more frequent heartburn or more severe symptoms generally result in a diagnosis of acid reflux, or gastro oesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Under normal circumstances, food is kept in the stomach by the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES), a group of muscles that encircle the oesophagus above the stomach. The LES relaxes to allow food to enter and then closes to keep the food in the stomach. Heartburn results when the LES is unable to prevent the contents of the stomach including hydrochloric acid (HCL), digestive enzymes and bile from escaping into the oesophagus. Acid reflux is a serious medical condition that results when stomach contents including acid, bile, and enzymes regularly regurgitate into the oesophagus. The stomach has a protective mucus lining but the oesophageal tissue gets eroded by the acid and recurrent episodes lead to "heartburn".


Chronic acid reflux that is left untreated can cause serious complications. Over time, acid reflux can damage the oesophagus. Inflammation of the oesophagus from refluxed stomach acid can damage the lining and cause bleeding or ulcers-also called oesophagitis. These can be painful and may also bleed, leading to anaemia. Occasionally, the bleeding may be so severe as to require transfusions of blood or surgical treatment Scars from this tissue damage can lead to narrowing of the oesophagus, called strictures, that make swallowing difficult. Many nerves are present in the lower part of oesophagus. Some of these nerves are stimulated by the refluxed acid causing pain or heartburn. Other nerves stimulate yet other nerves to provoke coughing.


Similarly, reflux into the lower oesophagus can stimulate oesophageal nerves that connect to and can stimulate nerves going to the lungs. These nerves to the lungs then can cause the smaller breathing tubes to narrow, resulting in an attack of asthma. Overall, acid reflux causes serious and at times irreversible damage to the oesophagus affecting the quality of life of the patient. Acid reflux by itself is not life threatening but over prolonged period the acid can eat away not only the oesophageal tissue but the very life and happiness of the patient.


Persons with acid reflux and its complications, such as damaged oesophagus, should be monitored closely by a physician to prevent further complications. Ideally, a holistic medicine practitioner is best suited to treat acid reflux. As this is largely a lifestyle disease, making a few changes in diet and living habits along with losing weight, stress relief, and meditation goes a long way in controlling the disease without medications. Medications offer only symptomatic relief and are effective for a short period of time. Taken for a long time, they have a lot of harmful side effects.

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