What is acid reflux relief?

In medically oriented terms, antonyms of the word relief include pain, distress or damage. That links its meaning to both subjective and objective aspects. Subjective, denoting sensations experienced by the sufferer such as pain and objective, meaning physical findings detected by specialists which are either functional distress or organic damage. Actually relief is related to control measures and it quantitatively signifies removal of an unpleasant existence or reduction of its magnitude. The definition of relief, therefore encompasses alleviation of pain, relaxation of distress and healing of damage. Acid reflux on the other hand has two sides; the subjective side (symptoms) which reflects the symptom of heartburn and the objective side (signs) that reflects the functional and/or organic signs of esophageal changes. Acid reflux relief is therefore a broad term that covers all the measures used to control symptoms and signs of acid reflux disease. Normally, the lower esophageal sphincter remains closed except during swallowing. This prevents the passage of food and acid from the stomach into the esophagus. If the lower esophageal sphincter becomes weakened or relaxed, stomach acid may back up into the esophagus. Frequent acid reflux can irritate and inflame the lining of the esophagus, causing symptoms and signs of acid reflux. A better understanding of relief would thus entail knowledge of some aspects of normal structure and function, so that changes in the disease and its control could be easily considered. Actually acid reflux relief involves both preventive and curative measures, and in addition to treatment; orientation with the causes, symptoms and complications of acid reflux are essential for proper management. Acid reflux relief includes: dietary changes,lifestyle modifications, specific medications and surgical operations.Basic knowledge of the underlying causes and progression of acid reflux and answering frequently asked questions about its relief; add to the depth of understanding.

Friday, August 31, 2007

Acid Reflux Relief logoThe role of Antacids in acid reflux relief

What about Tums for acid reflux relief?
Acid produced in the stomach is the main injurious factor inducing inflammation of the esophagus in acid reflux disease. Since Antacids are medicines that neutralize stomach acid, the refluxed contents would thus be free of the heartburn initiating component. Antacids have a rapid onset and short duration of action, and are most appropriate for rapid acid reflux relief for a short period of time. In contrast to H-2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors which reduce acid production by the stomach, Antacids have no direct effect upon acid producing mechanisms. There are two types of Antacids: the first is sodium bicarbonate which chemically neutralizes the acid and is absorbable, accordingly its use is limited because of the associated systemic side effects. The second type is non-absorbable and acts by attracting acid molecules to its surface, consequently preventing their action, a process called adsorption. Calcium and magnesium salts are examples of the second group and are commonly used.
Acid rebound is a phenomenon encountered during the usage of antacids in which acid returns in greater concentration after the drug effect has stopped.
Another disadvantage of Antacids is that they interact with certain drugs and limit their simultaneous usage. They may also be associted with diarrhea and constipation.
Additional components of some formulations include dimethicone which reduces pain resulting from gaseous distention and alginic acid which, in combination with antacids, may help manage acid reflux.
Additional uses of non-absorbable Antacids include prevention of osteoporosis as the calcium salts would act as dietary supplement. Aluminum carbonate is also useful for binding phosphate, preventing the formation of urinary phosphate stones.
Antacids should be taken when gastric acidity is most likely to be increasing — namely, between one and three hours after each meal and at bedtime.
Examples of Antacids include:
* Aluminum hydroxide (Amphojel®, AlternaGEL®)
* Magnesium hydroxide (Phillips’® Milk of Magnesia)
* Aluminum hydroxide and magnesium hydroxide (Maalox®, Mylanta®)
* Aluminum carbonate gel (Basaljel®)
* Calcium carbonate (Alcalak®, Calcium Rich Rolaids®, Quick-Eze®, Rennie®, Titralac®, Tums®)
* Sodium bicarbonate (Bicarbonate of soda, Alka-Seltzer®)
* Hydrotalcite (Mg6Al2(CO3)(OH)16 · 4(H2O); Talcid®)
* Bismuth subsalicylate (Pepto-Bismol)
* Magaldrate + Simethicone (Pepsil)
Reduced stomach acidity may result in an impaired ability to digest and absorb certain nutrients, such as iron and the B vitamins. Since the normal acidity of the stomach normally kills ingested bacteria, Antacids increase the vulnerability to infection.

Related Posts:
The role of H2 receptor blockers in acid reflux relief
The role of Proton Pump Inhibitors in acid reflux relief