What Causes Severe Heartburn or Acid Reflux? Here’s What Experts Say.

What causes severe heartburn or acid reflux? Here's what experts say...

Acid Reflux is also known as ‘Heartburn’ is caused when an acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus, triggering an uncomfortable burning sensation.


Photo: Acid Reflux | InStyleHealth


Almost everybody experience heartburn at some point in their lives. But, if these symptoms occur more than two days a week for several months, a person may have Acid Reflux Disease, otherwise medically known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).


Acid reflux happens when the valve separating the esophagus and stomach, known as the lower esophageal sphincter, does not close properly, allowing acid to go back up into the esophagus. This often happens when the lower esophageal sphincter relaxes more often than it should, and at inappropriate times.


This acid reflux can be triggered off by a number of factors:


Eating the wrong food including acidic, spicy, or fatty foods, or even over-eating before bedtime.


A medical condition can also cause heartburn, including Hiatus Hernia, or pregnancy for instance.


Lifestyle habits are also a factor that can trigger heartburn, lifestyle habits such as undue stress, smoking, or consuming excess caffeinated beverages.


Exercising on full stomach, like lying down or bending over while on full stomach can cause heartburn, same thing when someone is overweight, along with any exercises that cause increased pressure on the abdomen, and wearing tight clothes.


Acid reflux, unless treated, may lead to more serious medical conditions. It can eventually erode the lining of the esophagus which can result to a condition known as Erosive Esophagitis.


GERD or Gastroesophageal Reflux can even occur in infants, a common symptom being spitting up. More than half of all babies, experience reflux during their first few months of life. A small number of babies can suffer severe symptoms due to GERD.


Luckily, acid reflux is treatable and a doctor can prescribe appropriate medication, some of which can heal areas of the esophagus that have been eroded or affected by the acid reflux.

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