When a person is diagnosed with acid reflux, it basically means that the acid from the stomach as well as the contents from the stomach are seeping into the esophagus. While this condition is not harmful, it causes a lot of discomfort and pain to the person. Also, if this condition becomes chronic, it can irreparably damage the esophagus, result in ulcers or even lead to cancer of the esophagus.
The symptoms of acid reflux are very characteristic, but have some similarity with heart ailments. Hence, if a person thinks that he or she has this condition, they should immediately visit a doctor for a concrete diagnosis. Experiencing heartburn, pain in the chest, problems in swallowing, hoarseness of the voice, coughing, pain in the stomach and wheezing are signs of this condition.
In order to ensure that the condition does not turn chronic, it is important to seek immediate treatment. Usually the doctor will do several tests like performing an endoscopy of the esophagus and stomach, doing blood and urine tests and doing X-ray to come to a diagnosis. Once the diagnosis is confirmed, the doctor will recommend a course of treatment. So, what to take for acid reflux?
Before starting any medication, the doctor will recommend a change in the dietary habits of the person. The person will be advised to avoid consuming spicy food, drinking coffee and tea, consuming alcohol and eating food replete with fats. Also, the person will be asked to avoid vegetables belonging to the cruciferous family.
The medications used to treat this condition are meant for short term treatment and to complement the dietary changes. It is important to note that these medications do have side effects and hence cannot be taken for prolonged periods of time. Invariably the doctor will recommend antacids where the condition is mild. This will help in elevating the pH levels in the stomach and reducing the acidity.
In case the condition is a little more severe, then the doctor will prescribe a medication known as alginic acid. This medication helps to form a protective coating in the stomach and the esophagus, thereby reducing the damage caused to the cells and tissues. At times, the doctor may also prescribe antihistamines to block the secretion of the stomach acid. Usually antihistamine like famotidine or ranitidine is used for this purpose.
One of the latest medications to be used for treating acid reflux is prokinetics. This drug helps to strengthen the lower part of the esophagus and also increases the rate at which the food moves through the stomach. This reduces the chances of the stomach acid and other contents from flowing backwards into the esophagus.
If you are still wondering what to take for acid reflux, you should know that there are several options available based on the severity of the condition.
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