February 24, 2024

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Acid Reflux Signs You Shouldn’t Ignore

3 Acid Reflux Signs You Shouldn't Ignore - Sharecare

After eating a meal, you may have experienced a burning sensation in your chest. If you felt that way, you probably ate foods high in fat, spices, or salt. Sometimes, you may ignore the symptoms thinking they are normal, but you could suffer severe complications. If you do not want that for yourself, consult an acid reflux San Antonio caregiver.

Acid reflux occurs because stomach acids leak out of the stomach and travel back into the esophagus. If they happen frequently, you could suffer serious complications. Here are the problems you could eventually get.

Black Stool

The unusual color of the stool occurs thanks to bleeding in the stomach and small intestine. This happens because acid moves out of the stomach by cutting through it. Meanwhile, the stomach acids cause your blood to become black, which consequently makes stools black.

To prevent such a thing from happening, you should limit your alcohol intake and quit smoking. These substances irritate the stomach’s lining, which increases the chances of rupturing it. Sometimes NSAIDs cause black stools, which means your doctor will lower your dosage.

Dental Erosion

Stomach acids cause erosion of your teeth by lowering your saliva’s pH to 5.5. If the pH levels reach 2.0, your enamel will suffer significant damage. When the acids damage your teeth, they will have sharp edges and turn yellow.

If you want to prevent dental erosion, you should not eat for 3 hours before bedtime. That is because when you lie down, you will lower the gravity, which makes it easy for acid reflux to occur. Furthermore, your saliva production remains low when asleep, so it will not neutralize the acids.

Irritated Airways

The acids can cause throat irritations, which will cause you to have a hoarse voice. Besides feeling hoarse, you will experience persistent coughs and chest congestion. If you do not address your acid reflux, you could eventually develop asthma, as the acids cause lung inflammation.

It will be worse for you if you get pulmonary fibrosis which happens after your lungs get permanently damaged. When you get this condition, your lungs will be unable to expand, which makes breathing challenging. Since it has no cure, you will eventually die.

Esophagitis

As the acids travel along the esophagus, they cause it to narrow. As a result, it makes swallowing difficult. If left untreated, the narrowing will further occur, and soon you will be unable to swallow and die of starvation.

When you have esophagitis, you can sometimes solve the issue by taking nonprescription antacids. If they do not work, that is when you should consult a doctor. Your only choice of survival will be through a surgical procedure called a fundoplication.

Barrett’s Esophagus

This condition occurs after the acids destroy the lining of the esophagus, which then gives it a red appearance. When you get this complication, you will have frequent heartburns, vomit red blood and lose weight. If you report such symptoms, seek immediate medical attention.

If you do not address the symptoms immediately, you could get esophageal cancer. At this point, you should go for surgery since it is life-threatening. This article reveals its survival rates range from 5-47%.

Although we occasionally get acid refluxes, it is not a reason to ignore them. To be safe, you should see a doctor even if you strongly feel you could be okay. Remember, it is better to be safe than to be sorry. If acid reflux is mild, your doctor will prescribe the necessary medications.

More importantly, your doctor will ask you to change your lifestyle. You will likely be told to avoid smoking, keep your head elevated while sleeping and reduce weight around the midsection. Making these changes is not easy, so your doctor will work together with your family.