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Reflux attack – symptoms and treatment – Zdrowie Wprost

Reflux attack - symptoms and treatment - Zdrowie Wprost

Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a frequently diagnosed disease – in Poland, gastroesophageal reflux disease affects up to 20% of adults. Due to its frequency of occurrence and the relationship with the diet and lifestyle used, GERD is classified as a civilized disease. It is most commonly diagnosed in North America; Gastroesophageal reflux disease is rarely diagnosed in Asia.

Symptoms of GERD are similar to those of a heart attack, making it a common reason for HED visits. The first episode of reflux can exacerbate fear because the burning pain in the chest and the associated burning sensation are located in the retrosternal area. Chest pain and a burning sensation in the esophagus are not the only symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease. What terms may refer to reflux? Is gastroesophageal reflux disease a threat to our health? Learn more about reflux, which can develop at any point in your life.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease – what you should know?

Reflux disease causes stomach contents to back up into the esophagus, resulting in unpleasant illnesses. When stomach acid enters the esophagus containing digestive enzymes, it causes increased irritation of the mucous membrane, which leads to the formation of ulcers and hemorrhagic lesions. Patients often feel the return of stomach contents into the esophagus, for example when lying down and also when bending over. In some cases, the painful burning sensation does not appear until the disease has progressed, which significantly delays the start of treatment. The development of reflux disease can be caused, for example, by the use of an incorrect diet, chronic stress and frequent use of stimulants. Reflux disease is often the result of smoking and drinking alcohol. Gastroesophageal reflux disease can also be caused by a hernia of the esophageal solution and relaxation of the esophageal sphincter.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease – a disease with a diverse clinical picture

Reflux disease affects an increasing proportion of the world’s population. It has a varied clinical form and often causes difficulties in diagnosis. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is a chronic disease of the gastrointestinal tract that develops as a result of various factors, causing very unpleasant pathologies. It is estimated that even in half of patients gastroesophageal reflux disease may be asymptomatic or mild for a prolonged period, but is always associated with progressive damage to the gastrointestinal mucosa. Symptoms of reflux disease can be nonspecific, so patients do not inform a gastroenterologist in a timely manner. A less specific symptom of reflux is, for example, a sore throat, dry cough and wheezing – these symptoms are typical of many respiratory infections. They are often ineffective on their own with medicines for colds and other respiratory illnesses.

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Reflux disease increases the risk of esophageal cancer. Untreated reflux also leads to other complications, such as esophagitis, as well as bleeding from progressive damage to the gastrointestinal mucosa. In some patients, gastroesophageal reflux disease causes nonspecific symptoms, including chronic cough, tooth enamel damage, sore throat, sinusitis, as well as reflux pneumonia and laryngitis.

Reflux disease can develop at any age. The most common symptom of gastroesophageal reflux disease is the painful sensation of gastrointestinal burning, that is, heartburn, but GERD can also cause many other diseases. An attack of acid reflux initially helps to stop taking over-the-counter antacids and home remedies for heartburn, such as almonds, but this is only a quick fix because untreated reflux causes gradual damage to the esophagus and other complications, such as chronic esophagitis.

Heartburn pain in the chest is a characteristic symptom that indicates a regurgitation attack, but this pathology can also indicate a serious threat to health and life, myocardial infarction. For this reason, it should not be assumed that the symptoms we experience, such as chest pain, are related to reflux, even if we have been diagnosed with GERD. Chest pain that worsens during activity, burning in the sternum area, shortness of breath, as well as increased anxiety and weakness are always a signal for urgent medical advice!

Causes of gastroesophageal reflux disease

Reflux disease develops as a result of various factors. The causes of reflux can be divided into several groups, among which: the possibility of reducing them. Common causes of reflux are, for example, esophageal hiatus hernia, relaxation of the esophageal sphincter, use of certain medications, such as calcium channel blockers, and eating heavy meals. As a result of lesions in the digestive tract, the esophageal sphincter does not function properly, causing stomach contents to return to the esophagus, and up to the throat and mouth. For example, a sore throat may be the result of food refluxing into the upper esophagus.

