The stomach contains acidic juices like hydrochloric acid, pepsin, and bile produced by the liver. These juices are intended to aid the stomach in digestion and release energy. Hydrochloric acid is very corrosive but helps in the prevention of harmful bacteria from living in the stomach. Your stomach contains a protective acid proof lining.
Now does this mean all of your digestive track is protected? No! The lower esophageal sphincter or LES is the muscular valve that connects your esophagus to your tummy and it doesn’t have any acid proof lining. This valve is there to serve one purpose. Open to let food in then close the esophagus up again. When it doesn’t close tightly and decides to relax on the job, Acid Reflux is the result, most commonly in the form of heartburn.
Symptoms of Acid Reflux typically show up, (as stated above), in the form of heartburn. Heartburn is a burn you experience that ranges from the stomach to the chest, and into the throat. Heartburn usually transpires with the following activities: after a heavy meal, bending over, lifting, lying down (usually on back), and during pregnancy! Right ladies? Dreadful isn’t it?
People who experience this at night typically have worse symptoms than those who go through it during the day. Despite its characteristics, reflux it is not usually a sign of anything seriously wrong.
Dyspepsia is a syndrome that consist of the following: pain/discomfort in upper abdomen, fullness in stomach, and nausea after eating. People may have this syndrome without actually having the condition.
Regurgitation is the sensation of acid backing up in the throat. Regurgitation can make it as far up as the mouth. It can also result in vomiting but this is not common. You should seek medical attention if you experience vomiting because this could lead to other serious health problems.
Chest sensation or pain is a less common symptom of reflux. Patients complain about the feeling of food trapped behind the breastbone. Ouch! This is a well known symptom of this condition. It is imperative to be able to tell the difference between chest pain that stems from heart conditions and those from acid reflux.
Symptoms that occur in the throat include acid laryngitis which results in: hoarseness, dry cough, and a sensation of having a lump in the throat (which causes the patient to get the urge to swallow frequently). Trouble swallowing, chronic sore throat, persistent coughs, coughing, respiratory symptoms, chronic nausea, and vomiting are all commonly due to this condition as well.
Other causes of chronic nausea should be ruled out first such as: ulcers, stomach cancer, an obstruction in the digestive tract, and pancreas or gallbladder disorders.