Heartburn and Acid Reflux - A Common Health Issue

Acid reflux takes place when the closure of the lower esophageal sphincter does not take place correctly and thus leading to the leakage of stomach contents back into the stomach itself. The sphincter or the LES can be referred to as the muscle ring present along the base of esophagus acting as valve separating the stomach and esophagus.

The pain caused by the splashing up of digestive juice from the stomach into the esophagus is known as heartburn. The digestive juice is made up of hydrochloric acid, pepsin and bile secretions. Hydrochloric acid is very strong and corrosive therefore stomach has a special lining and fluids that protects it from the acid.

There are several causes for an individual to suffer from heartburn and acid reflux. Some of the most frequent causes for the heartburn and acid reflux are the high consumption of coffee, tea and other drinks that contain caffeine as this constituent encourages the contents of stomach to move up into the esophagus quite occasionally. Chocolate is yet another foodstuff that can cause heartburn and acid reflux as it contains Theo bromine a natural compound that occurs in many plants like cocoa. This compound plays a role in relaxing the sphincter muscle ultimately leading to squirting of stomach acid into the esophagus.

Fried and fatty foods stuffs are yet another cause of heartburn and acid reflux disorder as it increases the pressure inside the stomach. Avoid tomatoes and tomato-based products as it can lower esophageal sphincter. Alcohol can also relax the lower esophageal sphincter muscles and finally become the root cause of heartburn and acid reflux. Tobacco not only causes heartburn and acid reflux but also passes from the lungs into the blood and causes other disorders. Taking large meals can be the next reason for this disorder as it can increase the pressure inside your stomach.

Citrus fruits and juices relax the lowering of esophageal sphincter. Avoid eating within 2 to 3 hours prior to bedtime and wearing tight fitting clothes, as these can also became the causes for heartburn and acid reflux. Persistent heartburn two or more days a week can finally lead to acid reflux or gastro esophageal reflux disease. This can be a serious disorder since stomach acid cans away the delicate esophagus lining. This can also result in asthma, pneumonia, hoarseness, and chronic cough.