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Gastroesophageal reflux disease often develops under the influence of chronic stress and may be associated with changes in the body of a pregnant woman, making persistent heartburn the first symptom of pregnancy. In this case, symptoms usually disappear after birth.

Other causes of reflux are, for example, overweight and abdominal obesity, diet rich in carbonated drinks and highly processed products, congenital and acquired esophageal motility disorders, impaired esophageal cleansing mechanisms, gastric fatigue, and alcoholic neuropathy.

We are able to eliminate some of the causes of reflux, effectively reducing the risk of developing disease. This is especially true when reflux has been diagnosed in our immediate family members. The reason for the development of reflux, which increases the risk of developing other diseases, is a sedentary lifestyle.

Symptoms of acid reflux disease

Various symptoms can indicate gastroesophageal reflux disease. The typical symptoms of acid reflux are concentrated in the chest area, which is related to acid leakage in the stomach into the esophagus. They include, among others:

  • burning sensation in the gastrointestinal tract,
  • epigastric pain
  • A feeling of acid refluxing into the esophagus
  • acid belching,
  • Bad taste and smell from the mouth.

Not all patients have the typical symptoms of reflux. It happens that no discomforts associated with the reflux of stomach contents into the esophagus are felt at all, and esophagitis and other esophagitis are detected at the stage of diagnosis of other diseases.

In some cases, the usual reflux symptoms may be triggered by indigestion or overeating, as they often arise from heavy meals.

Other symptoms of acid reflux disease include:

Importantly, the laryngeal symptoms of GERD, such as dry cough, wheezing, sore throat, and even a runny nose caused by the acid content of the esophagus, appear without the previous symptoms typical of seasonal viral infections, such as feeling collapsed and low-grade fever and not resolved with treatment. Symptoms. In some cases, as a result of the use of drugs that irritate the stomach, the discomfort may worsen.

ENT symptoms often accompany recurring problems in the mouth that affect the teeth and gums. Reflux can be demonstrated by progressive caries, recurrent gingivitis, and burning of the tongue. People with gastroesophageal reflux disease often have a sour or salty taste in their mouth. Acid reflux disease can also be indicated by other symptoms, such as bad breath, a feeling of so-called capillary in the throat and salty phlegm in the throat.

Warning symptoms that require immediate medical advice

A sudden worsening of reflux symptoms is always a worrying symptom. If you have difficulty swallowing, chest pain when swallowing, and blood in the vomit or in the stool, see your doctor immediately. Warning symptoms also include a persistent dry cough, shortness of breath, epigastric pain, loss of appetite, weight loss, and increased weakness.

The appearance of mild symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux disease is an indication for urgent medical advice! Reflux symptoms should not be minimized and for a long time to relieve troublesome ailments by using over-the-counter antacids, because self-medication may lead to side effects!

Furthermore, leakage of gastric acid contents into the esophagus significantly increases the risk of esophageal cancer, and is associated with other risks that can be avoided by opting for endoscopic examination and initiating treatment. It is worth noting that even short-term and frequent heartburn that passes without the use of over-the-counter antacids is an indication for testing, because gastric acid leakage into the esophagus can lead to serious complications.

reflux treatment

Some diagnostic tests must be done before starting acid reflux treatment. It includes, among other things, endoscopic examination.

Endoscopic examination, that is, gastroscopy, is also recommended in the case of nonspecific reflux symptoms in patients who have been excluded from other underlying symptoms.

Acid reflux treatment shouldn’t rely on long-term use of over-the-counter heartburn treatments because this can lead to serious complications. After diagnosing reflux disease, the doctor selects the appropriate treatment for a particular patient, for example, he prescribes proton pump inhibitors, which turn out to be an effective solution in many patients. Unfortunately, surgery is sometimes necessary.

GERD is a chronic disease whose treatment also includes making changes to your daily diet and lifestyle. It is necessary, inter alia, to stop smoking and drinking alcohol, and lose weight when reflux is associated with overweight and obesity.

Read also:
Lack of appetite in children, adolescents and adults – causes and how to deal with it?

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