What Is Acid Reflux?


Quick Answer

Acid reflux is stomach acid that travels back up through the esophagus when the lower esophageal sphincter does not close properly following consumption of food, explains WebMD. Individuals with acid reflux may experience heartburn and taste an acidic or bitter liquid that travels into the throat via the esophagus.

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What Is Acid Reflux?
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Full Answer

Additional symptoms of acid reflux include a burning sensation in the center of the abdomen, throat irritation and vocal hoarseness, explains Healthline. Individuals who experience frequent symptoms of acid reflux should consult with a physician, as this can indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease, also referred to as GERD, a condition that must be treated to avoid additional health complications.

Treatments for acid reflux and heartburn include over-the-counter antacids and medications that hinder acid production in the stomach, according to Mayo Clinic. Individuals with severe heartburn or GERD may be treated with prescription medications. In certain cases, surgical procedures may be required. Surgical options include lower esophageal sphincter tightening procedures and magnetic implant procedures that work to strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter and prevent acid reflux. Home remedies that may help to minimize symptoms include eating smaller portions, quitting smoking, losing weight or maintaining an optimal body weight, and sleeping with the head elevated to prevent night time heartburn.

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