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.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Acid Reflux Relief logoEffective Acid Reflux Relief

Treatment of Acid Reflux Disease is primarily medical, the mainstays being lifestyle modifications and drug therapy. The goals of treatment are to relieve symptoms and prevent relapse and complications. All patients should be advised about lifestyle modifications that help reduce symptoms and prevent relapse. Antacids or antacid-alginate combinations are recommended for safe, prompt, inexpensive relief of heartburn. The same agents, however, are poorly suited for regular use because of poor palatability and durability and side effects such as diarrhea, constipation, and possible magnesium or aluminum toxicity in renal patients. Protection against recurrence of heartburn is provided by acid-suppressing medications such as H2-receptor antagonists and PPIs. H2-receptor antagonists reduce gastric acid secretion moderately by inhibiting one of three acid-stimulating receptors on the basolateral membrane of the parietal cell. When prescribed twice a day, they can control symptoms in about 50% of Acid Reflux Disease patients and heal erosions in about 30%. PPIs irreversibly inhibit the H+, K+-ATPase or proton pump, the final common pathway for acid secretion on the apical membrane of the parietal cell. Consequently, PPIs markedly reduce gastric acidity with once-a-day dosing and provide relief of symptoms and healing of lesions in about 80 to 90% of Acid Reflux Disease patients. H2-receptor antagonists (+30 years) and PPIs (≈15 years) have excellent safety profiles. PPI safety beyond 15 years remains unclear because of uncertainty about the long-term risk for chronic gastric hypoacidity and hypergastrinemia. Although vitamin B12 levels can be reduced with chronic PPI use, clinically significant vitamin B12 deficiency has not been reported, so an increase in vitamin B12 intake is not currently recommended.

Early endoscopy is indicated for those with alarm symptoms. Endoscopy is also indicated for patients who fail once-a-day PPI therapy to confirm the diagnosis and assess severity, including the presence of Barrett's esophagus (see later). Testing for H. pylori is not recommended because the organism is not etiologic in Acid Reflux Disease and, when eradicated, may make treatment more difficult.

Failures with once-a-day PPI therapy are treated with twice-daily PPI therapy with or without H2-receptor antagonists at bedtime for 6 to 8 weeks, and patients who fail this regimen undergo esophageal pH monitoring during therapy to assess for control of esophageal acidity. If the acidity is controlled, the symptoms are not mediated by acid.

Effective therapy is often accompanied by relapse when medication ceases, especially in patients with erosive esophagitis, in whom maintenance therapy is indicated. Patients requiring maintenance therapy should undergo at least one endoscopy procedure to determine whether Barrett's esophagus is present. If endoscopy reveals NERD, no further endoscopy is necessary and treatment is guided by symptoms. If endoscopy reveals erosive esophagitis, treatment to healing should be documented by endoscopy so that Barrett's esophagus can be effectively established or excluded. Once Barrett's esophagus is excluded, endoscopy is unnecessary and treatment is guided by symptoms because subsequent relapse and treatment will rarely result in Barrett's esophagus.

Acid Reflux Relief

Acid Reflux Relief

Acid Reflux Relief