Are You at Risk for Acid Reflux?
Individuals of all ages are at risk for acid reflux and over half of all Americans will succumb to that risk and develop symptoms. Those who are elderly can have serious conditions as a result of untreated acid reflux. There are many risk factors for acid reflux. Do you know the risk factors for acid reflux? Are you at risk for acid reflux?
Knowing what the risk factors for acid reflux are will help you to avoid the things that can trigger acid reflux. There are several risk factors for acid reflux that individuals of all ages can have. The risk factors include a certain eating pattern, women who are pregnant, those who are obese, individuals who have developed respiratory diseases, those who smoke, and also those who drink alcohol.
Those at most risk for severe acid reflux are the elderly, Caucasian males over age 40 whom are also overweight and those who use nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) especially if they are also elderly, a female, use alcohol or tobacco products, have asthma, a hiatal hernia or are obese. Individuals with hiatal hernia are also at risk for severe acid reflux.
Your eating pattern could be putting you at risk for acid reflux if your eating pattern includes enjoying frequent heavy or large meals and then lying down afterwards, or bending at the waist such as for work after a heavy lunch. Individuals who consistently snack late in the evening or at bedtime are at risk for developing acid reflux.
It has always been that pregnant women complain about acid reflux especially during the last trimester of pregnancy because the growing uterus puts pressure on the stomach that pushes the food contents and stomach acid up towards and sometimes back up the esophagus. The sphincter muscle of the esophagus relaxes as during pregnancy which also makes this a likely scenario.
Individuals that are obese are at risk for acid reflux because obesity can contribute to the presence of acid reflux and increases the risk for certain complications of acid reflux like erosive esophagitis. Increased body mass index (BMI) has also been according to a study associated with an increased risk for another complication of acid reflux called, “esophageal adenocarcinoma”.
Individuals who suffer from respiratory diseases such as asthma, and also chronic obstructive pulmonary diseases (COPD) like chronic bronchitis and emphysema, are also more likely to develop the symptoms of acid reflux.
If you are a smoker, you are increasing your risk for acid reflux because studies show that smoking can reduce the LES muscle function, which than increases the acid secretion, and impairs the muscle reflexes of the throat, which in turn damages protective mucus membranes. Smoking also reduces the saliva in your mouth (gives you dry mouth), and since saliva neutralizes acids no matter where those acids originate from such as those in the smoke or nicotine; this can lead to acid reflux although the studies do not show how this occurs only that it is more likely to happen. It is known that those who have used the popular nicotine patches have also experienced acid reflux but there can be several factors involved that could be triggering the acid reflux including the stress of quitting smoking or the nicotine.
Alcohol use also relaxes the LES muscles and when large amounts of alcohol are consumed, this may also irritate the mucous membranes of the esophagus, which can lead to acid reflux. Alcoholic beverages are known to increase the amount of acid in the stomach and if the person combines heavy alcohol usage and heavy smoking this doubles your risk for esophageal cancer, which is a complication of acid reflux.Enrich your life and the lives of others by learning Aromatherapy, Reflexology or Color/Crystal Therapy at the Alternative Healing Academy! Convenient and easy-to-handle payment plans are available! Get 10% OFF of any course simply by liking our Facebook Page! After liking the page, click 'shop now' to get the discount.
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