Acid reflux is a common problem experienced by most of the population. The esophagus connects the mouth to the stomach and controls the food movement. The lower esophageal sphincter is of special importance as it protects the esophagus from stomach acids and bile. The acids in the stomach, like hydrochloric acid, can splash back and damage the esophagus. The lower sphincter, in that case, closes to prevent any backflow of the stomach contents.
Heartburn is a common symptom of acid reflux and in more severe cases gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Acid reflux can be caused by lifestyle, the food consumed or when the lower esophageal sphincter does not function the way it should. An acid reflux can happen at times when you are under duress or stress. Think of a job interview or an important exam that will make or break it. Some studies suggest that stress can be a trigger for acid reflux. Lifestyle always determines how a disease will affect a person. A study showed that people under job stress were more likely to experience GERD symptoms. Researchers in a 1993 study found that people with GERD who were anxious and stressed reported more painful symptoms than those who were not anxious. Stress and exhaustion can lead to physical changes that lead to acid reflux.
There are a few things that can be done to avoid acid reflux stress. Stress can be managed by exercising as it loosens muscles and releases natural hormones that make one feel good. Losing weight is a benefit of exercise that helps in curing GERD. Proper sleep and relaxation techniques are helpful in reducing stress levels too. Ways to get relief from GERD are detailed in Refluxmd, where you can get information on general or natural ways to deal with the discomfort.
Medications and natural remedies are one way to deal with GERD. But in extreme cases, the physician may advise an acid reflux surgery. Ulcers, bleeding and scar tissue damage in the esophagus are some reasons a doctor may consider before advising for a surgical procedure. Surgeries avoid long-term medication and help in preventing further damage to the esophagus with almost immediate effect. However, they may be costly and need a long recovery time. Surgical procedure options are:
This procedure reinforces and tightens the lower esophageal sphincter when the upper portion of the stomach is wrapped around it. This can be done through an open surgery or a laparoscopic surgery. There may be pre-surgery preparation required like a liquid diet, 2 days before surgery, no food on the day of surgery and cleansing bowels a day before surgery.
Transoral Incisionless Fundoplication
When fundoplication is not appropriate then a device known as an EsophyX is inserted through the mouth. It creates a fold at the esophagus base, creating a new valve and preventing acid refluxes.
A ring with tiny titanium magnetic beads is wrapped around the LES. The magnetic force in the beads keep the LES passage closed to prevent a reflux, but food can pass easily. Each surgery requires a different preparation and recovery time. Refluxmd provides detailed information on surgical options and answers to any questions a GERD patient may have.