Are You or a Loved One at Risk for Acid
Are You or a Loved One at Risk for Acid Reflux?
Individuals of all ages are susceptible to acid reflux but those who are elderly tend to have serious conditions as a result of the acid reflux. There are many factors that contribute to your risk for acid reflux including your eating pattern, whether you have a condition such as pregnancy that may aggravate acid reflux, the presence of other diseases that can also aggravate the condition of acid reflux and those who are obese are also candidates for acid reflux.
Acid reflux can occur at any age because some of the factors for putting individuals at risk are things that we all do such as our eating patterns, and activities that we do after eating some of which can contribute to the occurrence of acid reflux.
Individuals no matter the age, who eat fast, or who eat foods that are high in fat, rich in sugars, or contain food items that are spicy may discover that the food “speaks back” after being consumed. Individuals who are also at high risk for heartburn are those who take naps after eating large meals such as is a common thing to do after a large meal like at Thanksgiving time. Anyone who is in the habit of snacking just before going to bed is also at a high risk for acid reflux.
Pregnant women experience heartburn especially in the third trimester of the pregnancy because that is when the uterus is growing and putting pressure on the stomach making it difficult to digest foods, resulting in acid reflux. This type of acid reflux resulting from pressure on the stomach is often resistant to medications or dietary interventions and is unfortunately for some, not relieved until the baby is delivered, which then takes the pressure off of the stomach.
Obesity is a risk factor for acid reflux because when an individual has a high BMI, there is an accumulation of abdominal fat that puts the individual at risk for acid reflux as well as complications such as Barrett’s esophagus and esophageal adenocarcinoma. Studies that followed individuals who had acid reflux found that weight loss reduced symptoms of acid reflux.
Individuals who consume alcohol can also be at risk for acid reflux because the alcohol relaxes the muscles responsible for keeping the stomach contents in the stomach and not coming back up into the esophagus. When these muscles referred to as LES muscles are relaxed they can’t do their job. Alcohol also may irritate the mucous membrane of the esophagus and it also increases the level of acid in the stomach all of which can contribute to acid reflux.
So if you are someone you love tend to eat too fast, eat large meals and then take naps, are pregnant, eat a diet high in fat, sugars or spicy foods, are obese, have respiratory diseases or drink alcohol you and they, may be at risk for acid reflux.
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