Gastroesophageal reflux, also known as acid reflux, heartburn, acid indigestion, or pyrosis, is a common condition in which acid in the stomach rises into the esophagus.
This occurs when the sphincter muscle at the lower end of your esophagus relaxes at the wrong time.
- Malfunction of the lower esophageal sphincter
- Hiatal hernia
- Abdominal hypertension
- History of gastric surgery
- Defect of the resistance of the esophageal mucosa
- An anomaly of the gastric fluid
- Medication and toxic substances (beta-blockers, calcic inhibitors, nicotine, alcohol, caffeine)
- A burning sensation behind the sternum is felt after eating or drinking very cold or hot beverages.
- Acidic regurgitations
- Nocturnal coughing reflex
These symptoms can increase when the abdominal pressure increases. This can occur in certain situations:
- Leaning forward
- Sleeping on the stomach or right side
- Exerting an effort while sneezing or defecating
- After eating food rich in fat or alcohol
- A detailed interview of the patient can suffice to diagnose acid reflux
- An endoscopy of the esophagus is the test of choice when diagnosing this condition. It allows the visualization of oesophagitis or lesions.
- A pH meter can measure the acidity of the esophagus
- Lose weight in case of obesity
- Eat smaller meals
- Avoid soft drinks
- Avoid irritating foods such as coffee, alcohol, spices, acidic fruits
- Avoid tobacco
- Avoid leaning forward if possible
- Antacid can be prescribed to relieve heartburn