Acid reflux happens when stomach acid and other contents in your stomach back up into your esophagus through the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). When you swallow and food enters your stomach, your LES closes to prevent food from rising up. When it’s weak or damaged, your LES may not close properly, causing symptoms of acid reflux.
An unpleasant symptom of acid reflux is heartburn, or a burning sensation in the chest, usually after eating a meal. Acid reflux can also cause a dry cough, sore throat and sour taste in the mouth.
If your symptoms of acid reflux become more frequent or don’t go away, you could have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Chronic GERD can lead to narrowing of the esophagus that causes food to get stuck, and changes in the esophageal cells which can lead to cancer.
Unlike many medical conditions that can’t be prevented, acid reflex and GERD symptoms can be eased with lifestyle changes. Here’s what you can do to prevent that burning feeling in your chest from continuing:
The goal of reducing heartburn and GERD symptoms is to reduce the amount of acid that goes into your esophagus and to avoid foods that irritate your esophagus.
Talk to your doctor if you are having regular symptoms of heartburn. Your doctor can suggest a variety of tests or procedures that help determine what’s going on and how to help.
How do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Tell us in the below comments.
Learn more about cancer services at Edward-Elmhurst Health.
Is it heartburn, acid reflux or something more?
Irritable Bowel Syndrome: The never ending upset stomach
If you have reached this screen, your current device or browser is unable to access the full Edward-Elmhurst Health Web site.
To see the full site, please upgrade your browser to the most recent version of Safari, Chrome, Firefox or Internet Explorer. If you cannot upgrade your browser, you can remain on this site.